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Criminal acts may also give rise to civil claims

According to WDRB of Louisville, Kentucky, a grand jury indicted a man on July 12, 2017, for the murder of a woman in a DUI-related crash on the Outer Loop in Louisville on May 22, 2017. After the collision, the man was transported to a local hospital and charged with speeding, assault, and DUI.

Just two days after the crash, WLKY-TV reported that the woman is survived by two children. At the time of her death, she was engaged to be married.

Criminal charges are brought against a person when there is probable cause that certain acts prohibited by law were committed. The above story regarding the indictment by a grand jury reflects proceedings under Kentucky criminal law.

However, there are times when justice through a criminal conviction is insufficient to adequately compensate victims. Many times acts that are criminal simultaneously create liability under tort law.

Under Kentucky law, a claim for wrongful death may be alleged in a civil suit. Damages may be sought in order hold accountable a person who has caused the death of a family member and provide some measure of compensation to the decedent’s estate.

An action for wrongful death is commenced by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. In order to prevent a wrongful claim from being barred due to Kentucky’s statute of limitations, it must be brought within a certain time period.

Lawsuits involving such tragic events are sensitive by nature. The right to bring a civil action is meant to secure some measure of relief for victims who are faced with such a loss. 

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