If an individual is engaged in an activity that is inherently dangerous and they cause the death of your family member, this can be referred to as "felony murder." One example of this is if the other party was engaged in arson. Even if they did not intend to kill anyone, this act is considered to be dangerous enough that it might be considered murder. However, even if the arsonist is convicted of murder and sent to prison, you may still be able to file a wrongful death claim against them.
How a Wrongful Death Claim Works
A wrongful death claim is a civil claim that is usually filed by a family member of the deceased against the party who is considered responsible for the wrongful death. Civil actions are considered to be separate from criminal proceedings. Therefore, even if the arsonist is found guilty of felony murder, they might not necessarily be found liable for the death of your loved one.
However, it is easier to win a civil case than a criminal case because the standards of proof are much lower. While you must prove that a party is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal case, you must prove that a party is more likely to be guilty than not in a wrongful death case.
Extending the Statute of Limitations
Civil cases have a statute of limitations that varies depending on the state in which you reside. However, the statute of limitations can be extended when criminal charges are brought against the arsonist. This allows you to avoid having to file a civil claim while the criminal case is ongoing.
Winning Your Case
To file a wrongful death claim, you will need to prove that you are entitled to compensation for the death of your loved one. This is based on the relationship you have with them. For example, spouses, children, and parents are usually entitled to compensation for wrongful death. Other relatives might be entitled to compensation depending on the state in which you reside.
To win the wrongful death case, you will need to prove that the other party is liable for the death of your loved one. If your wrongful death lawyer is able to prove that the fire caused by the arson was the cause of the death of your loved one and that the defendant started the fire, you might win your case.
My husband has worked in the construction industry for nearly twenty years. Three years ago, he decided to open his own business performing renovation work. Having so much experience helped him land clients and showed him that he has to protect himself from the clients that aren't so easy to please. We started working with an attorney in the beginning to have all of the contracts drawn up and have called when things go badly with clients. This blog will show you what you need to do to protect yourself from legal liabilities when you work as a contractor in today's world.