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Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is one of the many claims an individual can allege in common law jurisdiction. This charge can be levied against a person who can be held as liable for the death of another person. Unlike many other civil claims, wrongful death actions are filed not by the victim but by the victim’s family. As the claim involves death, the victim’s family must act on his or her behalf.

Under the common law, a deceased person is unable to file a lawsuit. This created a situation in which an activity or action that ended up in a person’s injury would result in civil sanctions; however, actions that resulted in death resulted in no civil action. Basically, a person that caused a death would often go unpunished, while someone who caused injuries would be made to pay. This was seen as being patently unfair.

As a result, the wrongful death claim developed. This claim is open to the deceased’s family or estate. The damages from this claim are meant to compensate the family for wages that will not be earned because of the death as well as for the loss of the individual’s company.

The standard of proof for this claim, like most torts, is a preponderance of the evidence. This is a lower standard than what is required for guilty in a criminal procedure. While the standards are different between wrongful death and criminal suits, the two suits are not exclusive. It is possible for an individual to be tried criminally for murder or manslaughter as well as civilly for wrongful death without double jeopardy coming into play.

Contact a Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured by another’s negligent or intentional actions, contact the Jacksonville personal injury lawyers of the Law Offices of Donald Guthrie at 904-296-1088.

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