When looking into the type of suit to file on behalf of a deceased loved one, be sure you are going into the matter with a solid understanding of what you're trying to accomplish. Wrongful death is very different from murder, though the pain of your loved one's loss may be the same. Here are some key differences between a wrongful death suit and a murder suit that you need to be aware of.
The Accident Factor
Wrongful deaths are the results of accidents. There was no intention to harm any one. Wrongful deaths most often take place due to negligence of someone who owns a particular piece of property or equipment. A property-based wrongful death case might include an apartment manager who refused to cut a grassy area which resulted in someone being bitten by a poisonous snake and dying. An equipment-based wrongful death would include a city not having properly maintained the swing set at a local children's play ground. A child may swing high up on a swing and the chain could dislodge from the set, causing the child to fly through the air and land on their neck, break it and die.
In these cases, no one set out to provoke a snake to bite someone or intentionally kill a child, but they were responsible for those deaths due to their negligence in doing their reasonable duty to keep the area and equipment safe.
When someone is murdered, that means that they were sought out and killed. Someone breaking into a home and killing a person in their sleep would be an example. Murder often also is planned as opposed to being something that spontaneously or accidentally took place.
The Court Factor
Another big difference between wrongful death cases and murder cases is that wrongful death cases are handled in civil court while murder cases are handled in criminal court. In wrongful death cases, the most likely outcome of your case being won is that you will be paid a certain amount of money by the responsible party (in the examples above, this means the property maintenance company or landlord, or the city department of parks and recreation). This is the payment for "damages" (meaning the loss of your loved one's life and the impact that that loss had on your family).
Murder trials in a criminal court are going to be intended to have someone go to prison for a specific amount of time, based upon the nature of the crime and the number of counts of murder.
Talk to your attorney like Welsh & Welsh PC LLO about the best suit to file for your situation and they can help you prepare for, manage, and (hopefully) win your case.