Wrongful Death Lawyers
Find attorneys that specialize in wrongful death lawsuits
Wrongful death is an issue in civil law, in which a party is deemed to be liable for the death of another person as the result of negligence. Its standard of proof draws on tort law, which is a legal branch dedicated to civil misconduct that does not involve the breach of a formal contract. The central standard at stake revolves around a principle known as "duty of care." Wrongful death lawyers representing plaintiffs will attempt to show that duty of care was violated and resulted directly in the demise of the deceased.
Tort law, as it applies to wrongful death lawsuits, holds all people to an implicit social contract in which they are obligated, at all times, not to willfully engage in activities which have a reasonable chance of harming others. It is thus incumbent upon wrongful death attorneys to establish two key things in court: that the defendant was capable of understanding that his or her actions posed a reasonable threat of harm, and that the defendant willfully engaged in those actions.
Wrongful Death Suits
A statute of limitations applies to cases of wrongful death, meaning that you must initiate legal action against the party or parties you believe to be responsible within a prescribed time frame. The exact time frame varies between jurisdictions, so you should consult wrongful death lawyers to discuss your case as soon as you feel able.
If you are named as the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit, it is strongly recommended that you retain the services of an attorney who has experience defending (and not exclusively prosecuting) these types of lawsuits. A lawyer who's been both on the prosecuting and defending side may prove to be the best option, as he or she will have direct experience looking at the legal questions involved from both sides of the coin.
Given the gravity of death, wrongful death settlements tend to be for larger sums of money. It is also important to note that they are not exclusive of criminal prosecution. A person alleged to have caused another individual's death may face both criminal as well as civil penalties.