According to the Associated Press, a former Kentucky lawmaker is liable to be sued for wrongful death by his victim’s mother. The law maker is currently serving a life term in prison for the killing and a Fayette Circuit Judge determined that the lawsuit can go forward. The lawmaker, Stephen R. Nunn, pled guilty to murder in 2011 for the shooting of the 29-year-old woman. This should give some insight for people who are considering whether or not to pursue wrongful death damages under certain circumstances.
Criminal Charges Don’t Matter
If somebody has been convicted of a crime related to the wrongful death over which you are suing, it does not mean that you cannot go forward with a lawsuit. In fact, the attorney for the woman filing the wrongful death lawsuit quoted in this case uses the fact that the man had confessed to murder as a reason to hold him accountable in civil court.
Criminal court is designed to determine the guilt or innocence of a person accused of a crime and to hand out punishment if they are found guilty. Civil court exists to provide people with a means of getting compensation when they are wronged by someone due to a negligent action or another type of action that leads to real financial, psychological and physical harm.
If you are considering whether or not to go ahead and file a wrongful death claim, the best thing you can do is speak to an attorney right away. They can help you to understand how a criminal conviction against the person you believe you should sue may play into your case against them. The thing to remember, however, is that the person being convicted of a crime does not mean that you can’t go after them in civil court.
What Does this Mean?
Drunk drivers who are serving jail terms due to having taken a life, people who have committed a crime as egregious as murder who are in prison and others who have been convicted of other crimes related to the life that they took can be sued. This means that you need to speak with an attorney if you have been wronged by somebody and if it went so far as to rob you of a loved one. Families who suffer the death of a loved one go through many different hardships, financial ones among them. If someone has caused your family to endure this, you should seek compensation in court.