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Sarasota Car Accident Attorney > Blog > Wrongful Death > Proving Wrongful Death Claims

Proving Wrongful Death Claims

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Wrongful death claims are complex and emotionally charged legal matters. Car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace negligence – no matter the cause, the loss of a loved one can be devastating. This blog aims to inform Florida residents and empower survivors with the knowledge they need to seek justice.

Understanding Wrongful Death in Florida

Wrongful death refers to a death caused by another individual’s negligence or breach of contract. In Florida, wrongful death law can be found under Florida Statutes sections 768.16 through 768.26. These laws stipulate the conditions under which a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed, the common definitions used when discussing these cases, and the limitations on the time frame for filing.

Common causes of wrongful death may include automobile accidents, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, work-related accidents, and product liability. A personal representative of the deceased’s estate must initiate the wrongful death claim in Florida. This representative can be named in any existing estate plan or appointed by the court. Personal representatives can file claims on behalf of all surviving family members, including the surviving spouse, children, parents, and relatives who depended on the deceased for support. These people are referred to as ‘survivors’ by the law.

It’s important to note that a time limit exists for filing a wrongful death claim in Florida. The claim must be filed within two years of the date of death, although specific circumstances may postpone this date. Contact an attorney to learn more about how the specifics of your case may change this time frame.

Elements to Prove Wrongful Death

To pursue a wrongful death claim in Florida, you must prove certain elements to establish liability. These elements form the foundation of the legal argument and are crucial for a successful claim.

The first element you must establish in court is the duty of care, where the plaintiff must demonstrate that the accused owed the deceased a duty of due care. This duty varies depending on the specific nature of the case. For example, a driver owes the public a duty of care to drive safely and responsibly, even though there was no contract or agreement between the parties involved.

Next, the plaintiff must show that the defendant breached that duty, known as the breach of duty. Evidence may include showing that a driver breached their duty by speeding or driving while intoxicated.

The third element involves proving causation, which requires demonstrating that the defendant’s negligent or reckless actions caused the death. This can be complex and may require collecting various pieces of evidence, such as medical records and information obtained from the police.

Proving damages is another essential aspect of a wrongful death claim. It’s necessary to provide sufficient evidence showing the nature and extent of damages suffered. In wrongful death cases, common damages include medical bills, loss of support, and loss of companionship. Without damages, a civil court does not have a remedy to make any hardships right.

Strengthening Your Case and Maximizing Its Value

Maximizing the value of a wrongful death case in Florida requires a strategic approach that considers both the legal and emotional aspects of the claim. Much of the compensation available to survivors comes from claims of emotional distress and other losses, making it crucial to present the case persuasively to the jury.

An experienced personal injury attorney by your side is the best way to win in court and make things right. Attorneys know what works and what doesn’t, and they know strategies that play well in court.

If you are reeling after the wrongful death of a loved one, contact the experts at Hale Law today to discuss your case for free. You owe us nothing unless we recover for you.

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