Losing a loved one can be a jarring experience, never more so than when the death comes as a result of someone else’s actions. If you find yourself reeling after the death of a family member, and you just cannot accept the circumstances surrounding the incident, a local attorney who is experienced in dealing with wrongful death may help you with next steps.
Defining Wrongful Death
Wrongful death lawsuits may be considered when someone caused the death of an individual through their negligence or intentionally harmful actions. A number of situations may give rise to such lawsuits, each unique. Just a handful of common predications to such suits include:
- Medical malpractice;
- Motor vehicle accidents caused by drunk drivers or other examples of carelessness;
- Exposure to dangerous conditions in the workplace;
- Physical altercations;
- Falls due to improperly maintained stairwells.
Eligibility to File Suit
If the death causes financial losses to the family of the decedent, one individual is usually named as the representative of the estate. Any family member who is either partially or totally dependent on the deceased may be able to recover damages from such legal action. In particular, the court recognizes surviving spouses and children as having a certain level of dependency on an individual. In some cases, other adopted siblings and blood relatives may have a claim due to previous financial support provided by the deceased. In some situations, filing suit can become complicated due to the very nature of families involved. The age of surviving children, the combination of step- and half-siblings, and the issues related to having children living in more than one household or involving more than one former spouse can all make the matter significantly more complex.
The central issues under consideration for compensation are costs associated with lost wages and services. Certainly, living without the income of one breadwinner could have devastating impacts on survivors. Present and future wages may be calculated as the courts make a determination that is fair. Damages awarded may be significant. Florida law notes that support might also be in the form of services that would now be costly to provide from another service provider. Examples of relevant expenses that may be reimbursable include a slew of services, including:
- Home and yard maintenance;
- Home cleaning;
- Elder care;
- Fence maintenance.
Further compensation may be considered to address issues such as lack of companionship for a spouse, loss of instruction for a child, and other emotional suffering. Finally, a wrongful death suit often addresses expenditures related to medical costs, funeral costs, and burial costs.
At the Salazar & Kelly Law Group, P.A., our Kissimmee personal injury attorneys can help you through every step of this difficult process. To learn more, contact our office to schedule a free, confidential consultation today.