If you lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of another person, then you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. In order to recover damages on behalf of your loved one, the surviving family members must meet the same standard burden of proof required of the plaintiff.
The following are the four elements you must prove in a wrongful death claim in Florida:
- Duty of care – First, the defendant (or at-fault party) owed a duty of care to your deceased loved one. For example, a driver has a duty to safely operate their vehicle and follow the traffic laws.
- Breach of duty – Second, the defendant breached that duty of care. In a car accident, a driver was either acting negligently or breaking the law (e.g. texting while driving, speeding, running a red light, or driving without lights on at night).
- Causation – Third, the defendant’s breach directly resulted in your loved one’s death. However, the defendant may attempt to claim your family member was partly or entirely at fault for the accident.
- Damages – Lastly, you must determine the amount of the family’s losses. Common types of damages include medical expenses prior to your loved one’s death, funeral and burial costs, loss of income and potential earnings if your loved one was still alive, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium.
Proving the four elements listed above can be challenging since the main witness – your family member – is not able to prove their case. That is why it is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to investigate the accident, gather documents and analyze evidence, work together with accident reconstruction experts, and help you recover your entitled compensation.
At the Law Offices of Cavanaugh & Cavanaugh, P.A., our legal team can develop an effective and personalized case strategy to obtain the damages and justice you and your family deserve. Although no amount of money will ever bring your loved one back, the award or settlement can help the financial strain of their death, so you and your family can grieve in peace.
If you are interested in filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Naples, Bonita Springs, Marco Island, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, and the surrounding areas, contact us today at (239) 309-2006 and schedule an initial consultation today. Get more than four decades of combined legal experience on your side!