What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is when a person has died through the negligence or misconduct of another person or the actions of a company or entity. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim brought forth by survivors. During a wrongful death lawsuit the survivor or survivors seek compensation for the losses associated with the death.
Types Of Wrongful Death Cases
There are several types of wrongful death cases. Here are some of the most common types:
● Toxic Exposure
● Medical Malpractice
● Car, Truck, Motorcycle, or Bicycle Accidents
● Defective Products
● Workplace Accidents
● Construction Accidents
● Airplane Accidents
● Boating Accidents
● Dog Bites
● Premises Liability
● Nursing Home Abuse or Negligence
● Drunk Driving
● Theme Park Accidents
● Defective Pharmaceuticals
● Gunshot Wounds
● Criminal Acts
● Birthing Injuries/Negligent Prenatal Care
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death claims can be brought forward by designated beneficiaries. Under Florida statutes, a designated beneficiary is anyone who receives an interest in an asset of the deceased. These include:
● Primary Beneficiary: The primary beneficiary is the person or people who are the first to receive an interest in the assets of the deceased.
● Secondary Beneficiary: A secondary beneficiary is determined by the governing body or by the deceased as a person or people that have an interest in the asset if the primary beneficiary cannot receive the asset or their ability to receive the asset has been revoked.
Based on these definitions, in the state of Florida the following people can file a wrongful death claim:
● Immediate family members including spouses, children, adopted children, parents, and parents of a deceased fetus
● Secondary family members such as siblings, grandparents, and aunts or uncles and cousins
● Representatives of the estate legally designated by the deceased including domestic partners and financial dependents
Damages From A Wrongful Death
There are several types of damages awarded depending on the circumstances of the wrongful death. Here are the most common:
● Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are awarded in cases with criminal negligence. They are to punish the at fault party.
● Medical Bills: The costs of medical bills including the ambulance ride, surgery, hospital stays, and prescriptions. In the case of a chronic illness, all associated medical costs would also be included.
● Funeral Costs: Funeral costs include the costs of a burial plot, headstone, casket, cremation, and other associated costs.
● Loss Of Income: In cases where the deceased was a primary wage earner, the loss of income includes lost wages and projected future earnings.
● Loss Of Benefits: Loss of benefits include healthcare, pension plans, social security, and retirement benefits. These are awarded when the deceased had people dependent on these benefits.
● Pain And Suffering: These are paid to families to compensate for the emotional distress specifically in cases where there is trauma or shock involved in the loss of the deceased.
Depending on the incident, the needs of the survivors, and the types of damages paid, it may be a very good idea to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The financial compensation will never bring back the deceased, however it may help ensure that the impact of their death does not ruin the lives of their survivors. It is also a way to ensure that the perpetrator of the wrongful death is punished for their actions and can help prevent others from losing their lives because of the defending party’s negligence. If you think you are ready to file a wrongful death claim, contact a reputable wrongful death lawyer. They will help guide you through the process and work to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.