If your family has experienced an accident or incident that resulted in the death of a loved one, you may want to know how you can legally settle the matter to see justice done on the deceased’s behalf. Many of these unfortunate cases are classified as manslaughter or wrongful death. You’ll need to know which is which so you can go through the proper legal procedures to get the compensation you and your other surviving family members are entitled to.
A wrongful death settlement offers a degree of safety to grieving families. This is particularly the case if the family member who passed away was a significant breadwinner in the family. The settlement allows families to restore themselves financially, such as paying for medical bills associated with the family member’s death or paying to replace a vehicle that was used in the family member’s fatal car accident.
Wrongful death law pertains to cases in which the actions of one person led to the death of someone else. This law is in place to ensure dependents and family members of the deceased who are financially affected by the relative’s death will be compensated.
Wrongful death claims can cover all types of fatal incidents, such as car accidents, medical malpractice, construction accidents, product liability cases, and elevator accidents. For the defendant to be held responsible for a wrongful death, the plaintiff has to provide evidence that the victim would not have died if the defendant were not negligent.
Wrongful death is considered a civil lawsuit. It’s important to note that a family can also file a wrongful death claim if the victim is injured at work or in a car accident, hospitalized for the injuries, and later dies because of them.
Manslaughter charges can be filed if an individual did not intend to kill, but their negligence resulted in the death of another individual. Manslaughter in the first degree is when someone intentionally inflicts harm on someone else, and that harm or injury resulted in the victim’s death. Manslaughter in the second degree happens when a person causes someone else’s death because of recklessness.
If a person is aware that they are acting recklessly and ignore the risk of hurting or killing others, they are guilty of manslaughter, which is a criminal charge. Even though the defendant doesn’t have an intent to kill, their decision to act irresponsibly could be fatal for someone else.
For instance, if someone is driving at night and doesn’t turn their headlights on, and this decision results in the death of another driver or pedestrian, the driver is guilty of manslaughter. Or, if a doctor recklessly performs a procedure on someone with health conditions that increase their risk of death from the procedure, the doctor can be charged with manslaughter.
How Are Cases Conducted?
If a person is guilty of manslaughter, the federal or state government will prosecute them. The jury starts a trial assuming the defendant is innocent. The prosecutor has to present evidence that shows the defendant was behaving recklessly and caused another person’s death. If the defendant is found guilty, they will have to pay hefty fines and may have to serve a prison sentence.
Wrongful death cases occur in civil court. The close family members of the deceased usually file the charges. Since this is not a criminal case, wrongful death attorneys do not have to prove innocence or guilt beyond a doubt. The lawyer does, however, need to show adequate evidence to sway the jury. If the defendant is deemed guilty, they will have to pay for damages, which include funeral and burial expenses, loss of the deceased individual’s income, medical bills, and damages.
If you need to file a wrongful death claim, it’s important to start working with an attorney as soon as you can. Submit all evidence of your case to your lawyer so they can start working on your behalf to ensure that you and your family get the best settlement possible.