What You Need to Prove in an Ocala Wrongful Death Claim

Do you live in or near Ocala, Florida? Have you recently lost a loved one as a result of unexpected circumstances?

This is a very devastating experience. The unexpected passing of a close loved one naturally causes emotional pain. It can also impact your life for years to come.

For example, perhaps you lost a spouse. Maybe they were the main income provider for your household. Their death can strain your finances and force you to take on new responsibilities for the remainder of your life.

No one can replace your loved one. However, you might be able to recover monetary compensation for your struggles.

You can file a claim or lawsuit if your loved one died because someone else was negligent. Consult with an Ocala wrongful death attorney to learn more. They will review your case and let you know whether you should take legal action.

How to Prove Wrongful Death in Florida

Florida law allows you to seek compensation after a loved one’s passing if you can prove the following:

  • Your loved one’s passing was caused by the actions or negligence of another party
  • Your loved one would still have had the right to seek compensation for their losses had they been merely injured
  • Your loved one’s passing caused you to experience various types of struggles for which you may be compensated

A basic example of a Florida wrongful death case would involve a spouse seeking compensation after their loved one was killed in a truck accident. They could recover compensation if the accident resulted from some form of negligence.

For instance, maybe the accident happened because the trucker fell asleep at the wheel. Or, it might have happened because the trucking company failed to maintain its vehicles properly. If negligence caused the accident, certain loved ones of the deceased could seek compensation by filing a claim to collect from the trucking company’s insurance. They could file a lawsuit to pursue damages in court if the insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement.

That’s important to remember. An insurer won’t immediately pay up when you file a claim. The type of evidence you need to gather to prove negligence will depend on the nature of the case. 

The Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim

In general, though, you must gather evidence relating to the following:

  • Duty of care: Your evidence must show that the individual or party who caused your loved one’s death had a duty to take reasonable steps in an effort to avoid harming them. In the above example, the trucker and trucking company had a duty to take such basic safety steps as obeying the rules of the road.
  • Breach: Your evidence must also illustrate that a negligent party breached their duty of care. Again, maybe the accident in this example was the result of improper vehicle maintenance. You need evidence proving this is the case.
  • Causation: You must show that the negligence of another party directly caused your loved one’s passing. For example, the fact that a trucking company did not thoroughly maintain its fleet does not always mean this factor was the direct cause of your loved one’s accident.
  • Damages: You must prove the financial and emotional losses you’ve suffered due to your loved one’s accident and death.

Gathering the evidence you need to prove you are eligible for compensation in these circumstances can be challenging. You have a much greater chance of recovering compensation if you enlist the help of a legal professional. A lawyer can improve your odds of receiving a proper settlement by investigating your case and documenting your losses. This will give you more freedom to focus on your own needs during this painful time.