Florida statutes have defined wrongful death as any “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty” resulting in the death of a person. Wrongful death in Florida encompasses intentional acts, such as willfully striking an individual with the intent to cause them harm, negligent acts, such as an automobile accident, and breach of contract and warranty which includes product defects that cause the death of a consumer.
Family members who may recover damages in a Florida wrongful death case include: the deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents, and any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.”
Wrongful death may sound like an easy case to prove, but often they are complex, intricate, and difficult to resolve. In order to prevail on a wrongful death claim, a plaintiff (the person making the claim) must prove that the individual owed a duty of care to the deceased, that their act or failure to act breached that standard of care, that their wrongful conduct was the direct cause of the decedent’s death or injury, and that monetary damages resulted.
Additionally, a court may choose to add punitive damages to a wrongful death claim as well. However, punitive damages are typically only appropriate when an individual’s conduct was so reckless, intentional, or grossly negligent that the court is seeking to punish the offending individual, as well as discourage others from similar conduct in the future.
If you or a loved one was a victim and you believe you have a wrongful death claim, please call us for a free consultation to ensure your rights as a victim are protected.