If a loved one has fallen victim to negligent behavior of another person and died as a consequence, a Lutz wrongful death attorney can help you pursue justice against the responsible party.
Wrongful death claims can be filed for the following incidents:
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Fires and water related accidents
- Premises liability
- Dog bites
- Medication errors
- Medical malpractice
- Gunshot wounds
- Theme park accidents
- Defective products
According to statistics, the most common wrongful death cases are vehicular accidents. The state of Florida registered 2,500 deadly car crashes in 2010 and 2011, compared to a national average of 30,000 traffic deaths. 40% of all auto accident related wrongful deaths are caused by intoxicated drivers. 3,200 people die annually as a result of driver distraction such as cell-phones and other hand-held devices.
In the United States as a whole, 7,000 deaths were the result of a prescription error and as many a 98,000 patients died due to a medical misdiagnosis or a mistake during a surgical procedure.
20,000 people fall victim to slip-and-fall accidents, and 6,000 employees suffer fatal injuries in their workplace.
The amount of compensation you may receive for your loss depends on your state of residence. In Florida, the cap for compensation is $1 million for medical and $1.5 million for non-medical cases. Other sanctions that would prevent repeated reckless behavior are not limited.
Requirements for a Wrongful Death Case in Florida
A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida can often be filed by one personal representative acting on behalf all eligible family members directly affected by the deceased’s passing. Florida Statutes section 678.18 describes the judicial procedure of a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death claim in Florida has to be filed within 4 years in order to gain proper compensation.
The following requirements must be met when filing a wrongful death lawsuit:
- A person’s death was caused by another person’s negligent behavior.
- You or other people are lawfully entitled to compensation on behalf of the deceased.
- The person’s death caused a financial loss.
In order to prove that all criteria are fulfilled, evidence needs to be provided and submitted to the court. Some examples of wrongful death may be a nurse failing to follow doctor’s orders when administering medication, which resulted in the patient’s death, or a patron falls and slips in an icy courtyard that has not been treated properly treated during the business hours of a restaurant, suffers a serious spinal injury and dies shortly thereafter.
How to assess lawful compensation for a wrongful death
In Florida, the following aspects are taken into consideration when determining fair and proper compensation in a wrongful death case:
- Loss of guidance and protection, such as for a minor when losing a parent.
- Loss of support of the deceased spouse.
- Emotional instability after the loss of a child.
- Potential value of the estate in the future.
- Lost wages and potential earnings.
Answers to Your Questions About Wrongful Death Claims
It may take months, or even years, to reach a settlement agreement or a jury verdict in a wrongful death suit. There are often several stages, including filing the lawsuit, and then an initial offer from an insurance company- usually a lowball offer to entice you to not pursue further action. Then there is a discovery phase, which gives both sides time to investigate the claims and gather evidence in their favor. Preparation for the trial– if one is needed- can also take months.
Ultimately, negligence falls under two categories:
• An individual failing to behave with the level of care that an ordinary person would in the same circumstances, and that lack of care causes damage or injury.
• An individual not acting when the situation calls for a duty to act.
Negligence must be proven, and that can be difficult, because there must be clear evidence the the accused didn’t act with reasonable care under the circumstances. But not every reasonable person acts the same in a situation, making negligence tricky to prove.
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death suit in Florida is almost always two years. The exception would be if the death in question was the result of a homicide or manslaughter, in which case there may not be a statute of limitations at all.
Contact Lutz Wrongful Death Attorney Tania Rivas for Help
If you have lost someone due to another person’s negligent behavior, contact a Lutz accident lawyer at Rivas Law Group today to discuss your legal rights and get help honoring the legacy of your loved one.