Florida Wrongful Death FAQs – Part I
The death of a loved one is difficult and traumatic. In cases of prolonged illness and advanced age, you may have time to prepare yourself and your family for life without your loved one. However, when someone you love dies suddenly as a result of another party’s negligence, your feelings of grief and sadness are likely to be compounded. Pursuing legal action against the responsible party will not bring your loved one back, but it can help you recover compensation to help with the emotional and financial fallout that often accompanies an unexpected passing. You may have several questions about wrongful death claims in Florida if you are considering filing one, and in today’s post we will answer a few of the questions that clients ask most frequently about wrongful death.
If you are searching for a compassionate and knowledgeable Miami wrongful death attorney, look no further than The Flanagan Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Law Firm. We have experience helping individuals like yourself recover from the unexpected, and we would love to speak with you and help you in your time of need. Call our firm to get started, or request your free case evaluation online today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death
What Is Wrongful Death?
Florida Statute 768.19 provides a clear definition of wrongful death. In part, this statute reads that individuals may have grounds for a wrongful death claim if “the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty” of one person results in the death of another person. It is important to note that the wrongful death may be caused by the responsible party’s negligent conduct, but it may also be caused by the responsible party’s failure to act or prevent harm.
There are many different types of wrongful death claims, including those related to deaths that occurred as a result of:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cruise ship accidents
- Product liability
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability
- Preventable child deaths
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
The terms wrongful death and murder are sometimes used interchangeably, however, they are not the same. The difference largely has to do with intent. Wrongful death cases are usually the result of carelessness or failure to prevent harm to another person. Murder cases, on the other hand, are usually the result of malicious intent.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
There are limitations on who can file a wrongful death claim. Only surviving spouses, children, and parents may file a wrongful death claim in the state of Florida. An exception is made for blood relatives or adopted siblings who are dependent on the deceased party for support of services. There are no exceptions made for fiancées, girlfriends, boyfriends, or friends.
What Is Needed to Prove Wrongful Death?
If you are filing a wrongful death claim against another party, then you have the burden of proof to substantiate your claim. To be successful in your wrongful death claim, you must be able to prove that:
- The death was caused by the accused’s conduct or failure to act.
- The death occurred as a direct result of the accused’s negligence.
- Family members, survivors, and/or dependents were affected financially by the death.
- The death resulted in expenses and/or monetary damages.
A skilled wrongful death attorney can help you obtain the documentation and testimony that you need to prove your claim. In the absence of legal counsel, the burden of proof is often too much for grieving individuals, and this could negatively impact the chances for recovery.
Miami Wrongful Death Attorney
Do you have questions about your legal rights following the passing of a loved one? If so, our wrongful death law firm is here for you. Michael T. Flanagan is an experienced Miami wrongful death attorney who will fight for your rights and help you navigate through the uncertainty after an untimely, senseless death. Our firm can help you obtain the evidence you need to prove your claim, and you can rest assured that we will have only your best interests in mind during this difficult time. Contact us today to speak with our team about your case. We look forward to speaking with you.