Wrongful Death Lawsuits
While we do not want to believe it was ever our loved one’s time to go, a wrongful death case implies there was negligence or intentional harm that resulted in the death of a family member. In a wrongful death lawsuit, a representative of the estate of the deceased, or a statutory beneficiary files a civil lawsuit against the defendant, claiming that as a result of their negligence, they wrongfully killed a loved one, or in some cases, the defendant caused intentional harm that resulted in death. As Aaron Crane from Cantor Crane, a highly experienced Phoenix car accident attorney and wrongful death attorney mentions, one unfortunate example of a wrongful death could be the result of a motor vehicle accident.
Understanding if your loved one suffered a wrongful death can be a confusing and complicated process. Because of the complexity of the issue, each Arizona wrongful death lawyer at Cantor Crane can explain what constitutes a wrongful death case and make things a little easier.
When do Wrongful Death Lawsuits Happen?
The most common wrongful death lawsuits come in the form of medical malpractice lawsuits or accident fatalities. It is important to remember that a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil matter, not a criminal one.
A good way to identify if a case qualifies as a wrongful death is to consider if the victim had lived, could he or she have filed a personal injury claim against the defendant as a direct result of the defendant’s negligence or harm. If that negligence and harm resulted in death, the surviving family members of the victim are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If we look at the example of a medical malpractice suit, the individual suffered from the negligence or intentional harmful acts of a doctor, nurse, or other medical worker. If the victim had lived through the same negligence or intentional harm, they would have a personal injury case. Unfortunately, in the circumstances we are discussing, the victim passed away due to the negligence or intentional harm of his or her doctors and nurses. This means you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and should seek the assistance of a wrongful death lawyer.
Proving Wrongful Death in Arizona
The first wrongful death case happened in the United Kingdom in 1846. Since then, wrongful death cases have been happening all over.
In order to prove a wrongful death case occurred, the surviving family members and their attorneys must prove that the negligent actions or intentional harm committed by the defendant resulted in the death of the victim. Again, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil manner, not a criminal one, so the same requirements do not hold up in court.
One of those requirements is that in a criminal murder case, the defendant must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that everyone must agree that the defendant is guilty of the crimes of which he or she is being accused, but this is not a requirement in a wrongful death lawsuit. Instead, in a civil lawsuit, there must be a “preponderance of the evidence.” This makes it much easier to win a wrongful death lawsuit and reward damages to the surviving family.
A well known example of the difference between a civil and criminal trial is with the O.J. Simpson trial. Because O.J. Simpson could not be proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, he was not convicted in a criminal court. But, with the same evidence, O.J. Simpson was found guilty in a civil court of their wrongful murders.
Understanding what constitutes a wrongful death lawsuit can be difficult to understand and that is because it is a very complicated process. If you believe a loved one has suffered from a wrongful death due to the negligence or intentional harm of another individual, a wrongful death lawyer at Cantor Crane, can help you find if you have a case. The wrongful death lawyers at Cantor Crane, are experts in their field with years of experience finding justice and getting their clients the settlements they deserve. Contact Cantor Crane, at (602) 254-2701 for a free initial consultation to discuss whether you have a wrongful death case.