According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injuries claimed the lives of 135,928 people. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Many deaths are preventable, but accidents do happen.
That is where we step in. The Berman Law Group has a team of experienced personal injury attorneys in Florida. If you do not know if you have a wrongful death case, schedule a free consultation with us today. Until then, read more so that you understand what wrongful death is.
Defining Wrongful Death
According to Florida law, someone can file a lawsuit when “the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person.”
A wrongful death claim exists when a person dies due to someone else’s fault. This could mean a lot of different things. For example, a driver could be negligent, and kill someone. An employer may not take reasonable precautions, and a worker may fall to their death. There are many situations that could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Intentional deaths may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. OJ Simpson is perhaps the most famous person sued on grounds of wrongful death. If a loved one has been murdered, a wrongful death suit could help repair some of the damage.
When you win one of these cases, the court grants you a sum of money. Originally, states drafted these laws to help widows and orphans, but now more people than just that can sue. Keep that in mind, because we will return to that in a minute.
In a wrongful death case, you do not need to provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. You have a lower standard of proof. This means that you only have to have a few powerful pieces of evidence or strong witness testimonies to recover compensation.
Who Can Sue?
In the state of Florida, a personal representative of the deceased may file a lawsuit. This is usually listed in the will or estate plan. When someone dies without a will, the state appoints a personal representative.
The lawsuit itself is filed by the representative, but they are not the only ones with an interest in the case. The representative sues on behalf of the entire estate. This means that they need to list every survivor who has a stake in the case.
Family members who can receive compensation include the deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents. Any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services” may also sue. In some states, adult children may not sue because their parents died. In Florida, adult children can sue after the death of a parent. The same applies to parents of adult children.
If the child is born to unmarried parents, the child can receive compensation if their mother dies, in all circumstances. If the child’s father dies, it can become a little bit more difficult. If the father recognized the child and pays child support, for example, then the child can file a lawsuit. If that is not the case, then the child may not be able to sue.
What You Need to Prove
In all wrongful death cases, you need to prove that:
- Someone died
- Their death was due to someone else’s negligence or bad intentions
- The survivors are suffering monetarily due to the death
- The appointment of a personal representative for the decedent’s estate
These things can be difficult to prove on your own. The Berman Law Group can help.
Our team of attorneys is ready to fight for you today. There is a statute of limitations on wrongful death cases. This means that you need to act quickly.
The Berman Law Group has elite personal injury attorneys in Florida. Call us at 1-800-375-5555.