The demise of a loved one can be traumatic for the family of the decedent. Some family members may file a wrongful death claim against the one who caused their loved one’s demise. Such claims tend to be filed after the resolution of criminal matters associated with that person’s death. There is a time limit to file it, and that deadline is referred to as the statute of limitations in legalese.
Criminal charges, such as manslaughter and murder, are occasionally alleged at people who are blamed for wrongful death. This is why you may wonder what the distinctions between these two claims are. Worry not, we will help explain what those differences are. For more information about wrongful death and its legal complications, you can refer to https://davidovichlaw.com/.
First of all, let us understand what kind of death is classified as a “wrongful” one. To put it in simple terms, it is that death caused by someone else’s negligent or wrongful action. A lawsuit of wrongful death is usually based on the theory of recklessness or negligence in civil law. Private entities may file such a lawsuit, and they do it usually to secure compensation for their losses that arose from the person’s death. Conversely, manslaughter charges and murder charges come under criminal law, and only prosecutors may file these as a proxy for the community. A conviction tends to result in that accused losing privileges and freedoms through punitive actions, such as imprisonment to name one.
Secondly, when it comes to how these cases are trialed, a civil lawsuit has a lower standard of proof than what is needed to prove that the accused one is to blame for a crime. The term, ‘standard of proof’ refers to the level of evidence needed to establish an assertion or claim. The one who is accused of a crime may lose important rights, so courts require public prosecutors to succeed in dealing with a big burden of producing evidence for a conviction.
A wrongful death lawsuit is civil, but a murder charge falls under criminal law. These two legal matters not only happen in separate judicial systems but also have different outcomes. You may pursue both after your family member’s demise, and lawyers in the respective area of law can help you explore your rights to take legal action for wrongful death.