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The Rules of Evidence Vary in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

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It’s not often you get the chance to take two kicks at the can when it comes to determining liability in a wrongful death lawsuit. If a case has been adjudicated in the criminal courts and the defendant found innocent, the second crack at the offender may come in the form of a civil lawsuit. You may recall this is what happened in the OJ Simpson case.A wrongful death claim may be filed against anyone who is deemed responsible for another person’s death. This would include accidental deaths caused by medical malpractice, dangerous drugs, flawed products and murderers.This is an area of law that many people don’t understand. In particular people don’t get why they should file a wrongful death suit if it happens to be a deliberate killing. They don’t grasp why they should file a civil suit instead of just leaving the case to the criminal courts.This is where the rules of evidence come into play. Criminal courts need proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Civil courts only need the preponderance of evidence pointing to the defendant. What happens here is when a person is declared innocent in criminal court, a wrongful death lawsuit provides the survivors a chance to see justice carried out. As mentioned earlier, this doesn’t happen often, but when it does, justice is done.Usually wrongful death charges are laid against people who have accidentally caused a death by negligence. The usual reasons for filing such a suit also have to do with recovery of lost financial support from the deceased. While some may say it’s “not right” that people file suits like this, it’s a definite necessity to keep the remaining family fed and sheltered.An often-ignored bonus in a wrongful death case is the wake up call the manufacturers, companies or organizations get about putting people’s safety first. Unfortunately there are companies who choose to cut corners, putting others at risk of grave injury or death.

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