Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

sue wrongful death

No matter how many books or movies deal with the subject of death, nothing can really prepare you for the passing of a loved one. No matter how important someone may have been to you, you can only sue for wrongful death if you are an immediate family member of the decedent or if you were financially dependent upon them.

Spouses, children, and parents may sue for wrongful death and so may dependent blood relatives and dependent adoptive siblings. Life partners, close friends, and other relatives may not sue for the loss of a loved one. 

When You Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death may occur under many different circumstances. These suits can include a pedestrian who is hit by a drunk driver, a patient who dies in surgery due to the negligence of a doctor or a construction worker who dies on the job due to dangerous conditions. Wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the negligent behavior of an entity or individual.

People file wrongful death lawsuits to help compensate for the financial losses they have experienced as a result of their loved ones passing. These cases are tried in civil court and victorious litigates may be rewarded money for monetary and emotional losses.

A personal representative will be the one to file the lawsuit on behalf of the decedent’s estate. This representative is normally the executor of the estate. They will file the suit on behalf of all the interested parties in the case. A person has two years to file a wrongful death suit in Florida.

Different Types of Wrongful Death Suits

There are several different types of wrongful death lawsuits and each one has its own set of criteria which need to be met.

Automobile Accidents 

About 305 people died in car accidents alone in the Miami area in 2018. Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance, which means that a person’s own insurance company will pay for their medical bills no matter who causes an accident. However, there are some circumstances under which a person can sue a negligent driver or another party for wrongful death.

Property Liability Accidents 

If someone dies in a person’s home or a place of business, due to the home or business owner’s negligence, their family may be able to sue the home or business owner. In order to prove that the death was caused by negligence, you would have to establish that the owner did not maintain their property up to safety standards or they failed to clean up obstacles in a reasonable amount of time.

Medical Malpractice 

Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Doctors have left equipment inside of patients, anesthesiologists have over or under drugged people and scrub nurses have failed to properly cleanse equipment.
Tort reform has been bandied about the Florida state legislature recently and the amount of money for which one may sue a doctor may eventually be limited.

Finding an Attorney

The attorney that you select must be well-versed in personal injury law. They should be able to provide you with plenty of references and The state bar will list them as a lawyer in good standing. The law firm will be staffed with legal professionals who will have plenty of time to devote to your case. visit jugomurphy.com for more information.

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Posted - 04/21/2020