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My husband was killed in a Wisconsin car accident last month. The other driver was driving drunk, ran a red light, and fled the scene. To me, this is murder. So, what is the difference between murder and wrongful death?

This is an excellent question. The answer lies in the two types of legal actions that can be taken against someone whose negligent—or even malicious—acts have caused the death of another. The first, a criminal lawsuit, deals with the charge of murder. The second, a civil lawsuit, covers wrongful death.

One well-known example is the case of O.J. Simpson, who was tried in criminal court for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. While the defendant was found not guilty in his criminal trial because the state could not prove that he committed the murders “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the victims’ families filed a wrongful death suit later and were able to prove that he had wrongfully caused their loved ones’ deaths.

In your case, the state may well bring criminal charges against the driver of the other car. But you also have the right to file a Wisconsin civil lawsuit for wrongful death. A civil suit can help with the expenses and losses you have incurred as a result of this tragedy.

Contact Hupy and Abraham today if you think you might want to look into a civil suit. As Madison accident attorneys, we have the expertise and track record to advise you. Call us today toll free at 800-800-5678 to get your questions answered.