The tragic loss of a loved one is emotionally devastating. While you’re dealing with those emotions, you also have to think about the financial impacts. These can add more stress to an already difficult situation. Dealing with the emotions can be a challenge but there are some legal options that might prove beneficial.
Some wrongful death cases are criminal, but these don’t have any impact on the outcome of civil cases. Similar information might be present but there is a different standard of proof in civil cases than criminal ones.
Standard of proof
The standard of proof in a criminal case is set higher than a civil case. In a criminal matter, the person must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, there must only be a preponderance of the evidence for them to be held accountable.
The difference between the two standards is that the person may face time in prison or even the death penalty due to a criminal matter. This isn’t the case when the civil matter is before the court. Civil matters will usually involve financial awards, so the person won’t face imprisonment.
Damages you may seek
When you’re seeking compensation for a loved one who has passed away due to the negligence of another party, you will have to determine the amount of damages you’re seeking. There are many things that are included, such as money for final expenses, coverage for medical care, payment for wages that the person can’t earn and similar damages.
You must include all damages in your claim. Once your case is settled or an award is issued, you can’t come back to demand more money. Looking into similar claims might help you to determine the amount of damages you should seek.
There are four primary points that you need to show when you’re seeking compensation in a wrongful death case. These include the fact that the person who passed away was a human, that the defendant’s negligence caused the death, that the surviving family members suffered a financial loss and that there is a personal representative over the estate.
Since putting one of these cases together is so complex, it’s often beneficial to work with someone who has a extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of these matters.