The death of someone you care about is one of the hardest experiences that anyone can ever go through. Everyone deals with grief differently, but most of us pass through the same five stages laid out by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying.
It’s never easy to pass through these stages and get to the point where you can move on with your life, but often this is even harder when a person dies of unnatural causes that are the result of negligence on the part of an individual or an organization. In this type of situation, you may find yourself grappling with both grief and anger at the party responsible for your loss, as well as the high costs associated with medical bills and funeral services.
The expenses that pile up after a death can be overwhelming, and sometimes the loss of the financial support of the deceased can make it hard just to stay afloat. Common damages in wrongful death cases include:
No one should have to think about all that while they are grieving. You need to get compensation for your losses from the responsible party so that you don’t have to worry about your financial situation.
It may feel painful enough to plan a funeral, let alone consider taking legal action, but inaction doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help your loved one that was killed. If you truly believe that their death was caused by the actions or negligence of another, you should consult a wrongful death lawyer in Florida as soon as possible.
If you recently lost a loved one, you may not be sure if their death can be legally considered “wrongful” in Florida. Typically, wrongful death is defined as any case where someone dies as a result of the negligence or recklessness of another. Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for the loss of financial and emotional support.
The amount of compensation that a family member is eligible for often depends on their relationship to the deceased. Spouses, children, and parents may all be entitled to a certain amount of monetary compensation, based on the amount of support they received from the deceased.
In addition to determining who is eligible for compensation, you need to determine the cause of death. Some of the most common types of wrongful death cases include:
Medical malpractice. According to a study by the Institute of Medicine, as many as 98,000 people die in our country every year due to medical errors. That number is nine times higher than the number of homicidal deaths each year, and it makes medical malpractice the sixth leading cause of death. Other studies put medical malpractice deaths even higher, listing it as the third leading cause of death in the US. Malpractice can occur when a doctor makes the wrong diagnosis or fails to diagnose their patient in time, makes a medication error, performs an incompatible blood transfusion, or makes a preventable error in surgery, just to name a few examples.
Workplace accidents. Certain types of jobs, like construction and truck driving, might come with more occupational risks than others, but workplace deaths can happen in any kind of setting. One recent case involved a nurse who was worked to the point of exhaustion and, as a result, got in a car accident after her shift. Wrongful deaths in the workplace might be caused by defective machinery, a negligent manager or coworker, or even an unsafe work space.
Premises liability. If a business or property owner fails to maintain safe premises and a hazard on their property results in a death, they may face a wrongful death lawsuit.
Birth injuries. While most babies are born without major medical complications, there are unfortunately cases where the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider results in a serious birth injury, such as brain damage, cerebral palsy, or Erbs’ palsy. In some cases, this can mean a lifetime of disability for the child and exorbitant medical expenses for parents. In other cases, it can actually result in an early death.
Motor vehicle accidents. Sadly, motor vehicle accidents are relatively commonplace in our country, and with large vehicles and high speed limits, crashes result in at least one fatality far too often. There are roughly 30,000 motor vehicle accident fatalities in the US every year, including car, motorcycle, and truck accidents. Common causes of crashes include speeding, distracted driving, driving while intoxicated, driving while sleep deprived, lack of driver experience, and a lack of visibility around the vehicle.
Sometimes fault in a wrongful death case is fairly clear-cut – for example, if a driver jumped the curb while texting and hit a pedestrian on the sidewalk, they could easily be sued for wrongful death. Other cases can get a bit more complicated, such as when a car’s defective air bags fail to deploy, or a patient’s prescription medication has unexpected side effects that result in death. In those types of cases, the car manufacturer or the hospital may be responsible for the death, but surviving family members might not know how to take on such big organizations. That’s where Lawlor, White & Murphey can help.
The law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey consists of a team of trial lawyers who have considerable experience with wrongful death cases. We know that this is a difficult time for you and your family, and we will handle your case with professionalism and compassion. We can help you determine if you have a case and who may be responsible for the death. We’re not afraid to go up against large organizations like a hospital or manufacturer – we know that your wellbeing is too important for us to just back down or take a low settlement.
We can’t bring your loved one back, but we can make sure that the responsible party covers some of the financial and emotional losses caused by the death. Additionally, your claim may serve to spare another Fort Lauderdale family from what you are enduring right now.
If you’re ready to discuss your case, fill out our case review form, email the Lawlor White & Murphey law firm at [email protected] or call Toll-Free at 855-347-5475, in South Florida at 954-525-2345. Because we know you’re going through enough already, we offer free initial consultations, and if you do hire us, you won’t pay us until we recover damages for you and your family.