What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is probably one of the worst things that someone can go through. Not only are they dealing with a complex legal action, at the end of the day, they're coping with a loss of a loved one. Whether that person is a parent, a child, or spouse, it's a tough, emotionally painful situation. The Florida Legislature has created the wrongful death statute which allows people to sue on behalf of the loved one who has passed away. A wrongful death lawsuit is what takes place when an individual has passed, specifically as a result of the negligence of some other person. Many cases we see involve people who have been killed in an automobile crash, a slip and fall, or medical malpractice.

A wrongful death case isn’t necessarily an attempt to prosecute or bring punitive measures against the person responsible for your loved one’s death, although punitive damages are sometimes awarded. The end goal of a wrongful death lawsuit is the recovery of what you might have lost as a result of your loved one’s death— both costs that you incurred as a result of their death and things that, were they alive, they would provide for you. The damages you might be awarded as direct, quantifiable recompense include the costs of medical care prior to their death, funeral expenses, and lost income or inheritance. Some of these losses may already be incurred, while others may yet to be felt; all of them are eligible to be included in wrongful death damages.

Less easily quantifiable but equally attainable damages are for more complex, less financial losses: the loss of care, guidance, and nurturing the deceased would have provided; loss of love and companionship; and loss of consortium (family relationships). Damages for these latter losses come in the form of financial repayment, but the goal is never to reduce your loved one’s companionship to a number or put a price on your relationship by any means. Rather, the damages you receive as a result of those losses can help you provide for yourself physically and emotionally the way your loved one might have. For instance, if you have been deprived of their care, you can afford to hire a professional caregiver or nurse to see to your needs. If you have been deprived of their guidance, you can afford to seek the services of a counselor or therapist. If nothing else, the money you receive can be put toward grief counseling to help you recover from their loss and move forward with good mental health.

Pursuing a wrongful death case allows their family members to make a claim on behalf of the estate, and really on behalf of themselves, the survivors, for a variety of things. That wrongful death lawsuit is the opportunity for the family to seek compensation for the death of their loved one. When going through this difficult time, you want an attorney who is compassionate to your grief and also aggressive in their pursuit of damages. At Fischer Redavid, we know these cases are a huge responsibility and are committed to honoring them. If you are thinking of pursuing a wrongful death case, please give us a call, and we can look to the future together.

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