Understanding wrongful death lawsuits and what your rights are is important, and can help you and your family move on financially after a tragedy.
What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury lawsuit filed by the family of someone who has died in a way that is considered ‘wrongful’. Wrongful in this case means that the death was caused by an accident that in turn occurred due to the reckless or negligent actions of someone else. This can include a variety of things including things like:
• A drunk driver causes an accident that leads to a fatality
• A driver texts while driving. While distracted, they cause an accident.
• An employer doesn’t adhere to proper safety guidelines and a death occurs.
• An employer doesn’t warn an employee about a safety issue, or fails to correct a safety issue that exists.
These are just a few examples of what can be considered negligent or reckless behavior. If your loved one was killed due to something involving neglect or reckless behavior, you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Who Can File?
Under Florida law, only immediate family members and those who are directly dependent on a person’s income will be able to file the wrongful death lawsuit. This includes:
• Siblings if they are dependent on the deceased financially
What Kind of Compensation Can You Get?
Compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit is one of the most complex aspects of the case. That’s because the far-reaching financial impacts can be difficult to track or estimate. A fair settlement will usually include things like:
• Medical bills
• Funerary expenses
• Compensation for lost wages
• Compensation for emotional anguish
• Compensation for the future financial impact the loss may have
That last one is where things get complicated. What would the deceased have earned and contributed to the household over their average life expectancy? Would they have missed promotions and raises? Your lawyer will usually work with financial experts to determine just what kind of a financial impact your loved one’s death had on your life and on the future.
Why It Matters So Much
There is a bit of a stigma in filing any kind of personal injury lawsuit, but there shouldn’t be. Wrongful death cases aren’t an example of someone trying to get a quick buck. Instead, they’re a perfect example of why the legal system matters so much.
If you’ve lost a loved one, it can not only impact your entire family emotionally but financially. You may be left struggling to figure out how to pay the bills, and in many cases a sudden death has led to families having to move, being forced to sell possessions, and even declare bankruptcy. And life insurance doesn’t always cover the future potential costs.
Simply put, you need a wrongful death lawsuit to get back on your feet financially. Nothing can replace the void that your loved one left behind, but knowing that you won’t struggle financially is important – and the exact reason that filing a lawsuit is worth considering.