What is the difference between murder and wrongful death?

Wrongful Death Attorney Dekalb County GA

Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. is the kind of wrongful death attorney Dekalb County GA residents can count on for results. If you have recently lost a loved one because of the negligent or careless actions of another party, you might wonder whether or not you can file a claim. These types of cases are generally very complex and may require the expertise and attention of a Dekalb County wrongful death attorney. To discuss your options in further detail, please call Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. now.

How exactly is “murder” different from “wrongful death”?

It’s not uncommon for murder and wrongful death claims to be considered as one and the same. However, they are actually very different from one another in that a wrongful death claim is considered to be a civil case; whereas, murder is a criminal case. Civil cases are lawsuits which are filed by an individual (often survivors of the deceased) and brought against another party or entity. When a person has died because of another person’s wrongdoing, a wrongful death attorney in Dekalb County GA can be retained to help pursue the claim. Civil suits do not lead to any incarceration unless evidence is found that reveals a possible criminal act. Rather, the claim may result in monetary compensation.

Murder cases are handled by the prosecution and can lead to incarceration. It may be possible for the courts to institute a criminal lawsuit on behalf of those affected; this is on a case by cases basis and might lead to compensation. If you’re not sure what might constitute a civil claim, you may want to contact a wrongful death attorney Dekalb County GA provides.

Each Case Carries Different Burdens of Proof

In order for any case to be successful, burdens of proof must be established. In a criminal case, it is up to the prosecutor to establish the defendant’s guilt. In a civil case, a wrongful death attorney Dekalb County GA offers may attempt to show the defendant’s guilt through a “preponderance of the evidence.” This burden of proof establishes that the defendant was responsible, or partly responsible, for the loss of life.

Case Example: OJ Simpson

OJ Simpson perhaps has one of the best examples of understanding the differences between a murder and a wrongful death case. OJ Simpson, a football player and actor, was initially charged with murder in 1994 for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Simpson was subsequently found to be not guilty. This case was not filed by the family of the victims, but rather by the state government.

After the verdict, the victims’ families filed a wrongful death suit seeking monetary compensation. The case had a lower burden of proof than the criminal case and Simpson was found liable. Although this did not result in criminal penalties, it led to a seven-digit financial settlement in the favor of the families.

Contacting a Wrongful Death Attorney Dekalb County GA

Because each claim is inherently different, it’s recommended to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. There are statues of limitations which give the bereaved a certain time period to file a wrongful death claim. If you would like to discuss your legal options with Andrew R. Lynch, P.C., a wrongful death attorney Dekalb County GA trusts, please call (404) 373-7715.