Is It Wrongful Death or Is It Murder: What to Know


There are some clear cases of murder, but there are also a number of cases that are a little harder to define. The following guide will help you understand everything there is to know about what constitutes wrongful death and murder.

How Murder and Wrongful Death are Defined

The truth is that proving willful intent or gross negligence can be difficult, which is part of the reason you need professional help. “Murder” is defined as the killing of a human being by a sane person with intent. This killing has to be done with no legal excuse or authority.

“Wrongful death,” on the other hand, is the death of a human being due to the wrongful act of another. The problem comes with the definition of “wrongful act”, which means, “Any act that will damage the rights of another, unless it is done in the exercise of another equal or superior right. For that reason, the scope of wrongful acts is not limited to illegal acts.” This definition of a wrongful act is legally vague, so as a result there are gaps and loopholes to be found in the definition of wrongful death. In order to prove that someone suffered a wrongful death, it must be shown that a wrongful act was committed which caused that death—but that can be challenging.

Resource: Law Office of Eric Ramos | Wrongful Death

Figuring Out the Type of Death One Suffered

Attempting to figure out what kind of death someone suffered is definitely a task that is best left to professionals. Proving wrongful death by a wrongful act is much easier to do with a team of legal experts at your back. But for the sake of discussion, let us examine the common challenges of wrongful death suits:  

On the Road

Again, car accidents occur on the open road where things change constantly, making it hard to pinpoint signs of murder. Furthermore, investigators also have to show that the person who caused the death wanted to do so intentionally, and that is not always easy to prove since the heart cannot be examined.

Resource: Explore Forensics | Determining Cause of Death

At Work

There are several reasons why determining the cause of death at work can be hard. For one, most work environments move quickly, and that introduces change. A detective needs a crime scene to remain unchanged in order to find clues pointing to an unnatural cause of death. These clues might be gone by the time investigators get there. Investigators also have to take into account just how dangerous the type of work is and if it was simply caused by a gross error, rather than negligence or other wrongful acts.

These are just some of the reasons why wrongful death and murder are not easily defined in every situation. Most murderers are going to try to hide their true intentions, making this task hard, but a good lawyer should be helpful in these situations.

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