According to Florida Statutes, when a person dies because of the wrongful act, negligence, or breach of contract of another person or entity, the estate of the deceased may file a civil lawsuit in Florida’s courts, seeking legal compensation for the death and the losses caused because of it.
If you are considering filing a wrongful death suit, here we give you a low-down on everything you need to know.
In what situations can you claim wrongful death?
You can file a case of wrongful death when a person who would have suffered an injury gets killed because of the defendant’s negligence or misconduct.
Such situations can include:
- The defendant killed the victim intentionally.
- The victim died because of medical malpractice at the hand of the defendant. For example, a doctor could not diagnose a medical condition or prescribed the wrong treatment or medication, which led to the victim’s death.
- The victim died in a car accident caused by the defendant’s negligence.
- Various other situations are valid for wrongful death suits. The only exception is the injuries that happen at work; such cases fall under workmen’s compensation.
Who can sue in case of a wrongful death?
It is usually the victim’s estate representative who files the case on behalf of the victim’s kin. The kin can be the victim’s spouse, child, or in some states, stepchildren or romantic partner (marriage is not a requirement). But not everyone mentioned on the victim’s will can file a claim. A close relationship with the victim is necessary. (All the parties have to file one joint petition).
What can you include in damages?
Damages entail the losses for which the survivors can ask for compensation. It can include:
- The cost incurred to ease the deceased’s pain and suffering before death, which is also known as survival claim.
- The medical expenses because of the injuries before death.
- The funeral, burial, or any other expenses related to the post-death rites.
- Loss of the deceased’s income and inheritance.
- Loss of the value of services the deceased may have provided.
- Loss of love, care, guidance, and companionship the victim would have provided to the survivors.
- The loss of consortium—it includes all those things for which there is only a rough monetary substitute. It includes pain, humiliation, loss of reputation, mental anguish, etc.
What do you need to prove?
In wrongful death cases, the law binds the plaintiffs to prove negligence or intentional wrongdoing at the defendant’s hand to recover damages. You can classify this negligence or misconduct as a fault, not fulfilling the duty of care, and breach of duty. Sometimes the defendant can be causally linked to the incident, but they are still liable.
About The Wotitzky Law Firm
If you are looking for a certified lawyer to help you file a wrongful death suit, your search ends here. The Wotitzky Law Firm is one of the oldest law firms in Southwest Florida. Our lawyers will guide you throughout the lawsuit till you receive the compensation you deserve. You can call us at 941-639-2171 or fill our online contact form to know more.