Like most states, Florida has adopted a wrongful death statute. This law serves as a tool to hold negligent parties accountable when they cause the untimely death of another person. A skilled injury attorney could assist with this type of legal action.
If you believe your loved one’s passing was caused by another person’s irresponsibility, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide justice for you and your family. Pursuing these cases alone can be difficult, but an Inverness wrongful death lawyer could help.
When is a Death Wrongful?
Not every unexpected loss of life will lead to a wrongful death claim. In fact, state law is clear on what qualifies as a wrongful death. According to Fla. Stat. Section 768.19, a wrongful death claim could be an option after any reckless act, default, negligence, breach of contract, or breach of warranty.
Countless situations could warrant a wrongful death lawsuit, which are often very similar to personal injury claims. However, negligent death lawsuits differ in that they resulted in fatal injuries. Frequent causes of wrongful death cases include:
- Sports injuries
- Medical errors
- Criminal assault
- Defective products
- Motor vehicle accidents
Sadly, many of these incidents are avoidable. An experienced attorney in Inverness could investigate the details of a person’s wrongful death and identify the party responsible for their passing.
Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit a Criminal Prosecution?
Wrongful death cases are handled in civil court. This is true even when the death of a loved one also resulted in criminal charges. It is important to understand the differences between these cases, as the outcome of a successful wrongful death lawsuit is significantly different than a criminal conviction. For example, a criminal conviction against a negligent party can lead to jail time and hefty fines, but a successful lawsuit results in financial compensation for a decedent’s surviving family members.
Unlike civil lawsuits, the state has the final say on when to bring criminal charges against a reckless individual or company. While they might take the concerns of the surviving relatives into account, there is no guarantee that they will pursue a criminal case. An Inverness attorney could further advise on the differences between wrongful death claims and criminal prosecutions.
The Right to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
There are specific jurisdictions where family members can file their own lawsuit in response to the untimely death of a loved one. However, that is not the case in Inverness. According to state law, only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
That said, personal representatives cannot claim any proceeds. Instead, any compensation recovered is for certain relatives and heirs to an estate. These damages also pay for the final expenses of the decedent’s life, including medical bills or funeral expenses. An Inverness wrongful death attorney could advise what damages might be available to families after a relative’s death.
Call an Inverness Wrongful Death Attorney As Soon As Possible
A wrongful death lawsuit could offer you justice following the passing of a loved one. This is especially true when the state declines to press criminal charges.
If you have questions about the pursuit of legal action after the loss of a loved one, an Inverness wrongful death lawyer could help. Call now to schedule a confidential consultation.