Wrongful death cases have made headlines almost every month this year throughout Florida. These cases have involved a variety of people in a number of different situations: a Florida State recruit accused of being involved in the death of a high school student; a young man killed during a police related shooting in Miami Gardens; another man who fell to his death in front of his daughter while at a mall ropes course. All of these cases have one thing in common: the families of those killed have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the people who they say are responsible for their loved one’s death. Nothing could be worse than losing someone close to you and knowing that loss was caused by another person’s actions. In many of these cases, while law enforcement may investigate the case, no charges are filed. For many families of victims, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is one way of bringing the responsible parties to justice.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, a wrongful death lawsuit may arise out when any of the following circumstances results in a death or fatal injury:
- Intentional acts, including acts of violence, such as domestic abuse and assault, regardless of whether or not police charges are filed.
- Negligent acts that resulted in the person’s death, such as inadequate safety regulations, failure to supervise, or failure to post warnings of dangers.
- Breach of contract or warranty, in which a product defect or malfunction is responsible for the person’s death.
In order to win a wrongful death lawsuit, your attorney must be able to prove the following: (a) that one of the above listed circumstances – intentional acts, negligence, breach of contract or warranty – directly resulted in a loved one’s death; (b) that the loss of your loved one has resulted in monetary damages; and (c) that as the person’s survivor, you are entitled to receive compensation.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
Florida Statute Section 768.21 lists the types of damages in wrongful death cases that may be available. Damages you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for include the following:
- Loss of earnings and wages;
- Loss of support, which would have been provided by the deceased had they lived;
- Loss of companionship for spouses and children;
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish;
- Reimbursement for medical and funeral expenses; and
- Punitive damages meant to punish the at fault party.
While no amount of money can bring back your loved one or make up for their loss, an award of damages can bring a feeling of justice and closure to the tragedy you’ve suffered, and help you to provide for your family while you’re recovering from your loss.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys
If a family member or a loved one was killed as the result of someone’s negligent or intentional act, or due to a product or manufacturing detail, contact our experienced Florida wrongful death attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, with offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, we understand the loss you’ve suffered, and may be able to help you recover damages resulting from your loss. Call us today for a free review of your case.