Losing a loved one is an experience that we are never prepared for. We always expect our loved ones to return home, so finding out your loved one will never again walk through the front door is difficult to deal with. This difficulty is amplified if the death of your loved one was the fault of another person. If this happens to you, you will want to learn more about pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.
The basics of wrongful death lawsuits
If your loved one’s death was due to the negligence or willfulness of another, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. A wrongful death claim is filed on behalf of a claim the decedent would have pursued had they not passed away due to the injuries sustained in the incident.
A personal representative is the party that files the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s survivors. Damages sought can include compensation for grief, sorrow and mental suffering.
Negligence and wrongful death
Many wrongful death lawsuits are based on negligence. To prove a defendant negligent, you must be able to prove the following elements. First, you must show the defendant had a duty of care. For example, doctors have a duty to perform as a reasonable physician would under similar circumstances and motorists have a duty to drive reasonably under the circumstances.
Second, this duty must have been breached. For example, a physician could perform a wrong-site surgery or a motorist can crash after running a stop sign.
Third, the breach must have caused the damages suffered. For example, the wrong site surgery or car crash could cause your loved one’s death that but for the breach would not have occurred and the death were foreseeable given the breach.
Finally, you must have incurred actual damages due to the breach. For example, you may have incurred medical expenses due to the death, loss of earning capacity and loss of consortium damages.
Losing a loved one is never easy. But by pursuing a wrongful death claim in Florida, you can recover financially from the incident as you work to emotionally heal during a difficult time.