Nothing could be more tragic than suddenly and abruptly losing someone you love because someone else was negligent, but if this tragedy happens to a member of your family in central Florida, you should discuss your family’s legal rights with an Orlando wrongful death attorney.

Florida’s wrongful death statute is quite specific. It does not matter if a wrongful death happens because of a traffic collision, an incident of medical malpractice, or because a landlord was negligent and failed to keep his or her property safe.

In this state, if someone else’s negligence in any accident scenario is the cause of your loved one’s death, that person may be held accountable with a wrongful death claim. If you lose a loved one because someone was negligent, take your case to a Florida wrongful death lawyer.

The survivors of a wrongful death victim need aggressive, high-quality legal representation. Of course, no amount of money can assuage the grief of losing a family member in a preventable accident, but a good wrongful death lawyer will fight for the resources your family may need.

What Families Must Prove in a Wrongful Death Case

In Florida, a wrongful death takes place whenever reckless or negligent behavior causes a fatality. To prevail with a wrongful death claim, your family’s attorney must prove:

that the defendant had a “duty of care” to the victim
that the duty of care was breached by the defendant’s reckless or negligent behavior
that the reckless or negligent behavior was the direct cause of the fatality
that quantifiable damages resulted and should be paid to surviving family members

In the State of Florida, you must be an immediate family member of the deceased person in order to file a wrongful death claim. Children, spouses, and parents may seek damages for:

  • the decedent’s hospitalization and treatment expenses prior to death
  • the decedent’s lost income and benefits
  • the decedent’s funeral expenses and burial or cremation costs
  • the family’s loss of inheritance
  • the spouse’s loss of consortium
  • in some cases, “punitive” damages

How Are Wrongful Death Claims Resolved?

In Florida, most wrongful death claims are resolved privately and out of court when attorneys for both sides meet to negotiate. In rare cases, if no acceptable settlement offer is made, your lawyer may take the case to trial and ask a jury to order the payment of your family’s compensation.

Along with compensatory damages in wrongful death cases, the courts in Florida sometimes award punitive damages that are meant to punish the party responsible for a wrongful death and to deter similar negligent behavior in the future.

Learn more about resolving claims by reading our blog post on how personal injury cases are handled.

Many families may face a financial hardship without the contribution of their deceased loved one. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, you’re probably not considering your own legal rights, but it is imperative for you to speak with a good wrongful death lawyer as quickly as possible.

Being represented by an Orlando wrongful death attorney can also alleviate some of your anxiety or confusion after a loved one’s death. Having a good personal injury attorney’s help after a wrongful death is your family’s right.