How Is Murder Different from a Wrongful Death?

The Difference Between Murder and Wrongful Death

While both terms can certainly overlap, there is a very big difference between a “murder” and a “wrongful death.” Right off the bat, the term murder is generally used in reference to criminal law, while the term wrongful death is generally used in reference to civil law.

Murder is very narrowly defined as the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. On the other hand, a wrongful death can be defined as the death of an individual caused by a wrongful act, negligence, neglect, carelessness, or unskillfulness.

While homicide absolutely fits the definition of a wrongful death, the difference is that not every wrongful death rises to the criminal level of murder.

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