A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action. This means that the case is filed by the relatives of the deceased or by the estate, on the basis that the defendant caused the victim’s death through a deliberate or negligent act. Meanwhile, homicide lawsuits are criminal cases, which means the case is filed by the state, on the basis that the defendant committed an act that is illegal in society.
Homicide is determined by intent. When an individual intentionally kills another, they are guilty of murder. While wrongful deaths can be the result of intent, they can also be due to accidents and negligent acts.