In Florida, as well as around the country, a situation could occur that may lead to wrongful death civil suit. A criminal trial conviction carries with it a higher burden of proof than does a civil suit. While it may be harder to prove a suspect is guilty of a crime in a criminal case, a civil suit doesn't require as much certainty to result in a verdict of guilty. In a civil suit, monetary damages could be awarded to the family members.
The family of the teenager, Michael Brown, believes the city of Ferguson is responsible for his death because he was shot by a police officer while unarmed. Police officers named as defendants may be safe from civil liability, due to the nature of their work, and could try to have the case dismissed entirely. Even with the lower standard of proof needed in a civil suit, proving wrongful death is not easy. There have been high profile wrongful death civil suits in the past with differing results.
O.J. Simpson was found not guilty of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in his criminal trial. The families of the victims won $33.5 million in the civil suit against O.J. for the victims' wrongful death. In Queens, New York, Sean Bell was killed because police believed he and his companions were armed, but no gun was found in the car. The family received an amount believed to be over $7 million in the civil suit against the city.
If a situation occurs, and the family believes it to be a wrongful death, they have the right to file a civil suit. An experienced attorney may be able to help prove that the person was unjustly killed. These civil cases could be complicated. An experienced attorney may be able to aid the family in receiving monetary damages for the death.