The death of a loved one is never easy. This is further compounded if the death is the result of someone elses negligence or a preventable accident. The normal emotions that accompany a loved ones passing are further complicated by the unexpected timing or thoughts that the death could have been prevented.
In some cases, family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim against someone if their negligence caused a loved ones death. While no amount of compensation can replace the person you lost or ease the pain of their passing, it may help cover the costs of a burial or ease the financial void left by their unexpected death.
According to the Florida Statutes, a wrongful death occurs when the court deems an act to be negligent and responsible for killing another individual. A wrongful death claim is a civil matter and the court can only hold the negligent party liable in a monetary sense. The wrongful death claim is separate and apart from any criminal charges that may also be brought against the negligent individual.
Florida Statute 768.21 details the type of financial damages you may be able to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit. As a survivor of the deceased, you can file a claim to cover funeral and medical expenses, the loss of financial support the individual provided while alive, for the loss of companionship due to his/her death, or for the pain and suffering the death caused. The deceaseds estate can also recover damages in a wrongful death claim to include lost earnings (including a reasonable expectation of what the deceased may have earned in his/her lifetimes) or any medical expenses that the estate paid prior to the death.
If you believe that a loved ones death could have been prevented, it is important that you consult with a qualified wrongful death attorney. A qualified wrongful death attorney will listen to the specifics of your claim and advise you on the best course of action to take. While the compensation that you may receive from a wrongful death lawsuit cant bring your loved one back, it may help you get your life back together following their sudden death.