Do I Have a Wrongful Death Case? 3 Common Examples
Bill Allen | February 1, 2022 | Wrongful Death
If your family member died because of another party’s negligent or wrongful acts, you could have a wrongful death case. Surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for their losses caused by the untimely death of their loved ones. The best way to know for sure if you have a wrongful death claim is to contact a wrongful death lawyer for a free case evaluation.
What Does Wrongful Death Mean?
Wrongful death actions are civil cases under the Florida Wrongful Death Act. According to the statute, family members may have a right of action if their loved one died because of another party’s:
- Wrongful acts
- Breach of warranty
- Breach of contract
The deceased must have been entitled to bring an action against the at-fault party if death had not occurred. In other words, the person must have been able to sue the party who hurt them had they lived.
However, the right to seek damages passes to the person’s estate and surviving family members when the person dies. Damages that surviving family members could receive include loss of financial support, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship. The person’s estate may also file a claim for damages the deceased suffered between the time of injury and their death.
Common Examples of Wrongful Death Cases
Most personal injuries caused by negligence and intentional acts can result in wrongful death claims. Below are several wrongful death examples to give you an idea of how a wrongful death case might begin.
Car accidents are one of the most common incidents that result in wrongful death claims. In 2019, 36,096 people were killed in automobile accidents in the United States. In Florida, 3,332 people died in traffic crashes during 2020.
Most traffic accidents are caused by driver negligence. The driver who caused the crash could be liable for wrongful death if the crash killed another person.
If a defective car part caused a fatal car accident, the vehicle manufacturer could be liable for a wrongful death. Likewise, car accidents caused by defectively designed intersections or roads could result in a wrongful death action against a government entity.
If a medical professional fails to provide a reasonable standard of care, they could be guilty of medical malpractice. When the medical malpractice results in death, the family may have a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims related to medical malpractice may occur when a doctor fails to diagnose a condition or misdiagnoses a medical condition. Other common causes of wrongful death claims related to medical malpractice include surgical errors, medication errors, and diagnostic errors. The doctor failed to obtain informed consent before performing a medical procedure in some cases.
Unintentional falls resulted in 42,114 deaths nationwide in 2020. Many of these falls were caused by negligence. Property owners may be held liable for deaths caused by hazardous or dangerous conditions. Examples of a slip and fall accident include broken stairs, slippery floors, inadequate lighting, and uneven flooring or pavement.
Construction accidents and workplace accidents account for a large number of fatalities each year from falls. Falls are the leading cause of death in construction accidents. Employers, subcontractors, product manufacturers, property owners, and other parties could be liable for a wrongful death claim if their negligence or intentional acts led to a worker’s death.
Nursing home neglect is another common reason for wrongful death claims related to falls. Elderly individuals are at a high risk of falling because of age, health, and other factors. Nursing homes that fail to maintain safe premises, provide adequate fall protection, and fail to monitor patients could be liable if a resident dies because of a fall.
Other Causes of Wrongful Death Claims in Ocala
The above wrongful death lawsuit examples are only three of many situations that could result in wrongful death. For example, a person could be sued for intentional acts that cause a person’s death. The person may face criminal charges for their conduct, but that is separate from any civil action the family has under tort laws.
Money can never replace a loved one. However, it can provide financial support for survivors after the sudden death of a family member. Wrongful death cases also call attention to the negligence that caused the person’s death, thereby possibly deterring others from committing the same negligent acts in the future.
Contact Our Wrongful Death Law Firm in North Central Florida
We have two convenient locations in North Central Florida: