What to Know about Pursuing a Florida Wrongful Death Claim
When a loved one passes away unexpectedly due to someone else’s intentional acts, reckless behavior, or negligence, you may be able to file what’s called a wrongful death claim. There must be a financial hardship for the remaining dependents and/or family members in order to file such a claim. Wrongful death claims can be quite complex, which is why you need an experienced Orlando wrongful death attorney who can assist you with the process. At Payer Law Group, our attorneys have been handling personal injury and wrongful death claims for years.
What is a Florida Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death claims are civil claims that allow specific parties to bring a claim against the at-fault party in a loved one’s death. They differ from criminal cases as a wrongful death claim is not meant to punish the person who caused the person’s death. Instead, it’s designed to provide some financial compensation for the family members who depended on the deceased. In order to successfully pursue a wrongful death claim in Florida, there are four criteria that must be met. These include:
- The defendant must have been the one to cause the death in whole or part;
- The defendant was negligent or had strict liability for the death;
- The decedent has surviving family members; and
- The victim’s family has a monetary loss due to the death of their family member.
If these conditions are not present, it’s unlikely that the wrongful death claim will be successful. You would need to consult with your attorney to discuss legal options.
Common Causes of a Wrongful Death Claim
There are a number of different scenarios that can result in a wrongful death. Some of the more common wrongful death cases have results from incidents like:
- Auto accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Boating accidents
- Premises liability
- Construction accidents
- Defective products
- Aviation accidents
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
Damages You May Receive in a Florida Wrongful Death Claim
If the decedent was the primary wage earner, the surviving family members not only have to deal with the emotional toll of losing a loved one, but also the financial hardship that will inevitably follow. This is why wrongful death law was created — it is to help compensate one’s family for a death that could’ve been prevented. There are two main types of damages in a Florida wrongful death claim:
- Economic Damages: These are designed to compensate families for tangible financial losses
- Non-Economic Damages: These compensate families for intangible losses like emotional distress
Blood relatives who were dependent on the decedent for financial support may be entitled to recover compensation under economic damages for items like medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, future lost income, a loss of benefits like 401(k), medical, dental, and any loss of services the deceased provided like childcare or housekeeping.
Non-economic or intangible damages include things like pain and suffering (mental and emotional) and loss of companionship.
Contact an Orlando Wrongful Death Attorney Today
We understand how difficult and emotional of a time it is after a loved one unexpectedly passes away. If you have questions on how to pursue a wrongful death case, please contact Payer Law Group today at 407-648-1510 to schedule an initial consultation.