If someone you loved died due to another person or entity's negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of lawsuit allows the survivors of the deceased to seek damages for their losses. Our Fort Lauderdale team of attorneys goes over what is considered a wrongful death, who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, and the damages that could be recovered from such a case.
What Is Considered Wrongful Death?
Under Florida's wrongful death act, wrongful death occurs when a person or entity causes another person's death by a "wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty." This could include:
- A car accident caused by a drunk driver
- A shooting that was the result of gang violence
- A workplace death that was due to an employer's failure to provide a safe working environment
Any death caused by someone else's careless or deliberate actions could be considered wrongful. If you have lost a loved one and believe their death falls into this category, you may wonder who can file a lawsuit.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Florida Statutes 768.20, the personal representative of the deceased person's estate can file a claim for wrongful death. The deceased may have named a person or persons to act as personal representatives of his estate in his will. Other times, the probate court appoints a personal representative.
The personal representative must list all survivors if a wrongful death lawsuit is filed. A deceased person's survivors include:
Furthermore, survivors may include any blood relatives and adoptive brothers or sisters if they depend on the deceased person for support or services.
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The number of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit will depend on the case's specific circumstances. Some of the most common types of damages that are recovered in these cases include:
The Decedent's Losses
Losses and suffering experienced by the victim from the moment of injury to the moment of death are recoverable under the law. Drunk driving accidents, for example, may involve ER treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, lost wages, and mental and physical pain and suffering before the victim succumbs.
Economic Family Losses
A wrongful death case is typically characterized by the loss of income the victim would have provided if they had lived to retirement, including wages, bonuses, commissions, and benefits.
Non-Economic Family Losses
Non-monetary costs such as pain and suffering cannot be quantified. Death may cause victims and family members to suffer conditions that are difficult to quantify in terms of money - such as the loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased person, as well as emotional trauma and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages may also be awarded in some cases. The purpose of these damages is to punish the person or entity responsible for the death and deter similar behavior in the future.
Adrian Philip Thomas, P.A. Is Here To Help
You may be entitled to compensation if you have lost a loved one due to another person's negligence or intentional act. Our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and options. We will review your case and help you determine the best course of action moving forward. You shouldn't have to go through this process alone- let us help you get the justice you deserve.
Contact us through our website or give us a call at (800) 776-3103.