Wrongful Death Lawyer
If your family lost a loved one, an attorney can help you get the justice you deserve. There may be no greater loss than the passing of a family member at the hands of a violent offender. Your attorney can understand the tremendous amount of grief you may be feeling and offers compassionate representation. A consultation will be an opportunity to review the facts of your case and receive insight from a legal team about the viability of proceeding with a lawsuit against the perpetrator. This may help your family to make informed decisions about how you wish to move forward.
What is a wrongful death claim?
If the actions or negligence of an individual or a commercial business was directly responsible for a person’s death, the surviving heir(s) of the deceased may be eligible to seek compensation from the responsible party. For example, if someone willfully or through an act of negligence caused the death of your spouse, with the help of a wrongful death attorney you can file a claim or a lawsuit against them. Depending on the circumstances, your attorney may file a claim with the individual’s insurance company or they may recommend filing a lawsuit against them. A claim is usually preferable because the process tends to be faster and less costly than a trial. In addition, a settlement from a claim is a known dollar figure whereas a jury award after a trial (if you win) may not reflect the victim’s damages and may be less than their attorney’s fees.
What is a civil lawsuit?
If your wrongful death attorney recommends proceeding to a civil lawsuit, and if the alleged perpetrator does not have insurance, your attorney will seek to recover your damages by pursuing their assets. If your family wins the lawsuit, and if the jury award reflects the amount of damages itemized by your wrongful death attorney, the Judge may order the defendant to liquidize their assets to pay you.
What is the difference between a civil lawsuit and a criminal trial?
There is much confusion between civil lawsuits and criminal trials. Your wrongful death attorney can provide additional clarity, but here are the main differences:
- If a person is found guilty of murder in a criminal trial, they will be imprisoned for years or their remaining lifetime without the possibility of parole. If a defendant loses a wrongful death lawsuit, they may be ordered by the Court to pay the plaintiff a monetary award, but they will not be imprisoned. However, the State may choose to try the alleged perpetrator in a criminal trial and your wrongful death attorney may recommend that you file a lawsuit against them. In this way, they will be at risk for imprisonment as well as paying your family’s damages.
- It is generally more difficult to prove a person’s guilt in a criminal trial than it is to win a lawsuit against them. This is because the bar for proving guilt in a civil trial is lower than it is for a criminal trial.
Call a law firm to learn if your family is eligible to pursue a lawsuit with the help of a wrongful death lawyer Fort Lauderdale, FL relies on.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injury cases and wrongful death.