According to state laws, when a person has been killed due to the negligence or recklessness of another party or parties, the victim’s family may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for their loved one’s death.
One of the most common types of fatal accidents that result in wrongful death lawsuits is vehicle accidents. Proving that the at-fault driver was responsible for the victim’s death is not always easy and takes the legal expertise and experience of a skilled wrongful death lawyer. There are certain factors that must be met in order to prove wrongful death. Failure to do so could result in the lawsuit being dismissed. This is why it is so important for the family members of fatal accident victims to retain the services of a wrongful death lawyer to represent them.
There are several types of fatal vehicle accidents that could result in criminal charges against the at-fault party. Some of these include accidents where the driver was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs when they caused the accident, driving recklessly, or otherwise committing a serious traffic infraction. In these cases, even though there may be criminal charges filed, the victim’s family should still file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. These are two completely different procedures and the outcome of one trial will not impact the other.
Even if the criminal charges are eventually dropped or the person is found not guilty, the family should still file a civil case since the burden of proof is different in each procedure. It is important to also note that families should never wait until the criminal charges have been resolved because the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death suit may expire during that time. You should consult with a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.
No Criminal Charges
There are also cases where there are no criminal charges filed at all. For example, if the other driver was fiddling with their CD player and crashed. In this scenario, although the driver would be found at fault for the accident because they were distracted, they did not break any laws. Survivors of the victim are still entitled to file a wrongful death claim in this type of situation.
Contact a Personal Injury Law Firm for Help
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or recklessness of another party or parties, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the losses you have suffered. In many cases, the only court of law the at-fault party is required to answer to is civil court. Do not delay in contacting an attorney, like a Morgantown, WV wrongful death lawyer from Hayhurst Law PLLC. to find out what legal options you may have to obtain financial justice for your loved one’s death. State law only allows a limited amount of time for survivors to file their wrongful death claim and once that timeframe expires, so too does your opportunity for pursuing financial justice for your loved one’s death.