Sep 27 2018

Wrongful Death Versus Homicide

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, one of the areas we’re most proud of is our wrongful death services. We have a fantastic 98 percent success rate in getting surviving victims their maximum compensation, and you can rest assured knowing you have a wrongful death attorney fighting for you.

We regularly see bits of confusion from clients when it comes to the details of a wrongful death case. Many simply assume that, like homicide or manslaughter, it’s a criminal charge tried through the criminal court system – in reality, this is not the case. Wrongful death is part of the civil tort system. What does that mean, and what are some of the important differences?

Who Files

The biggest up-front difference between wrongful death and a homicide case is who files the charges. Criminal acts like murder, manslaughter and other homicides are brought by a prosecutor, then tried by a criminal court system at this prosecutor’s behest (barring a settlement, that is).

On the flip side, wrongful death cases are brought voluntarily by a plaintiff. These are most commonly surviving family members of the deceased looking to get due compensation for the death.

Amount of Evidence

The different court systems these areas are tried in come with very different levels of evidence required. Criminal cases require proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” – this is a high burden of proof that allows for no doubt left in the mind of a jury. Attorneys in this realm use evidence and witnesses to attempt to make this case to the jury.

With a civil case, though, the bar for proof is lower. The plaintiff’s goal is to prove that the defendant is liable based on a “preponderance of evidence,” which simply means that most evidence must point to the defendant being responsible for causing an avoidable death.

Due to these differing levels of proof, wrongful death cases are more likely to succeed than homicide cases. Some families who don’t get the verdict they want through the criminal justice system will find it later through a wrongful death case.

Statute of Limitations

Another big difference between wrongful death cases and homicides or other criminal charges is the statute of limitations. With very few exceptions, major crimes like murder or homicide have no statute of limitations – they can be investigated and tried at any point in time, regardless of how long ago the event took place.

Wrongful death cases, though, often do have a statute of limitations. In Utah, this statute requires that wrongful death claims be filed within two years of the death, or within one year if the claim is being filed against any government entity.

For more on wrongful death cases versus homicides and other criminal charges, or to learn about any of our personal injury attorney services, speak to the pros at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC today.

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Aug 20 2018

Wrongful Death Versus Homicide

At the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC, one of the areas we’re most proud of is our wrongful death services. We have a fantastic 98 percent success rate in getting surviving victims their maximum compensation, and you can rest assured knowing you have a wrongful death attorney fighting for you.

We regularly see bits of confusion from clients when it comes to the details of a wrongful death case. Many simply assume that, like homicide or manslaughter, it’s a criminal charge tried through the criminal court system – in reality, this is not the case. Wrongful death is part of the civil tort system. What does that mean, and what are some of the important differences?

Who Files

The biggest up-front difference between wrongful death and a homicide case is who files the charges. Criminal acts like murder, manslaughter and other homicides are brought by a prosecutor, then tried by a criminal court system at this prosecutor’s behest (barring a settlement, that is).

On the flip side, wrongful death cases are brought voluntarily by a plaintiff. These are most commonly surviving family members of the deceased looking to get due compensation for the death.

Amount of Evidence

The different court systems these areas are tried in come with very different levels of evidence required. Criminal cases require proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” – this is a high burden of proof that allows for no doubt left in the mind of a jury. Attorneys in this realm use evidence and witnesses to attempt to make this case to the jury.

With a civil case, though, the bar for proof is lower. The plaintiff’s goal is to prove that the defendant is liable based on a “preponderance of evidence,” which simply means that most evidence must point to the defendant being responsible for causing an avoidable death.

Due to these differing levels of proof, wrongful death cases are more likely to succeed than homicide cases. Some families who don’t get the verdict they want through the criminal justice system will find it later through a wrongful death case.

Statute of Limitations

Another big difference between wrongful death cases and homicides or other criminal charges is the statute of limitations. With very few exceptions, major crimes like murder or homicide have no statute of limitations – they can be investigated and tried at any point in time, regardless of how long ago the event took place.

Wrongful death cases, though, often do have a statute of limitations. In Utah, this statute requires that wrongful death claims be filed within two years of the death, or within one year if the claim is being filed against any government entity.

For more on wrongful death cases versus homicides and other criminal charges, or to learn about any of our personal injury attorney services, speak to the pros at the offices of William Rawlings & Associates, LLC today.

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Aug 30 2017

Nursing Home Neglect Cases

William Rawlings & Associates investigate and review potential nursing home neglect cases.  The injuries are reviewed to determine if the injuries suffered are a result of inadequate care. This may have occurred in a nursing home, hospital or long-term assisted living facility. Individuals confined to a nursing home, deserve proper care and treatment.

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Aug 11 2014

Failure To Diagnose

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As a parent, one of the worst things that can happen is for one of your children to suffer through a serious injury or harm. It’s devastating and heartbreaking.  Dealing with a sick child can be exhausting, especially when doctors and nurses are trying to sort out what’s wrong. But what happens when the doctor fails to diagnose your child correctly and sends them home?

Jan 22 2014

Coping With a Wrongful Death


coping with a wrongful death

Losing a loved one in an auto accident is something we hope we never have to deal with in our lifetime. Through your grieving, you may be overcome with a sense of what do I do now?  You really don’t have the emotional and physical strength to get through the endless decisions being forced upon you and you’re wondering, will my family ever recover from this?  You have medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages that could have been earned by your loved one in the future.  More importantly,  how do you get through the pain and suffering?  William Rawlings & Associates has helped many families through these tragic events with care and compassion.  It is important to us that we help families get back on their feet and guide them to a peaceful conclusion.