Wrongful death suits are litigation filed against someone who is responsible for a person’s (wrongful) death. This isn’t a criminal matter. It is civil law.
A wrongful death may take place literally anywhere, at any time and occur at the hands of a variety of people. “For instance, a wrongful death may involve a medical error, a murder, or a faulty product or equipment,” outlined Lance and Laura Sharp of the Sharp Firm of Austin, Texas. While the reasons for a wrongful death are virtually endless and no one denies that a death occurred, many people don’t “get” why a wrongful death suit is really necessary.
In the case where there is a deliberate killing, the general public figures that justice will be done through the criminal courts. They don’t comprehend why someone would hire a wrongful death attorney to file a civil claim. “There are two different courts involved in settling a criminal case as opposed to a wrongful death case, and they each rely of different standards of proof,” explained Lance Sharp.
In a criminal court, the defendant must be proven to be guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. “On the other hand, civil courts only need a preponderance of the evidence,” said Lance Sharp. This means a civil court only needs to have enough evidence that points to the guilt of the defendant. In some instances, when a criminal court declares a person not guilty, filing a wrongful death suit in civil court provides the family with a shot at getting justice.
It is far more common, however, in wrongful death cases the charges are laid against people who have accidently caused a death as a result of their negligence. Needless to say, these cases are fraught with some very volatile emotions and for this reason it makes good sense to hire a highly skilled wrongful death attorney, familiar with these kinds of issues. Such an attorney may be found at the Sharp Firm in Austin, Texas, where Lance and Laura Sharp have over 40 years of combined legal experience.
Wrongful death cases may award damages for medical costs, funeral expenses, loss of wages, loss of companionship, and many other items that a good attorney will not only know about, but will fight aggressively in court to win these damages for their client. In some respects, civil suits brought as the result of a wrongful death serve as a reminder to others that the law is indeed keeping a watchful eye on them.