Losing a beloved family member is undoubtedly one of the hardest moments in life, especially when it was preventable and was due to another party’s negligence. However, seeking justice and monetary compensation for your losses is possible through filing a wrongful death claim. This article will answer the question – how do you prove wrongful death? It will delve into the step-by-step process so that you can obtain closure in this difficult situation.
When dealing with a wrongful death lawsuit or claim, an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases is essential—as having an expert guide can make navigating the legal process much easier. In Hollywood, Florida, get in touch with a wrongful death lawyer from the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn to discuss your case and how to go about the legal process.
What is a wrongful death case?
A wrongful death is a legal term used to describe when someone dies due to the negligence or carelessness of another person. This means that the negligent party failed to perform their duty of care to the deceased person. When this happens, it’s possible to take action against that responsible party and file a wrongful death lawsuit with the help of an experienced lawyer from Jared’s firm. It’s important to understand that wrongful death is a civil case, not a criminal one. This means that someone can be found negligent for the death, but not face criminal charges.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Common causes of wrongful death include medical malpractice, car accidents, product defects, and workplace accidents.
- Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to provide the expected standard of care for their patient. This can happen as a result of misdiagnosis, surgical errors, or medication errors.
- In car accidents, if someone is killed in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, they may be liable in a wrongful death case. This can include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, failure to obey traffic laws, distracted driving, or reckless behavior.
- Product defects can also lead to wrongful death. If a product is deemed unsafe for use and someone dies from using it, then the responsible party may be liable in a wrongful death case. This could include defective auto parts, faulty medical devices, or dangerous toys.
- Workplace accidents are also a common cause of wrongful death. If an employee is killed while on the job and it is determined that the employer was negligent in providing a safe work environment, they could be liable in a wrongful death case. This could include failing to provide proper safety equipment or overlooking hazardous conditions.
Proving Wrongful Death in Hollywood, Florida
Proving wrongful death can be complex and requires a significant amount of evidence. To prove a wrongful death case, you’ll need to show the following key components:
- That a person (the defendant) is legally responsible for the death;
- That their negligence or lack of reasonable care caused the death; and,
- That you or the surviving family members suffered monetary damages due to the death.
You’ll need to provide evidence of all three elements to win a wrongful death case. Your attorney from Jared’s firm can help build your case so you can seek justice on behalf of your loved one.
Evidence in Wrongful Death Cases
In wrongful death lawsuits, you must provide evidence to prove the case. This can include the following:
- Eyewitness Testimony: If there were witnesses that saw the accident or incident that led to the death, their statements could be used as evidence.
- Medical Records: These can show conditions or illnesses and how they contributed to the death.
- Police Reports: Police reports provide an official record of the incident, including details about what happened and who was responsible.
- Expert Witness Testimony: An expert witness from a particular field can be used to provide testimony on why the defendant’s actions led to the death. Examples of expert witnesses are doctors, forensic pathologists, psychiatrists, and more.
- Photos or Videos: Photos or video footage of the accident scene can also be used as evidence. Although viewing this evidence can be stressful for the surviving family members, it is an important step in pursuing compensation.
Steps to Take to Prove Wrongful Death
To prove your wrongful death claims, you need to follow certain steps, and these include the following:
1. Gather Evidence
The first step of any legal case is gathering evidence. This could include police reports, medical records, witness statements, and other forms of proof that will help demonstrate negligence.
2. Assess Damages
The next step is to assess what damages have been done as a result of the death. This includes medical bills, funeral expenses, and any lost wages the deceased person may have earned if they were still alive.
3. Establish Negligence or Intentional Act
Lastly, you must be able to show that a negligent or intentional act of another person caused the death. This is done by collecting evidence and presenting it in court.
The Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
It is important to note that there is a statute of limitations for filing wrongful death cases. The statute of limitations varies by state, so make sure you understand the laws in your area. The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Florida is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the person’s death to file a claim.
Who can file a wrongful death suit?
A wrongful death civil case is typically filed by survivors of the deceased, such as family members or other people who have suffered a financial loss due to the death. The goal is to recover damages that are owed due to the negligence or wrongful act of another.
In Florida, a wrongful death lawsuit should be filed by a personal representative of the deceased’s estate. The personal representative is typically the victim’s spouse, parent, or child (or, when none are available, other relatives).
Determining Wrongful Death Settlement Amounts
A wrongful death settlement amount is typically based on the economic and non-economic damages that have been suffered.
1. Economic damages
These are those that have a specific, measurable amount attached to them. These can include medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages and benefits, and other costs related to the death.
2. Non-economic damages
These are more subjective in nature, but they still have an impact on the overall settlement amount. This can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and other damages that don’t have a specific amount associated with them.
3. Punitive damages
These are typically only awarded in cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm. These damages are designed to punish the at-fault party and deter them from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
The exact settlement amount you receive will depend on various factors, including the type of damages suffered and the specific details of your case. It will also be influenced by the strength of the evidence presented in court. The settlement amount may be higher if there is clear evidence of negligence or intentional harm.
It’s important to note that there is no set formula for determining wrongful death settlement amounts, so you should always discuss your case with an experienced attorney from Jared Spingarn’s firm in Hollywood, Florida, before proceeding.
What if the settlement amount is not paid out?
Other legal remedies are available if the defendant owed a settlement amount but failed to pay it out. In some cases, the court can issue an order of execution against the defendant’s property or assets to satisfy the debt owed.
In addition, you may be able to pursue a case in civil court for fraud or breach of contract. This can be a more difficult process, as you must prove that the defendant failed to fulfill their obligation to pay the settlement amount.
Why You Need to Hire an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney
By enlisting a wrongful death lawyer from the law firm of Jared Spingarn, you can ensure that your case is handled correctly and that you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your losses.
Your wrongful death attorney will be able to guide you throughout the whole process until the settlement amount is fully paid out to you. They will answer your questions and help you understand your rights and options.
Jared Spingarn’s law firm also offers free consultations, so do not hesitate to contact them and schedule a meeting with one of their experienced attorneys. They have years of experience handling wrongful death cases, so you can trust that your case is in good hands.
Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence is incredibly painful, but seeking justice and closure by filing a wrongful death claim can help you through it. It is important to understand what evidence is required for success and ensure you have an experienced attorney to help you navigate the legally complex proceedings. With the proper evidence and support, a wrongful death claim can provide much-needed financial compensation for your loss and give you some solace in knowing that justice was served.
>> If someone you know got involved in an accident that resulted in a wrongful death in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney, at 1-954-781-2316 for a Free Case Review or drop a message on their Contact Us page.