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What is a wrongful death claim?

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A wrongful death is when someone is killed by a wrongful act or an act of negligence. If a person is killed because of the wrongful conduct of another, the decedent’s surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim against those responsible for that individual’s death. A wrongful death lawsuit is separate from criminal charges and neither proceeding affects nor controls the other. This means that a defendant who has been cleared or acquitted in a murder case may still be sued in a civil action by the victim’s family for wrongful death.

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