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Civil claims don’t hinge on criminal case outcomes

| Oct 25, 2017 | Wrongful Death

Any wrongful death claim is filled with pain. You didn’t plan on losing your loved one in a tragedy. Now that it has happened, you have to think about what you are going to do. One of the natural reactions to a tragic death is to want to seek vengeance.

We don’t live in a country where you can apply the “eye for an eye” principle. Instead, you have to rely on the justice system to hold the person accountable for your family member’s death. This is done through the wrongful death claim that names the person who caused the accident as a defendant. Other parties might also be named along with that person.

By going through the civil court system, you are taking matters into your own hands. You are sending a strong message that the actions that led to the death weren’t acceptable. You are demanding that the person take financial responsibility for the damages of the accident. This isn’t going to bring the decedent back, but it can serve as a stark reminder about the way the accident impacted your family.

Remember that if it was a criminal act that led to the accident, your claim for wrongful death compensation doesn’t hinge on that case. A civil case and a criminal case are completely independent. Even if the person gets off of the criminal charges, you can still launch a successful wrongful death claim. The O.J. Simpson case in the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman is an example of this. Simpson was found not guilty of the murders, but there was a successful claim in the civil court system against him.