January 3rd, 2018|
Not every wrongful death matter involves criminal behavior, but many do. Although you may not expect an arrest to always occur in a situation involving an automobile death or workplace fatality, most assaults that result in the death of a victim will at least arguably be a criminal act. Whether the law considers a death to be the result of murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter – or even other criminal behavior that indirectly leads to death such as stalking or bullying which ends in suicide – it is proper for the family members of the deceased to pursue a wrongful death action for their losses against those that played a part in causing the death (which can include employers if the defendant was on the job at the time).
Certainly, the successful criminal conviction of a defendant can be deeply significant in proving a wrongful death claim, but convictions and even arrests do not always occur. The fact that a defendant has not been arrested or convicted – while not ideal – does not prevent the family members from pursuing a wrongful death case, for the reasons stated below. Speak to the wrongful death attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law in New Jersey and New York – who have recovered over $90 million for clients – about your options in pursuing a wrongful death suit in your situation.
The Burden of Proof is Lower in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The American court system is set up so that there are two very different burdens of proof that must be reached in the criminal court system versus the civil court system. In criminal court, there is a constitutional requirement that prosecutors must prove that every element of a criminal act occurred “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In a homicide case, prosecutors may have a challenge in doing this, and defense attorneys will do everything they can to cast just enough doubt to win a not guilty verdict.
It is a different matter altogether in civil court where wrongful death cases are tried. In civil court, the elements of a wrongful death claim generally must only be proven by a “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning that is more likely than not the case (in other words 51% likely or higher) that the elements of a wrongful death tort occurred.
Jury Unanimity is Generally Not Required in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In addition to the burden of proof, most criminal courts require that the jury reach a unanimous verdict in order to convict a defendant. This is why many high-profile cases where there seems to be an abundance of evidence against the defendant end in a not guilty verdict or mistrial, as it often takes only one skeptical juror to sway the outcome.
In wrongful death cases, however, jury unanimity is not required, and generally only a majority of the jurors are required to find for the plaintiffs to ensure a winning outcome. One prominent example of this is the notorious murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Simpson in the mid-90s, when a California criminal jury found O.J. Simpson not guilty, but a later civil jury in a wrongful death suit awarded the victims’ families $33.5 million in damages to be paid by Simpson.
Criminal Prosecutors Have to Pick and Choose Their Cases
Because it can be so difficult to secure a guilty conviction, many criminal prosecutors – who are often driven by securing the highest conviction rate possible – will focus their attention on the cases that are easiest to win at trial and will not bring charges in more challenging cases.
This trickles down to the police level as well, as police officers may not want to make an arrest unless there appears to be enough evidence to meet the beyond a reasonable doubt standard. Thus, the fact that an arrest was not made and/or that charges were not brought does not mean that a wrongful death suit could not be successfully brought. Indeed, the O.J. Simpson case and many other matters suggest otherwise.
You May Have the Resources and Drive That the Government Does Not
Finally, when you work with an experienced wrongful death attorney, you will have a legal advocate that works directly for you and your family, unlike a government prosecutor. Your attorney will be driven to recover financial compensation for you and your family, and can draw on resources to properly investigate the death and win the justice you deserve.
Contact a New Jersey Wrongful Death Attorney Today
The experienced wrongful death attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law have won over $90 million in compensation for our clients through settlements and verdicts, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Contact us today to speak to a wrongful death attorney about how we can help you and your family win the justice and financial recovery that you deserve under New Jersey law.
November 13th, 2017|
Let’s face it: if you live in New Jersey, you have no doubt seen or heard hundreds of ads for personal injury attorneys on bus stops, billboards, newspapers, radio stations, TV, and elsewhere. You probably do not give them much thought until the day an accident or other event causes a personal injury to you or a family member. In such moments, it is easy to feel traumatized, confused, financially and emotionally stressed, and altogether uncertain of where to start – much less end – in your search for a personal injury attorney that is right for you. Here a few things to keep in mind as you look for the New Jersey personal injury attorney you want to represent you in fighting for the justice and financial recovery you deserve.
