If someone I know dies, do I file a civil or a criminal lawsuit?

Individuals cannot file criminal lawsuits. Criminal cases are prosecuted by government entities seeking to punish someone for an act that broke existing criminal laws. In other words, they committed a crime. Civil cases are launched by individual citizens or groups of citizens and typically involve duties and rights that organizations and individuals owe to one another.

The burden of proof in a criminal case is much higher than a civil action. Convicted criminals usually go to jail. Civil cases are usually resolved by way of a monetary judgment.

Other Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions

Holding Wrongdoers Accountable

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