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The Maine Difference Between Wrongful Death and Manslaughter

Tragic death in a horrific car crash is too common on Maine’s rural roads.  Last week a Knox County grand jury indicted Brian Boody of Rockland, Maine for manslaughter in the death of young woman from Appleton.  What happens to a Maine driver if a jury finds the driver “recklessly or with criminal negligence causes death to another human being”?

Since manslaughter is a criminal charge, the District Attorney’s goal in a Maine manslaughter trial is to to have a jury find the defendant “Guilty” and have a Superior Court Judge sentence the convicted killer to jail.  Manslaughter is a step below murder in the Maine criminal scheme of things.  A reckless driver who kills is charged with “criminal negligence”.     The jury begins the trial presuming the defendant innocent, and the prosecutor has to prove, through evidence, that the defendant driver “did recklessly or with criminal negligence cause death to another human being.”

On the other hand, Maine wrongful death suits are also personal injury cases.  There’s no prosecutor, and nobody goes to jail.  Instead, a Trial Attorney introduces evidence before a jury, the jury finds the defendant “responsible” , and the jury–not a Maine Judge–decides the  compensation for the family as a result of their loss.  A negligent Maine driver does not have to be found guilty of manslaughter or murder to be held responsible in a wrongful death suit.  But, if a reckless Maine driver is found guilty in a criminal manslaughter or murder trial, the driver (usually through his car insurance company) may also have to pay compensation to the surviving family members in a wrongful death suit.
How could you help  if someone you love has lost a family member in a senseless car crash? You need someone who has experience trying car crash cases. You need someone knowledgeable about Maine’s complex legal system. You need Briggs & Wholey.

Do all trial attorneys have the same amount of experience handling wrongful death cases?  No.

When you choose Briggs & Wholey, you get both  Don Briggs and  Alison Mynick.  We are dedicated and determined to winning your wrongful death case. We each have over 20 years experience with Wrongful Death cases, and we are committed to you.

Don’t let a reckless driver walk away without a backwards glance. Fight back. Contact Briggs & Wholey.