You Are in the Driver’s Seat in Your Personal Injury Attorney Search
Lawyers do have a reputation for being aggressive and even intimidating – and, in fact, those qualities can be quite beneficial to you as the client in winning your recovery – but, as an injured victim, it is your decision and your decision alone regarding what attorney that you retain. If you have suffered significant injury due to the negligence of another, there are going to be numerous attorneys who want to work with you, so don’t be afraid to reach out to attorneys and ask them the questions you want answered before you go forward with one.
Look For Both Personal Injury Experience and Results
Ultimately, what you should be looking for in a New Jersey personal injury attorney is one who can get you the full recovery that you deserve for your injuries, including all lifetime medical bills, pain and suffering compensation, and any lost income or reduced earning potential you have suffered. Just about any attorney can cut a quick deal for a lowball settlement, but look for one that has experience and a consistent record of results in winning the types of large settlements and verdicts that cover all of a personal injury victim’s losses.
Find an Attorney Willing to Go the Extra Mile For You
Your recovery begins with having an attorney who understands exactly what you are going through with the trauma, inconvenience, and shock of your accident. Is your attorney willing to come to you in your hospital or home to discuss your circumstances and what can be done on your behalf? What services and guidance can they offer you while you recover? Again, you are in the driver’s seat and you can and should demand the highest level of client service from your attorney.
Don’t Be Afraid to Keep Looking Until You Find a Lawyer That’s Right
Contacting an attorney for a free consultation is just that – a consultation – and if the attorney you speak with does not provide you with confidence, care, and concern you deserve, you can always contact another one who will.
Talk to an Experienced New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have suffered injury due to the negligent, careless, or intentional acts of another, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law – with offices in New Jersey and New York – are here to help. We have won over millions in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Our attorneys have built up a strong reputation for providing compassionate legal counsel to those who have suffered serious injury while aggressively and quickly taking all necessary legal action to recover for our clients to get their lives back to normal by winning compensation for all costs, losses, and pain and suffering. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your claim.
December 23rd, 2016|
Judd Shaw of Shaw Kreizer Trial & Injury Lawyers, a well-respected car accident lawyer that takes clients in Manhattan, NY and the surrounding areas, will be holding a seminar at the start of the new year to inform professionals about the new Insurer Internal Appeals Procedures which will take effect in April 2017. The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) will be enacting these guidelines with the hope that it will provide a simpler and more uniform appeal process that will benefit both insurance providers and insureds. The goal of these reforms is to allow for a more efficient review of PIP disputes. The following are the details for all who are interested in attending the event:
Date: Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Pines Manor, 2085 Route 27, Edison, NJ 08817
What will be discussed?
The discussion will relate to the amendment NJAC 11.3-4.7B, which will make changes to the internal appeals procedures. Before the event, planned attendees may want to familiarize themselves with the specifics of these changes before the seminar so that they can be prepared to ask any questions. The event also aims to explain (in further depth) the two types of appeals rules, which are pre-service and post-service. Shaw will even explain how to ensure compliance with both of these types of appeals, which serve to protect a provider’s rights to PIP arbitration.
In addition, the seminar will also act as a free networking event. Many individuals from different related fields will be there, including medical providers, billing companies, and professionals in the PIP industry. This is a great opportunity to get to know others in the New Jersey area and make new connections.
About The Speaker:
Judd Shaw is a renowned lawyer who has extensive experience in the field of personal injury. He was named one of New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Stars, and he is the lawyer of choice for several large businesses and medical organizations. He and his associates at Shaw Kreizer Trial & Injury Lawyers are a top choice for anyone seeking catastrophic injury lawyers in Bergen County, NJ, and other areas throughout New York and New Jersey. For more information about this informative event, or for a free legal consultation, call 1-800-365-1234.