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A claim in common law jurisdictions against a person who can be held liable for a death. The claim is brought in a civil action, usually by close relatives, as enumerated by statute.

W hen negligence results in the untimely death of a loved one, certain family members can file civil lawsuits against wrongdoers that will hold them responsible for their actions and liable for the damages they caused. Similar to personal injury claims, wrongful death suits are conducted in a civil court and are handled independently from any criminal proceedings. If your family is grieving the sudden and tragic loss of a loved one, it is very important that you discuss the details of the accident that caused their death with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer that is knowledagble at representing families in wrongful death lawsuits. It is understandable that dealing with the legal aspects of your loss are difficult to face, but it is imperative that you be made aware of your rights and options, as you may be entitled to a significant financial recovery to help alleviate the financial burdens that are a result of a wrongful death.

A wrongful death can occur as a result of car and auto accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, premises liability, vehicle rollovers, and other injuries.

Each state has its own set of laws when it comes to wrongful death lawsuits. These are cases filed in civil court against individuals or companies that are accused of causing another's death. They are brought by the estate or dependents of the decedent and allege that the defendant should be held liable on the basis of negligence, intentional wrongdoing or strict liability. The plaintiff has the burden of proving the defendant's fault and may be able to recover financial compensation for damages associated with and resulted in the victim's wrongful death.

Here, we will take a look at the types of recoverable damages in a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida:

Lost Earnings
The plaintiff may seek compensation for the reasonable value of any earnings that were lost from the moment of injury to the moment of death.
Medical Care
Compensation may be awarded for medical aid, nursing and other treatment or care that the decedent received prior to his or her death.
Funeral Expenses
The cost of a funeral and burial lot may be sought.
Pecuniary Injuries
Support and services provided by the decedent to the surviving spouse, children or other eligible family members. This may include parental care as well as physical, moral and intellectual guidance the decedent would have provided to children. If the survivor would have inherited the decedent's estate, money may also be sought for the amount that the estate would have increased had the decedent remained alive.
Pain and Suffering
Compensation for pain and suffering is only available for what the decedent experienced prior to his or her death. This may be quantified based on the duration of pain and suffering and evidence of the severity of the decedent's pain prior to death.
The plaintiff may be able to recover interest on compensation obtained by verdict and judgment, from the date of death forward.
Non-Economic Damages
The surviving family members of a decedent are generally not allowed to recover for non-economic damages such as their own pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of consortium or mental anguish. The exception would be such suffering or non-economic losses endured prior to the death of their loved one, in cases where the wrongful death was not concurrent with an accident or other incident.
Punitive Damages
Punitive damages may be recoverable in limited circumstances, depending on the actions of the defendant and the circumstances surrounding the wrongful death. These damages are awarded as a punishment or to make an example of the defendant.

No amount of money can bring a loved one back or truly alleviate the pain that a family experiences with such a loss. It can, however, make a difference as a spouse and children face life without the financial and other support of their loved one. Cases of this kind can also shed light on important issues like medical malpractice, drunk driving and other wrongdoing that leads to preventable injuries and deaths. Families may be able to experience some peace of mind in knowing that justice has been served.

To learn more about your rights and the type and amount of compensation you may be able to seek after the wrongful death of a loved one, schedule a free case evaluation with our personal injury attorneies today. Our attorneys are ready to help you make informed choices about your case.


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