If someone you loved was killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another person, you may feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. In addition to losing someone you love, you may also have the strain of financial burdens and hardships as a result of the loss.
While a lawsuit can’t bring back your loved one, it can bring relief to you and your family. When you sue for wrongful death, you can receive financial support to help with the expenses and losses that are a result of the death.
If you are thinking about seeking relief, here is what you need to know about suing for wrongful death.
What Is a Wrongful Death Case?
A wrongful death case is a lawsuit filed in civil court that aims to provide relief for surviving members of a person who was killed as the result of negligence of another party. Survivors file the case to seek financial compensation for losses and damages experienced as a result of the death.
To sue for wrongful death, you must prove two things:
- The death was a result of the negligence or maliciousness of an at-fault party.
- The death led to financial and/or emotional damages for surviving members of the deceased.
Examples of Wrongful Death Cases
The most common types of wrongful death cases are related to:
- Vehicle accidents that occur on the road (such as auto, motorcycle, or trucking accidents), on the water (such as in boating accidents), or in the air (such as plane or helicopter accidents).
- Medical malpractice cases wherein a patient died due to the negligence of their healthcare provider or providers.
- Product liability or product defect cases wherein a person died because a product failed to work properly or did not include proper warning labels.
- Premises accidents wherein a person is killed in a situation that could have been prevented but was caused by the negligence of a property owner or manager.
- Workplace accidents wherein a person is killed at work as a result of unsafe conditions.
In addition to deaths caused by accidents and negligence, wrongful death cases may also include intentional killing.
When someone is killed by a person who showed malicious intent, you can sue for wrongful death in civil court. The case often goes in tandem with a criminal case wherein the person responsible for the death is charged with murder or manslaughter. Criminal cases often result in jail time, whereas civil cases result in damages that must be paid to the family of the deceased.
If you lost a loved one in any of these situations, you may be able to sue for wrongful death and receive damages.
What Do Wrong Death Damages Cover?
Damages refer to losses that are a result of the death. When you sue for wrongful death, you will fight to receive compensation for damages related to:
- Cost of funeral and burial
- Pre-death medical bills
- Loss of financial contribution and future wages
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Emotional distress of surviving family
Related: Personal Injury Compensation: What Can You Fight For?
How Do You Sue for Wrongful Death?
#1) Determine who can sue for wrongful death.
In Florida, state statutes dictate who can sue for wrongful death. Only certain parties are able to file a wrongful death claim. The party must be a designated beneficiary of the deceased.
Chapter 768.18 defines these parties as: “the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. It includes the child born out of wedlock of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.”
If one or more of these parties are connected to the deceased, you may be able to work together to seek justice and damages for your lost loved one.
#2) File your case right away.
You have up to two years to file a wrongful death case, but the sooner you get started, the better. Time is of the essence when it comes to collecting evidence and getting testimony from witnesses.
If you’re considering suing for wrongful death, seek experienced legal representation right away.
Talk to a Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If someone you love was killed due to the negligence of another party, you don’t have to take on the fight for justice on your own. A wrongful death attorney can take some of the burden away from you and fight to ensure that you get justice for your loved one and the financial security you need to care for surviving family members.
If you want to take the next steps to sue for wrongful death, contact TJ Grimaldi today. TJ is an experienced wrongful death and personal injury attorney who knows what it takes to take on insurance companies and the parties trying to limit the relief provided to surviving family members.
Schedule your free consultation to speak directly with TJ about your situation and see how he can get to work on your case right away. Schedule your consultation or call 813-226-1023 now.