Winter Haven Wrongful Death Lawyers Helping Families to Receive Compensation After the Loss of a Loved One
When the reckless or negligent actions of an individual lead to the premature death of a loved one, surviving relatives can take legal action to hold them responsible and make them financially liable for the death of their family member. This is known as a wrongful death claim, and while it does not bring your loved one back, it may bring some financial relief and closure. Our law firm has assisted many families seeking compensation on behalf of their deceased loved ones — here are a few important aspects concerning wrongful death cases in Florida.
How Is a Wrongful Death Case Different From a Criminal Case?
A wrongful death case is handled in a civil court, and it seeks to hold a defendant liable and financially responsible for the death of the plaintiff. Wrongful death cases are built based on the argument that the defendant was negligent, and that the defendant’s actions (or failure to take action, in some cases) led to a fatal accident that could have been prevented. The goal is to obtain financial compensation from the defendant for all damages resulting from the accident.
A criminal case (such as murder or manslaughter) seeks to find the defendant guilty or innocent, and a jury will usually look at the defendant’s intent at the time of the crime. A criminal case is brought on by the prosecution instead of the victim (or the victim’s family) and the punishment is jail time. There is usually no financial compensation given to victims. In some cases, a defendant may face both criminal and civil suits.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
A wrongful death claim in Florida is brought by the family members of a person who has died due to someone else’s negligent or intentional actions. The damages that can be collected are may include reimbursement for your lost wages and medical expenses if you were dependent on the deceased person. There are also other damages that can be recovered, including loss of financial support, loss of care/companionship/parenting, mental distress, and funeral expenses.
To determine what damages you claim in a wrongful death claim, you should consult with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney. An experienced injury lawyer will have dealt with wrongful death cases before and know what kind of evidence must be produced to win the case within the statute of limitations.
What Do You Need to Prove in a Wrongful Death Case?
Unlike in a criminal case, a wrongful death case requires the victim’s family to carry the burden of proof. Some key elements need to be demonstrated in a wrongful death case. First, you must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care towards the victim and that the defendant’s actions or failure to take action resulted in a breach of that duty of care. For example, a driver who ingests alcohol before operating the vehicle is breaching their duty of care towards others, because they know (or should know) that drunk driving can result in an injury or fatality to others.
You must also prove that the death of your loved one occurred as a direct result of the defendant’s negligent actions and that the death had negative financial effects for survivors and dependents of the deceased person. A skilled wrongful death attorney may be an important asset to help you build a strong case and prove all of the above elements.
Why Should I Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney for My Case?
When you are grieving the sudden loss of a spouse or family member, you shouldn’t have to worry about dealing with paperwork and endless phone calls. By working with a lawyer for personal injury, you can rest assured you are taking the right steps to obtain maximum compensation for the death of your loved one. At Jiles Law, P.A., we have helped many families defend the rights of their deceased loved ones after a wrongful death accident, and we can help you, too. Call us at 863-875-6900 to learn your options.