The idea behind a wrongful death lawsuit is that the wrongful death, in addition to injuring the person who died, also injured people who depended upon the deceased for financial or emotional support. The wrongful act may be:
Almost every state has enacted a statute permitting a lawsuit to be brought by the relatives of a person who died as a result of a wrongful act.
The individual allowed to file a wrongful death suit is defined by the state. In some states, it may be only a spouse and children. In other states, grandparents or other relatives may also be allowed to bring a lawsuit. Some states have enacted restrictions on filing when one family member would be suing another family member for the wrongful death of a third family member.
The amount of damages can be a very complicated question. Survivors can usually sue for medical bills paid for the care of the person who was injured, as well as for burial expenses. But because the idea is that the survivors have been injured by the absence of the person who died, determining the amount of damages requires consideration of what probably would have occurred in the future. The damages that can be assessed may include:
Estimates of future earnings usually require expert testimony involving the deceased person’s future earning capacity.
State law, along with any documents signed by relatives and the type of action filed, would determine what, if any, obligation the relatives filing the lawsuit have in sharing the settlement.
Like many types of suits, there is a time frame that must be observed when filing the suit or the opportunity to file the claim is forever lost. The time frame for filing is set by state law. The clock begins to run from the time of the incident or, in some states, from the time the party became aware of, or discovered, the injury.
Wrongful death is probably saying that a death was a result of the medical malpractice. Malpractice is basically a type of negligence and wrongful death is a type of damages. It is possible to have a medical malpractice wrongful death case, but not every medical malpractice case is a wrongful death case and not every wrongful death case is a medical malpractice case.
If an injured party files suit but then dies before the case is concluded, the survivors or beneficiaries (ex: the widow) may continue the suit on the behalf of the deceased or the estate of the deceased.
For over twenty years, the law firm of Allen & Abaray, P.A. has provided exceptional statewide representation for injury victims, and the families of those who are injured or killed by the conduct of others. While our personal injury lawyers are based in Lakeland, we represent clients throughout the State of Florida.
Allen & Abaray, P.A. offers a free consultation in all personal injury cases. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in any type of accident, call (863) 669-9999 or toll-free at (877) 669-6899 today to speak with a Lakeland personal injury attorney about your case. We won’t charge an attorney’s fee unless we recover money for your injuries.*