According to the Florida Wrongful Death Act, Florida Statutes § 768.16 et seq., when an individual’s death is caused by another person’s “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty,” a civil wrongful death claim may be initiated by the deceased individual’s personal representative.
Of course, defendants in wrongful death lawsuits may also face criminal liability for their actions. However, a guilty verdict in a criminal case—while it may achieve a form of justice—does not provide compensation for the loved ones left behind.
If your loved one has died due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, you may be able to recover financial compensation from the defendant for the benefit of the survivors and the estate.
For help determining whether you may have a cause of action for wrongful death, you should consult with a wrongful death lawyer in Dunedin. A compassionate injury lawyer can help you in your pursuit of compensation.
Common Wrongful Death Cases
Any type of accident that results in death may be the basis for a wrongful death claim, though there are a few common circumstances, including:
- Automobile accidents – According to the National Safety Council, there were 40,200 motor-vehicle deaths in the United States in 2016—a six percent increase since 2015. Unfortunately, due to drivers speeding and using their smartphones, automobile accidents are the most common subject of wrongful death lawsuits
- Workplace accidents – Sometimes our place of work is not as safe as it should be. Conditions that contribute to an employee’s death may be the basis for a wrongful death claim
- Medical malpractice – Any death that results from a medical professional’s negligence can be the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful acts can include misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and surgical errors
- Defective products – The manufacturer of a defective product may be held liable in a wrongful death action if its product caused a user’s death. Examples of defective products include pharmaceuticals, defective vehicles, and hazardous children’s products
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
Compensation in Dunedin wrongful death cases can help with funeral expenses and any medical bills incurred before someone’s loved one’s death. Financial compensation can also be obtained for their emotional suffering as well as for the income their loved one would have provided in the future.
If the deceased individual leaves behind minor children and there is no surviving spouse, the children may recover compensation for “lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance” as well as mental pain and suffering.
How a Dunedin Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
Whether you have lost a spouse, a child, or a parent, losing a loved one is a painful experience. Losing a loved one due to the wrongful act of another can be traumatic. Whether or not the party responsible for your loved one’s death is held liable in criminal court, you have the right to pursue justice in the form of financial compensation.
To avoid further pain and stress to the survivors, it is important to choose a lawyer who will handle your case appropriately. The right Dunedin wrongful death lawyer will compassionately hear the pain you are going through while fighting aggressively in court for you and your family. If you would like more information about how they can help you, contact a skilled lawyer today.