Let’s talk about the difference between “criminal” law and “civil” law. Criminal law refers to the prosecution of someone charged with committing a crime. This can range from a simple traffic violation to murder. In a criminal law case, the State or District Attorney is the prosecutor, and it is up to the suspect to their own attorney or public defender to defend them against the charges. In criminal law, the consequence of being found guilty includes penalties such as fines or jail time.
Civil law refers to the pursuit of someone’s claims for money damages against another party. This can be from anything ranging from a breach of contract matter to a claim for personal injuries arising from a car accident. In these cases, the injured party can hire an attorney who may file a claim against the at-fault person’s insurance company or even file a civil lawsuit against the responsible parties. The outcome of a civil matter is typically for the payment of money.
Sometimes, a person’s negligent actions can result in both criminal and civil cases. Take for example a drunk driver who kills another person. That drunk driver can be charged with a crime by the District Attorney and at the same time, the victim’s family can bring a civil case for wrongful death against them.
Wrongful death is a specific type of civil action, giving a victim’s family the right to pursue the at-fault party for damages sustained as a result of the death of their loved one. In contrast, murder is a specific criminal charge the District Attorney or State would prosecute against the at-fault party.
Has Your Loved One Died Due To The Negligence Of Others?
If you lost a family member due to a negligent act you need to speak with an experienced Covington area wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Covington office directly at 985.590.6182 to schedule your free consultation today. I help families throughout Louisiana including Mandeville, Slidell, Bogalusa, Franklinton, Hammond, New Orleans and Metairie.