What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit arises any time that another person or entity causes someone else’s death. The death can be the result of an action, inaction, or even a breach of contract or warranty.
Some of the most common reasons that wrongful death cases arise include the following situations:
- Car accident, truck accidents, or pedestrian accidents
- Medical mistakes or medical malpractice
- Dangerous products
- Intentional acts (including crimes)
- Workplace fatalities
A wrongful death lawsuit is designed to help loved ones replace the income and services that the person who passed provided. It considers current losses and the losses that you will experience for years into the future.
Hardball Law has helped many families work through wrongful death cases. We have the experience you need to assert claims for money damages to the full extent possible under Florida law. Schedule your free consultation to discuss your options with our team.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
Only certain people can assert a wrongful death claim in Florida. However, Florida’s laws are more extensive compared to other states. The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate will bring the lawsuit on behalf of the estate. In other states, only a spouse or child can bring this type of lawsuit, but that is not the case in Florida.
The personal representative acts on behalf of the estate. That means that any money that is collected as part of the wrongful death lawsuit will be distributed to the surviving family members. The surviving family members are also listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit as well. Any person who may benefit from the claim (the beneficiaries in the deceased person’s will) should all be included in the lawsuit.
How Do I Know if I Have a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The best way to find out if you have a wrongful lawsuit is to talk to an attorney about your situation. He or she will examine your case and help you understand your options in this situation.
You must prove certain facts to win your case for wrongful death in Florida. In a wrongful death claim based on negligence, you must show the following to have a successful claim.
- Duty of care. The person who harmed your loved one had a duty to your loved one not to harm them. For example, in a car accident case, everyone has a duty to drive in a way that will not hurt or threaten others. If the other driver was speeding or ran a red light, they likely violated that duty of care.
- Violation of the duty. The duty not only exists, but it has to have been violated as well. In most cases, this is a negligent act.
- Causation. The breach of the duty of care must have also caused your damages. For example, if the other driver was speeding, speed must have been a factor that led to the accident.
- Damages. You must have also suffered injuries or damages from the accident as well. In a wrongful death case, the losses are very clear—your loved one has passed away as a result of the injuries caused by the accident.
Negligence is not the only reason that a wrongful death case arises. In some situations, the fact that your loved one was killed is enough to show that money damages are warranted. If a product was defective, for example, and that defect resulted in the death of your loved one, the manufacturer is strictly liable for your loved one’s death.
Get Legal Help from Hardball Law
You have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to take action.
Although two years may seem like a long time, it takes a lot of preparation to start a wrongful death lawsuit, and you need to talk to a lawyer about your options long before that deadline.
At Hardball Law, we will fight for your rights after losing a loved one. Let us focus on the legal battle while you address other personal and family challenges during this difficult time. Call today to set up a free initial consultation.