If you have had a loved one die because they were in a car accident or through medical malpractice, you may want to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who is responsible for your loved one's death. If you are going to file one of these lawsuits, you need to make sure that you understand certain things before you visit the attorney to start the process.
One of the things that you need to understand is who has standing to file one of these suits. Not just anyone can do it. It has to be a close family member or on the behalf of a close family member. For example, if it were your spouse who was killed, you would have standing in order to bring the case. Minor children have the standing to have a case brought on their behalf. If you have become a guardian to those children, then you could bring a case on their behalf. In some states, parents can bring a case for their adult children. If the person who died financially supported you, then you may also have the standing to bring a case. You would have to talk to an attorney about it.
Victim of Crime
If your loved one died because they were a victim of a crime, you can bring a wrongful death case. It doesn't matter if the person was found guilty or acquitted. In this case, the important part is that they were the cause of your loved one's death. The reason for this is that the burden of proof is different when it comes to civil and criminal cases. In a criminal case, the prosecutor has the burden of proving that the person did what they were accused of, and proving it beyond any doubt. In a civil case, the defendant bears the job of proving that they didn't do it. As plaintiff, you make your case as to why the defendant is the cause of your loved one's death, while they try to prove that their actions or inactions didn't cause your loved one's death. And within those criteria, there is more leeway in a civil case than there is in a criminal case.
Losing a loved one can be a huge blow. If they were killed because of malpractice or an accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A good attorney can help you make the decision as to whether or not you should file a case.
If you have further questions, reach out to a local wrongful death lawyer.