Wrongful Death Attorney in Lakeland
Losing a loved one is a difficult experience to go through regardless of the situation, but when you lose a loved one due to a wrongful deal, it can be absolutely devastating. A wrongful death is one that was caused by someone else’s actions (or inactions), and the surviving family members may have legal recourse for compensation for a variety of reasons. If you have lost a loved one as a result of some else’s actions, or you are unsure of what your situation is legally considered, then contact the team at Abercrombie P.A. today to get help and advice from a legal professional We offer a free consultation to help those impacted by wrongful deaths to understand what their options may look like, and how we can help.
Read more below about some basics regarding wrongful death lawsuits and settlements in Florida. Keep in mind that the following examples do not represent the entire scope of cases, circumstances, or legal processes — wrongful deaths happen in many different ways with many different factors that dictate how the case goes. These are only high-level examples to illustrate how a case generally goes. Contact us now to speak with an attorney, and start working towards justice for this tragedy.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death is a death that occurs because of someone’s negligence or malice, and are intended to compensate the victim’s surviving family members for the defendant’s actions. The compensation includes things like lost wages of the deceased, lost companionship, and funeral and end-of-life expenses, as well as more factors.
The lawsuit is a civil action, meaning that there are no criminal punishments at the end of the case. However, there are many different wrongful deaths that may also constitute criminal action, which will take part in a criminal court. The two cases have little to no bearing on each other, and a defendant may be found liable in a civil court while avoiding any charges in the criminal case. One famous case was the OJ Simpson trial, where he was found innocent in criminal court for the murder of his wife and her friend, but was found responsible for both deaths in a civil case.
In order to prove wrongful death, the plaintiff and their legal team will need to show that:
- The death was caused by the defendant’s negligence or malice
- The surviving family have suffered measurable financial losses as a result of the death
- There is a representative of the deceased’s estate who will seek damages
There is a lower burden of proof in a civil case than in a criminal case, meaning that the majority of the case will focus on the damages owed, and not spend as much time as a criminal case would in establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Examples of Wrongful Death
As you can see from the requirements above, there are many different situations that can ultimately qualify for a wrongful death lawsuit, provided that the circumstances of the death meet the aforementioned criteria. Below are some common wrongful death claims that are heard in the Florida court system:
If someone is struck by a drunk driver and killed, the drunk driver will be charged for criminal offenses, and can also be sued for civil damages.
There are many different types of workplace injuries that can lead to death, and in some instances, the surviving family members can seek compensation beyond worker’s compensation.
If a medical professional fails their duty of reasonable care for a patient and the situation causes their patient’s death, then there may be options available for the surviving family members to seek compensation from the medical organization.
Deaths in car accidents are not always eligible for wrongful death lawsuits, but if the other driver was driving irresponsibly or recklessly, the surviving family may be able to seek compensation.
A death that results from a defective product may be another reason that a family or surviving dependent can seek compensation from either the manufacturer, retailer, or other party involved in the supply chain depending on the defect.
Can I Sue for Wrongful Death?
Florida Statutes allow a variety of the deceased’s survivors to file a wrongful death lawsuit, depending on the dependents that are left behind. This could include a spouse, children, parents, or anyone else who is dependent on the deceased for financial stability. The lawsuit itself is filed by the estate representative.
What Damages Are Compensated In a Wrongful Death Case?
There are a variety of different damages that are compensated or considered for compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, and your personal injury attorney will work to determine a comprehensive list of damages before compiling them to find a fair, total amount to seek. However, there are some common damages that are included in wrongful death lawsuits that you can expect to seek compensation for in your situation as well.
Loss of Financial Support
This accounts for the loss of financial support that the deceased contributed, as well as services that may now need to be paid for that the deceased once provided. Depending on the situation, there are many different factors that can be considered and included.
This includes medical care as well as funeral expenses and anything else that pertains to the treatment of the injuries that caused death, as well as any burial costs.
Loss of Companionship
This is considered “non-economic” damage and seeks to compensate the survivors for the loss that they must now deal with on a daily basis. Depending on the situation, there are many non-economic damages that will be considered.
Loss of Future Earnings
This can include things like expected inheritances, pensions, 401k contributions, and professional earnings. Depending on the contributions that the deceased made to their dependents, the details included in these damages will vary greatly.
Contact Us Today
If you have lost a loved one and you believe that you are eligible to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, contact our team immediately. We will work with you to keep this process as stress-free as possible so that you can focus on healing with the confidence that we are focusing on your legal options.
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