While criminal and civil cases are tried in distinctly different courts by different judges, the evidence used in and the outcome of a criminal case can provide key evidence that can later be used in a civil wrongful death case – particularly if the accused individual is ultimately convicted in criminal court. The reason for this is that, once criminal negligence has been established in a case, that established negligence – and the evidence used as proof in court – can be used in civil courts. In fact, even if an accused individual is not convicted of a crime, he can still be held liable for wrongful death damages in a civil suit (with one of the more widely known examples of such cases being the O.J. Simpson murder and wrongful death cases).
Examples of the types of evidence used in criminal cases that can also be used to establish negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit in civil courts include (but are not limited to):
- Police reports
- Witness statements, including those from eye witnesses and expert witnesses
- Doctors’ reports
- Forensic evidence
- Video surveillance footage
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Whether a wrongful death has been caused by a car accident, medical malpractice, criminal negligence (for example, manslaughter) or another factor, families of victims can secure compensation for the funeral and burial costs, the mental anguish of losing their loved one and future lost earnings by filing wrongful death lawsuits. While no amount of money can ever fully compensate a family for the loss of a loved one, following through with a wrongful death lawsuit can provide grieving families with the financial support they may need during such difficult times.
At the law firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C., our experienced Mount Vernon wrongful death lawyers have been providing client-centered representation to our Southern Illinois clients since 1950. Our trusted attorneys focus on our clients’ needs, and we do everything we can to help them get the maximum possible compensation for their losses so they can focus on recovery and moving on with their life. If you have lost a loved one due to any type of injury due or vehicle accident, contact us by calling (888) 896-9381 for a free, thorough assessment of your case, along with professional advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward.