How Do I Prove Wrongful Death in Florida (Negligence, Car Accidents, and other Catastrophic Incidents)?
When you lose a loved one as the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim to provide the needed compensation for you and your family to continue life without financial hardship.
For a wrongful death claim in Florida, you have to prove the four legal elements of negligence. Your attorney can help, supporting you during this difficult time, while gathering evidence and providing the help needed to recover the compensation you deserve.
Defining A Wrongful Death Claim
In Florida, the Wrongful Death Act permits surviving dependents and family to file a claim for damages in the event of intentional or accidental loss of a loved one’s life. The claim is intended to provide compensation not only for pain and suffering but also for financial support from the income earner as well as funeral expenses and other damages.
The Four Elements of Negligence
In order to seek compensation in a wrongful death claim, four elements of negligence must be present. These elements are:
- The party at-fault owed “duty of care” to the victim – “Duty of care” is the at-fault party’s legal duty to act reasonably to prevent your loved one from being in an accident which could cause. injury (For example, a driver’s “duty of care” is to drive safely, obeying all traffic laws, signs, and signals.) “Duty of care” is determined by a judge or jury when compared to how a reasonable person would behave in the same situation.
- The party at-fault breached “duty of care” – The breach exists when the at-fault party defies “duty of care.” (For example, drivers breach “duty of care” when they fail to obey traffic laws, signs, or signals.)
- The actions of the party at-fault were directly responsible (the cause) in the death of the victim – You must prove that a breach of “duty of care” caused and led to the death of your loved one. The accident report, medical records, and other documentation of the incident provide evidence regarding how your loved one died and can connect his or her death with breach of “duty of care.”
- Damages resulted from the action of the party at fault – It must be proven by evidence your loved one’s death caused damages to you or your family. Damages can include funeral costs, medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, or emotional trauma.
Each of these elements must be shown by evidence sufficient to prove the negligence and deliberate actions of someone cause the death of your loved one.
An experienced SteinLaw wrongful death lawyer can help gather the necessary evidence and prove negligence.
Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims in Florida
Here are common accidents that result in wrongful death (but not limited to):
1. Car Accidents
Because of the number of drivers and the frequency of driving, Car Accidents are the most common fatalities resulting in wrongful death cases. In 2019, 38,800 individuals lost their lives in car accidents according to The National Safety Council. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, in Florida, 3,217 people died in car accidents. Many of these fatalities are the result of the negligence of one or more drivers, and include speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, driving while sleepy, or other roadway issues.
2. Commercial Truck Accidents
While counted among the auto accident statistics, are considerably different for passenger car accidents. Why? Commercial trucks are heavier, larger, and more likely to be involved in a traffic fatality. If you lost your loved on in a commercial trucking accident, your attorney will seek to determine the cause of the accident, which may include mechanical failure, improperly secured or oversized loads, driver error, driving under the influence, or the improper maintenance of the vehicle. Once determined, your attorney will help you understand which party (or parties) involved are liable in your wrongful death lawsuit.
3. Pedestrians, Motorcycle, and Bicycle Accidents
In these incidents, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists have less protection than those in the involved vehicles, and so are more likely to be killed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 5,229 motorcyclists, along with 6,075 pedestrians, and 806 bicyclists were killed in fatal crashes in 2018, many resulting from driver negligence.
4. Workplace Accidents
Deaths in the workplace are often the result of dangerous jobs but can occur in any occupation which requires work done in dangerous conditions. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has estimated 3,409 fatal workplace accidents in 2019. Work-related accidents resulting in employee deaths are most often caused by falls, electrocutions, being struck by an object, or being caught between structures, machines, or materials.
5. Defective products
Or products that are dangerous when misused. Defective or dangerous products include items like flawed vehicles/parts, flawed children’s products, defective drugs, toxic food, lethal containers. Manufacturers are responsible for enduring their products are safe for consumer use, and if not, they can be held liable for deaths associated with their products.
You Need an Expert Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer on Your Side
When you are grieving the loss of your loved one in a wrongful death case, call Attorney Brandon Stein and the professional legal team at Stein Law for a free consultation regarding your case. We are here to help by evaluating your claim to determine the extent of your case against the party or parties at-fault. Our goal is to support you during this difficult time, and help you get the justice as well as the compensation you deserve, so you and your family can move forward.