What is Wrongful Death?

Have you recently lost a loved one? Whenever someone close to us dies, we are left with heartbreak and sorrow that will remain, to some degree, for the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, death is a part of life. The ways in which people die are too innumerable to count. Many times death is attributable to natural causes such as old age, a genetic condition, or a chronic disease.

However, often times death could have been avoided if others had acted more responsibly.

A person could have been driving more carefully before causing a wreck. A company could have built a product, such as a power tool or a medication, so that it was less dangerous to those that use it. A hospital could have properly observed a patient, and thus saved their life. In these instances, the death could have been avoided but for the negligence of another, and is thus wrongful.

What is Wrongful Death?

The term “wrongful death ” is often thrown around on advertisements and law-related television shows without much explanation of what it means. Basically, a wrongful death is when a person is killed by the negligent act or omission of another person, company or other legal entity. A wrongful death action is when a loved one or the estate of the deceased person files suit through a personal representative to recover damages caused by the deceased’s death.

Who can make a claim?

In Florida, these family members may be able to recover in a wrongful death claim:

  • the spouse of the deceased
  • children of the deceased
  • parents of the deceased
  • any blood relative if they can show they were dependent upon the deceased
  • adoptive brothers and sisters if they can show they were dependent upon the deceased

And just what do these family members lose as a result of the wrongful death? It depends on the relationship. A spouse may lose a companion for life and a primary breadwinner. A child may lose a role model, instructor, and person to guide them through childhood. Disabled adults may lose a caretaker.

What can be recovered with a claim?

Depending on the familial relationship and specific set of circumstances, a survivor may recover for a variety of losses including financial support, loss of companionship, mental pain and suffering, medical expenses and funeral expenses. One important thing to remember, is that the damage caused by the wrongful death of a loved one isn’t just temporary, but will ripple long into the future.

Get the help and support you need.

The death of a family member is one of the most trying times in anyone’s life. This is because it affects a person both mentally and financially and may change the outcome of their entire lives. If a family member has died as a result of another’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial recovery for this loss. Michles and Booth specializes in wrongful death cases, and is available for consultation 7 days a week. Please do not hesitate to call.


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