Filing a civil suit for wrongful death is a legal recourse for families who have lost a loved one. Wrongful death cases are often difficult, but the law can help you get justice for your loss. A lawsuit will require you to establish that a duty of care existed and that the defendant failed to meet it. This duty can be breached in many ways, including carelessness or negligence. Depending on the circumstances of the death, you may be required to hire an outside expert to help prove your case.
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To initiate a wrongful death attorney fees case, a relative must file several documents. This includes a complaint explaining the legal reasons for filing a lawsuit and a summons informing the defendant of the suit. These documents are served to the defendant, who must respond to it or risk having a default judgment. Once the defendant has responded, discovery and motions will take place and the case will eventually be tried.
In a civil suit for wrongful death, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent by a preponderance of the evidence. This standard is generally described as more likely than not. This is less stringent than the more stringent “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. Even with a lower threshold, however, a family may still be able to win a wrongful death suit.