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Ozcomert suggests civil litigation in wrongful death cases to recover economic compensation

Civil litigation is not the same thing as criminal litigation. Civil litigation involves things like wrongful death lawsuits.

In a criminal case, the person charged goes to a criminal court and is dealt with accordingly. They may be found guilty or not guilty. Either way, once that process is concluded, the person can also be sued again, but civilly. For the best example of a situation like that, think the O. J. Simpson case.

“Let’s say we’re dealing with the wrongful death of a loved one as a result of vehicular homicide. The criminal case has been dealt with, but the family wishes to recover compensation for the loss of their loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit is filed under a wrongful death statute and is the civil recourse for families whose loved one was killed because of the negligence/intentional acts of another. It is their route to justice outside of the criminal courts,” said Stephen M. Ozcomert, who handles personal injury cases, accidents, and malpractice law in Atlanta, Georgia.

While filing a wrongful death lawsuit will not bring the deceased back, it is a step in the grieving process that may help the family deal with their loss. By changing their focus to economic recovery, they may be able to handle the loss in a different light. Wrongful death suits also try to quantify the value of the deceased’s life by examining things like loss of inheritance, loss of earnings and potential earnings and medical and/or funeral costs.

“At best, the process to calculate the worth of a life is difficult, as there are things that defy being pegged successfully, such as the value of loss of comfort and companionship, emotional support and guidance. Thus, typically speaking, the compensation you would get from a wrongful death action may not be as complete as one would like, but it comes close in most cases,” Ozcomert said.

Most, if not all, wrongful death lawsuits need the assistance of qualified counsel. The process is complex and the lawyer knows how to proceed to get a family the most compensation possible given the circumstances of the case.

“Don’t wait too long to call a lawyer and ask about your case, as you may miss the deadline for the Statute of Limitations. If that happens, you lose your right to sue,” Ozcomert said.

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