Exercising, eating healthy, watching our weight, and not smoking are all ways we can avoid succumbing to the two leading causes of death in the U.S.: heart disease and cancer. However, there’s no foolproof way of preventing the third leading cause of death: accidents. A fatal accident can happen anywhere at any time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there were 173,040 accidental or “unintentional injury” deaths in 2019. Unintentional falls, deaths caused by automobile accidents, and unintentional poisoning were the three leading causes of accidental deaths.
Top Causes of Injury Deaths in Florida
According to the Florida Department of Health, these are the top ten leading causes of injury deaths in Florida in 2016 (the latest data available):
- Falls (The leading cause of injury death for those over 65.)
- Motor vehicle traffic accidents (The number one cause of injury deaths for those 10 – 24 years old and the second leading cause for those 25 – 64 years old.)
- Suffocation (The leading cause of injury death among infants.)
- Drowning (The leading cause of injury death for those ages 1-4.)
- Deep cut/piercing injury
- Natural/Environmental (Includes hurricane and storm-related deaths.)
The two sad factors that most types of wrongful death cases have in common: most could have been prevented and they can all result from the negligent acts of another person or persons.
What Is Wrongful Death in Florida?
“Wrongful Death” is a term used to describe an injury death that was caused by the careless actions of another. For instance, a motorist may be driving too fast and cause a fatal motor vehicle accident; a shopkeeper may fail to mop up a spill on the floor that could result in a fatal slip and fall injury; or an apartment manager may forget to lock a swimming pool gate, leading to the drowning death of a child.
What Damages Can Be Recovered for Wrongful Death Cases?
In addition to the emotional devastation caused by the sudden, wrongful injury death of a loved one, there can be unexpected financial burdens as well. Fortunately, Florida state law gives the deceased’s survivors the right to seek compensation for these damages by filing a wrongful death claim.
Damages in a wrongful death suit fall into two categories:
- Losses incurred between the time of the deceased’s accident and their death.
- Losses incurred after the deceased’s passing.
The first category can include medical bills and lost wages. The second category can include economic losses such as funeral and burial expenses, and the loss of the decedent’s financial contributions as well as non-economic damages such as compensation for grief and the loss of companionship.
Who Can Recover Damages in a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
According to Florida Statute 768.20, “the action shall be brought by the decedent’s personal representative, who shall recover for the benefit of the decedent’s survivors and estate all damages, as specified in this act.”
A personal injury attorney with experience in wrongful death cases can act as the decedent’s personal representative to help ensure you get all the compensation you are entitled to. In addition, they can help you gather the evidence needed to prove your wrongful death claim, negotiate on your behalf with the negligent party’s insurance company, and even represent you in court.
Get Help Fighting a Florida Wrongful Death Claim
While a wrongful death claim can’t bring a loved one back to life, it can help alleviate many of the financial burdens brought about by their sudden, senseless death. If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of another, contact Rivas Law Group about filing a wrongful death claim.
Tania Rivas understands the intense pain and grief you’re feeling during this time. The last thing you want to do is deal with the insurance company of the person responsible for your loved one’s death. Let Tania handle all the legal issues while you take the time you need to grieve your loved one.
Contact Rivas Law Group through our website or call us at (877) 299-5539 to schedule a free, initial consultation to discuss your wrongful death case. Tania Rivas and Rivas Law Group serve clients throughout Central Florida, including Tampa, Lakeland, Lutz, Holmes City, Wildwood, Winter Haven, New Port Richey, and Plant City.