Murder vs. wrongful death
When someone dies due to unnatural causes, the surviving family members have the option to seek legal action against the person or entity responsible. The first step in this process is to figure out whether their loved one’s death is considered a murder vs. a wrongful death. Murder is a criminal offense, meaning the death happened as a result of someone breaking the law. In legal terms, manslaughter, though a lesser offense, is also considered an unlawful act. In the case of murder or manslaughter, the state files charges and carries out the punishment.
Wrongful death, occurs when a person or business is being accused of causing another person’s death due to negligence or wrongful actions. The outcome of the situation is decided in civil court, and the person bringing charges will need to retain an attorney to represent them.
The main difference
The main difference between murder and wrongful death is that murder happens during the commission of a crime and is handled through the criminal court system. Wrongful death is not a crime but rather a civil offense; therefore, any ensuing lawsuits are carried out in civil court.
Should an unnatural death be ruled a murder vs. wrongful death, there is no reason for the surviving family members to retain legal counsel. The situation will be handled by the district attorney’s office. However, if the official ruling is wrongful death, family members must seek their own counsel if they want to bring charges against the offending party.
Speaking to an attorney
Gregory A. Yates is an experienced wrongful death attorney, who has an excellent record in previous cases. With over three decades in the field, he’s successfully handled tough cases where a death happened as a result of negligence on the part of both public and private entities.
If you’ve lost a loved one and want to bring a case against the person or business at fault, contact the Gregory Yates and associates today. They can help you bring those responsible for your loss to justice.