WE CAN HELP YOU SETTLE A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE
Personal Injury: Wrongful Deaths
Connecticut Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a loved one is dramatically overwhelming for family and friends, particularly if caused by another’s willful actions or negligence. This is not a murder or manslaughter case, but tried by a civil court jury, whose decision need not be unanimous. Also, since wrongful death lawsuits are tried in civil court, juries need not be 12 in number, usually smaller (six or eight jurors are most common). These lawsuits typically only need a majority of jurors (although states have often have different rules and statutes) finding that the defendant directly contributed to the victim’s death, by the defendant’s negligence, to award the plaintiff(s) monetary damages for the wrongful death.
Burden of Proof Different in Wrongful Death Civil Cases
While individual states have different rules or standards for a plaintiff’s proving their case, many features are common to multiple states across the US. This alone differs from most state’s criminal trials.
In criminal cases, the burden of proof shifts to the defense (to prove to at least one juror) to offer reasons why the defendant could not have committed or did not commit the crime, although the prosecution presents its own evidence that the defendant is guilty as charged. In civil cases, the plaintiff is charged with the burden to prove its case that the defendant acted in a willful or negligent manner causing the injury or death of another.
In wrongful death trials, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care – and breached that duty – in a negligent way, thereby causing the death of the victim. It is insufficient to prove the defendant violated a law, owed and breached a duty of care, the plaintiff must also prove the defendant’s actions or negligence directly caused the wrongful death.
With criminal cases, the defense must prove there is a reasonable doubt the defendant committed the crime charged, but, the rules are different in a civil trial. While various US states define the burden of proof differently, the plaintiff still is required to prove the defendant’s negligence by a “preponderance of the evidence.”
Finding a Good Wrongful Death Lawyer
Experience and a successful track record of wins are the most important factors in choosing a wrongful death attorney to represent you. Unless a case has clear cut evidence of negligence (rare), a lawyer’s experience handling wrongful death cases often makes the difference between plaintiff’s winning modest or large insurance company settlements and jury awards.
Most wrongful death plaintiffs are close family members of the deceased person. They have lost the most. While monetary awards will not replace the loved one no longer alive, a significant settlement amount will help restore the family’s financial health and recognize the defendant’s negligence in contributing to this tragedy.
A good wrongful death lawyer is aware of the three major attorney rating services and strives to make their lists of the “best of the best.” You can also check these ranking services by visiting martindale.com, bestlawyers.com, and/or superlawyers.com. The Moynahan Law Firm qualifies as one of the super lawyers in the Waterbury area.
If you know a lawyer in another field, you could ask him/her who they would hire and why if they had the same circumstances. Posing the question this way should result in an honest response from the attorney you ask. Most experienced lawyers have knowledgeable opinions on the quality of their peers, and are willing to honestly tell you who they would want to represent them for the best results.
The attorneys at The Moynahan Law Firm have the experience and track record of success you want when involved in a wrongful death case. Why not call The Moynahan Law Firm today to arrange a free consultation?