Wrongful death is different from homicide, which is a criminal act punishable by prison. Wrongful death is a civil court action, in which relatives of the deceased seek justice by holding a person accountable financially for taking their loved one’s life. Most wrongful death cases stem from accidents, where one person’s or a company’s negligence caused another person to die. Because the person who caused the accident didn’t intend for anyone to be hurt, there are no criminal charges. The plaintiffs in a wrongful death case don’t have to prove anyone is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; they must prove someone is liable, that is, more-likely-than-not responsible.
Of course, homicide, when proven, is always wrongful death. So a murder victim’s relatives can easily get a wrongful death judgment in a separate, civil action. (It’s even possible for a family to get a wrongful death judgment against a person who has been acquitted of murder.) Unfortunately, since murder is a deliberate act, it’s not covered by insurance, so the family would have little chance of receiving any compensation. Accidental death cases, though harder to prove, have a greater chance of yielding compensation for survivors. And, because our personal injury attorneys accept Orlando-area wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, we charge no legal fees until we recover compensation for you.