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Civil lawsuits after homicides may be worth it

When residents of Camden, New Jersey, think of a wrongful death lawsuit, they may think of medical malpractice, a car accident or some other incident that involved another person's being careless but not necessarily acting with ill will.

However, it may be harder for the same people to associate homicide with a wrongful death lawsuit. For one, the criminal justice system usually handles homicide cases. Moreover, a person who commits homicide will probably wind up in jail and unable to pay even if the victim's family wins a lawsuit, as insurance may well not cover a homicide case.

People should remember, though, that not all homicides are necessarily a murder or manslaughter that can land someone in jail for decades. For example, a person who engages in drunk driving or other seriously dangerous behavior behind the wheel of a car can be charged with homicide if he or she causes a fatal car accident as a result.

It is also the case that not everyone who commits a homicide is poor and without insurance. Sometimes, a person who has done something horrible has money and property and could pay compensation.

The reality is that intentional or reckless homicides can also be handled through the civil court system, and families can pursue the compensation they need following the unnecessary loss of a loved one, who may well have also been the family breadwinner. Additional compensation for punitive damages may even be sought in these types of cases.

Homicides are terrible tragedies, as no one can bring back the life that was wrongfully took. However, families can pursue legal relief by avenues other than waiting for the police and prosecutor to move the case through the criminal justice system. Those families who have lost a loved one to homicide are advised to speak with a New Jersey wrongful death attorney to better understand their options.

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