A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against any party who caused the death of a person for no apparent reason. They are liable for the death if they were negligent, committed an offense that caused the death, or produced a product that caused the death. Wrongful death claims are usually brought to court with a civil action and usually by the close relatives of the deceased. Because a dead person is unable to bring the lawsuit themselves, a loophole was created in which the dead person’s activities resulted in sanction, but the death did not.
Beyond Reasonable Doubt
Unfortunately, unlike with a murder trial, the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ does not apply to the burden of proof in civil action. However, the preponderance of evidence can still prove wrongful death. This is why it is generally more simple for the family of the deceased to seek retribution for the wrongful death of their loved one.
In the most famous case of the late twentieth century, O.J. Simpson was exonerated for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. However, he was later taken to civil court and sued for wrongful death. Within the United States, a company who is alleged to have caused a wrongful death can only be sued in civil court, which is why many cases are ‘class action’ suits. Compensation can be paid if the judge and jury find that the company is indeed liable for the cause of the person’s death and some compensation can run into hundreds of millions.
Difference between the States
In most of the States in America, the wrongful death laws will vary and some will have a statute of limitations. This means that a wrongful death claim can only be brought within a certain amount of time after the death occurs. Once the time passes, that death can no longer be used as a claim. In Oregon, for instance, most wrongful death claims must be made within three years. However, there are many exceptions, including where a public body is involved, where alcohol is involved and where a product liability case is involved. A wrongful death attorney in Cincinnati will advise you of the limitations for that state.
Call Levy Law Offices to find a wrongful death attorney in Cincinnati. Their services cover all manner of legal incidents.