Wrongful Death and Celebrities

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Wrongful death is a legal term that basically means that someone died as a result of some other party’s negligence or wrongdoing. Wrongful death is an especially difficult area of personal injury law because in almost all cases of wrongful death, the loss of the loved one could have been prevented. Sometimes wrongful deaths are the result of a terrible accident such as an automobile accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident.

In other cases, there is nothing “accidental” about the death. In many medical malpractice cases, wrongful deaths are the result of poor judgment, failure to perform thorough examinations, failure to obtain a complete medical history, and egregious errors such as amputating the wrong limb or leaving a surgical instrument inside the body.

There are also wrongful deaths that are associated with the criminal charge of murder or manslaughter. An experienced wrongful death attorney can meet with you to discuss the details of your case and then explain to you what your legal rights are in your particular situation. The laws vary from state to state, and there are statutes of limitation on these types of claims, so we encourage you to act now if your loved one has died due to someone else’s reckless or criminal behavior.

Even the rich and famous can be the victim of a wrongful death, and even the rich and famous can cause a wrongful death.
Infamous Wrongful Deaths

Most people recall that in June of 1994, NFL superstar OJ Simpson was accused of murdering two people: his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. OJ Simpson was charged and tried on two counts of murder in what came to be known as the “trial of the century.” To most people’s disbelief, Simpson was found “not guilty” of both murders. But what many people may not remember (or even know) is that OJ Simpson was found responsible for their deaths in the wrongful death lawsuits filed by the victims’ families. This is a perfect example of how someone can be found not guilty in a criminal court but be found responsible civilly for someone’s death in civil court.

Actor Robert Blake, who was a child actor and then starred in the popular 70’s show, “Baretta,” was also the defendant in a wrongful death case following the murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. While Blake was acquitted in criminal court of her murder, he “lost” in the wrongful death claim and was ordered to pay several million dollars to the estate of his slain wife.

Popular R&B singer, Brandy, was also the defendant in a wrongful death case in recent years. She was travelling 65 mph when she rear-ended a car, which then slammed into the rear of another vehicle and careened toward the center divider of the highway and was then struck by another car. The accident left one woman dad, and her family filed a wrongful death claim after the singer was charged with reckless driving resulting in death. The case ended with Brandy paying the woman’s sons $600,000. Criminal charges were not filed in the accident that killed the woman, yet the case went to civil court where Brandy “lost” and was ordered to pay the family a settlement.

There are many cases that may get a “not guilty” verdict in criminal court but may result in a loss for the accused in civil court.

More information from the Author:

If you live in New Jersey or the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area and would like learn more about wrongful death, please visit the website of wrongful death attorneys Weiss & Paarz P.C. today.

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