Wrongful death claims are torts held against individuals who can be found liable for a person's death. As the dead cannot press charges, wrongful death charges are civil/tort actions brought against those responsible according to statute. As wrongful death claims are not criminal charges, the standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt in the United States Criminal Court System does not apply.
Rather, wrongful death claims hinge on the prosecution's ability to prove negligence or intent with regard to the defendant's role in the decedent's demise.
Wrongful death claims are made to receive compensation for hardship incurred by the surviving family members of the deceased. This hardship must be specified as related to the person's deal itself. Importantly, any type of death where there is a measurable fault is eligible for a wrongful death claim.
This includes all criminal actions resulting in death, as well as automobile related accidents in which fault can be attributed to a surviving party. Charges for wrongful death do not award damages for suffering incurred by the deceased him or herself, and instead focus on the hardships incurred by survivors of the deceased and their related grievances. Contact a wrongful death lawyer to review your case.
Survival claims for damages are normally filed by surviving members of the decedent's family. Survival claims must be filed according to local statute which governs the time in which a survival claim may be made. Statutes, importantly, do not specify the amount of damages which may be sought by the survivors, as the injuries in dispute cannot be quantified before they are heard. Survival claims, unlike wrongful death claims, deal with the injury that caused the death itself, and the defendant's role in the matter.
It is a continuation of litigation for the deceased who is unable to sue for injuries sustained in civil litigation. This means that the impact of the injury itself is measured against the survivors, rather than the death. If the court finds in favor of the plaintiffs, they may be entitled to the same compensation for injury-related hardship that the deceased would be had his or her injuries not been fatal.