If someone you love, perhaps a spouse, was killed unnecessarily in some way, you may want to know if you can sue that person for wrongful death. And if you’re able to sue them and win a jury award, you may be able to pay for the outstanding medical bills and income that your loved one can no longer earn. In some cases, the grieving loved one can also sue for punitive damages in an attempt to punish the negligent party. Before you proceed with making plan for a wrongful death suit, it may be in your best interest to consult an attorney who has helped victims in similar circumstances.
Circumstances of the Accident
The untimely passing of an individual does not automatically qualify for a wrongful death suit by the loved ones they left behind. Every situation is unique and so it’s important to consult a wrongful death attorney. An experienced attorney can review the circumstances of your case and determine if you have a valid claim.
● Avoidable negligence. In general, if the victim died because of someone needlessly being careless, the victim’s loved one who is financially affected by the loss, can sue the negligent party. Sometimes an accident is simply an unavoidable accident, and the death occurred as a result. In those cases, a wrongful death suit may not be permissible by the court. However, if your loved one on whom you were financially dependent was killed by someone’s direct, or indirect, actions, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death suit. For example, if your spouse underwent surgery and the surgeon left a foreign object in their body which later caused a fatal infection, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. A wrongful death attorney from our office can provide you with a case review at no charge.
● Intentional harm. If someone intentionally harmed your loved one with the intent to kill them, you may grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit if certain criteria are met. You must have been financially dependent on your spouse or loved one, and the person who killed your loved one was not authorized to do so. For instance, if your loved one was killed by someone who acted in self-defense because they feared for their life, you may not be able to file a wrongful death suit. However, if your loved one was murdered, a wrongful death lawyer can tell you if they think you have a strong case against the murderer. One of the most famous examples of a successful wrongful death in similar circumstances is the Goldman family’s suit against O.J. Simpson for the death of their son Ron.
Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Suit?
When someone passes away, they may leave behind many grieving friends and family members. However, the courts do not accept wrongful death suits except by a limited number of eligible persons, and some have precedence over others. The following parties, in this order, may qualify to file a lawsuit:
1. Legal spouse or common law spouse.
2. Financially dependent or severely disabled children.
3. Minor children.
Talk to a wrongful death lawyer such as the wrongful death lawyer Orlando, Fl locals turn to so that they can verify your eligibility.
Thanks to authors at Needle Ellenberg P.A. for their insight into Wrongful Death.