When tragedy strikes, leaving you and your family recoiling from the loss of a loved one, a lawsuit is understandably the last action you might wish to take. However, as expenses from such an unpredictable loss mount, and as negligent parties continue on without justice, it may be time to take action to regain some sense of balance in life.
An Orlando wrongful death lawyer could help you pursue liable defendants in wrongful death claims. A lawyer could work to identify all possible defendants and to obtain evidence that is necessary to set things right.
When Might a Wrongful Death Claim be Possible Under the Law?
A central concept in the law is that a person or corporation is responsible for how their actions affect other people. Even if these actions result in a death, that party may be liable if they violated a duty that they had to keep another person safe.
In fact, most wrongful death cases arise out of accidents where a defendant did not intend to cause any harm, but nevertheless, the death did occur. To prove liability for a death, a plaintiff in a wrongful death claim only needs to show that a defendant was at-fault for the accident. As a result, a wrongful death case may arise out of:
- Car, truck, or motorcycle accidents
- Slips and falls or other accidents that occur on another’s land
- Malfunctioning or defective products
- Instances of medical malpractice
An Orlando wrongful death lawyer could work to build claims against defendants that demonstrate their fault for the death and that demand proper compensation.
What Separates Wrongful Death Claims from Standard Personal Injury Cases
Plaintiffs in wrongful death cases need to show that a defendant was liable for the incident that resulted in the death. However, wrongful death claims are more complex than typical personal injury claims in many ways.
The first step in these cases is to choose the proper plaintiff. The plaintiff is the person that brings the case to court or who represents the claim before an insurance company. Normally, the plaintiff in a personal injury claim is the party that suffered the injury. However, this is impossible in a wrongful death claim because that person is now deceased. Instead, Florida Statutes §768.20 states that only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate has standing to serve as a plaintiff in a wrongful death claim. A personal representative could gain their legal authority to bring a claim through a decedent’s will or as the result of a court order.
Potential Compensation for Families of the Deceased
It is also crucial to understand what forms of compensation a wrongful death claim may demand. The most obvious source of payment is money to cover the economic losses that result from the death. These include payments for outstanding medical bills and funeral costs. In addition, Florida Statutes §768.21 says that plaintiffs in these cases may seek:
- Payments for the emotional trauma of a surviving spouse or children
- Payments to compensate for a loss of future income
- Compensation to children to make up for lost parenting time and guidance
An Orlando wrongful death attorney could help to explain how a wrongful death case differs from a common personal injury claim. They could then work to ensure that a claim for damages conforms with all relevant state laws.
Reach Out to an Orlando Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
An Orlando wrongful death lawyer could help to prove that another party’s actions were the cause of the death. Whether the death was the result of an accident or a criminal act, defendants are liable to provide payment. A lawyer could help to prove defendant fault and to demonstrate how that fault has affected not just the decedent but the surviving family members as well. Contact an Orlando wrongful death lawyer today to schedule a consultation.