Titusville Wrongful Death Lawyer
We fight for families of victims killed due to negligence or error
The loss of a loved one produces emotional devastation. When the death happened because a person or organization acted negligently, the pain becomes worse because the death might have been avoided if someone had done the right thing instead of the wrong thing. Under Florida civil law, this type of death is called wrongful death. The estate of the deceased may file a lawsuit against the responsible party on behalf of surviving relatives. The survivors may seek compensation for their financial losses related to the death. When you want answers and accountability following a tragedy, a Titusville wrongful death lawyer from Couture Law P.A. can manage the investigation and legal process.
Examples of wrongful death
Untimely deaths can occur for many reasons. Often these events have the appearance of an accident, but evidence may reveal that it was a preventable accident. In some cases, an overt criminal act resulted in your loss.
Causes of wrongful death include:
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Negligent driving
- Drowning due to lack of safety measures
- Criminal attack
- Unsafe work environment
- Unsafe building or property
- Insufficient security
The events that lead to a wrongful death might involve the failings of multiple actors. A recent case in Titusville named 8 defendants after an intoxicated employee drove his work truck onto a sidewalk and killed a 70-year-old man. The event took place on Bayshore Boulevard, and authorities determined that the driver had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.234 when he struck the pedestrian. The court filings for the family’s lawsuit indicated that they had evidence of a client of the driver’s employer complaining about the man’s intoxication prior to the fatal accident. Despite this report, the man continued to be employed as a driver. Due to the apparent negligence of the employer and the driver, the lawsuit therefore identified multiple parties who allegedly shared blame for the death.
Which family members can sue?
The immediate family of the wrongful death victim likely experiences the greatest pain and financial consequences of the loss. A surviving relative’s dependency on the deceased’s income also factors into the calculation of damages. For example, a young child who loses a father may face greater hardship than an adult child with an independent income.
In Florida, these relatives may have a right to sue:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased minor child
- Grandparents, if they were raising the deceased minor child
- Siblings, both biological and adopted, of the deceased if they relied on the victim financially
When one or more qualifying survivors wish to proceed with a wrongful death claim, they would work with the representative of the deceased’s estate. The will or estate plan for the lost loved one might have already named a representative for the estate. In that case, the representative is known and can go forward with the lawsuit on behalf of the family. An estate representative may or may not be one of the plaintiffs. If someone died without a named estate representative, a court can choose someone for that role.
An evaluation of your case by a wrongful death attorney will clarify who can potentially pursue compensation. Legal advice will also increase your understanding of the types of damages that you might claim in your specific situation.
A death is always a tremendous loss and placing a dollar figure on that might feel uncomfortable. However, a death can inflict financial difficulties and remedying that situation could be a worthwhile endeavor.
Florida law recognizes that wrongful death could justify collecting a settlement for one or more of the following:
- Medical expenses arising from the event prior to death
- Burial expenses
- The deceased’s lost income, benefits and future earnings
- Mental anguish for loss of a child
The specific facts of your case will direct the type and amount of damages that you rightfully seek.
Necessary elements to prove wrongful death
State law sets forth 4 elements that your lawsuit must demonstrate to meet the legal definition of wrongful death. Our initial discussions with you will focus on the likelihood of proving all elements so that we can move forward with a viable lawsuit.
Your case will need evidence that:
- The person died.
- Negligence directly caused the death.
- The death resulted in financial losses for the family.
- A personal representative for the estate has filed the claim for the family.
Our role as your legal representative will be to collect evidence to support these vital points. A death certificate easily proves the death. If the estate does not already have an official personal representative, we could assist you with completing that task.
Proving the negligence will consume the bulk of the legal effort on your behalf. This may require looking into medical records, police reports, employment records and other documentation central to your case. Witnesses may need to be interviewed as well. Our law firm could arrange for consultations with industry experts to gather evidence for technical aspects surrounding the death. For example, a manufacturing specialist might be needed to explain a defective product.
As for your family’s financial damages, we can organize payroll information and medical bills. We can apply our legal knowledge to project the lost future earnings based on what was known about income at the time of death.
Caring wrongful death attorneys
Civil court has the potential to provide your family with the satisfaction of making the responsible party’s role in the death a matter of public record. In some cases, a criminal case may also be active against the person named in your lawsuit. Although this may complicate or delay your civil action, it may also provide important evidence that proves negligence.
If you suspect that what was declared an accident may have been caused by a reckless disregard for safety, then a lawyer might help you find out what really happened. We understand that your loss is a difficult subject, but legal advice remains an urgent matter. The statute of limitations for wrongful death is 2 years. Speaking with a wrongful death attorney does not obligate you to do anything. To schedule a free consultation, please contact our office.