Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Accidental deaths can still be crimes

When it comes to the loss of life, there are many different laws governing many different aspects. This is largely due to the innumerable amount of ways in which one human being can be responsible for the loss of another's life, either directly or indirectly. Of course there are calculated acts of murder, such as intentionally shooting or stabbing someone, but there are many accidental deaths. Examples of such accidental deaths include car accidents, medical malpractice and more.

For many of these accidental deaths, every party involved simply wishes to move past the event and focus on grieving. The result often comes in the form of a wrongful death claim in which the person responsible for the fatality pays the victim's family. However, for some victims' family members, money is not enough, and they wish to see the person punished further for taking their loved one from them.

Depending on the circumstances, a terrible, freak car accident could ultimately see you facing criminal charges. Involuntary manslaughter is a criminal homicide in which a life is lost, and in which three elements are met:

1. The victim was killed because of an act taken by the defendant.

2. The defendant's fatal action was done with notable disregard for others' lives.

3. The defendant should have realized that the act was life-threatening to other people.

What this means, for example, is that a person could accuse you of speeding to such an excessive extent that you should have known you were likely to cause a fatal accident. If you are unable to defend yourself against these charges, you could be convicted of involuntary manslaughter for a tragic accident that you may not have been able to avoid. If you are facing homicide charges of any kind in Louisiana, whether first-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter or anywhere in between, consider meeting with an attorney to help you build a case to defend yourself.

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Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

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