Wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct. When someone dies in a wrongful death, Florida law allows certain family members to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. The family members that can file a claim are the “decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters.”

Family members are able to recover damages for:

  • Loss of companionship and protection
  • Mental pain and suffering
  • Loss of parental companionship, instruction and guidance (children under 25 only)
  • Medical or funeral expenses for the decedent
  • Loss of earnings for the decedent

There are many potential causes of wrongful death. Three of the most common ones are:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

A distracted motorist does not see a child playing on a side street and hits him. A tractor-trailer driver loses control on a slick patch and crashes into a small sedan. A drunk driver swerves over the yellow lines and hits another car head on. Sadly, all of these examples can lead to a wrongful death. In Florida, there were 3,086 fatal crashes in 2020, resulting in 3,328 fatalities.

Medical Malpractice

A surgeon performs a procedure and leaves a tool inside the patient’s body. A doctor misdiagnoses a patient, resulting in cancer spreading throughout his body. A doctor miscalculates how much anesthesia a patient needs, resulting in his death. These scenarios sound like the beginning of a prime-time drama show, but events such as these happen at doctors’ offices and hospitals more often than we may realize.

Each year, there are between 25,000-120,000 deaths due to medical malpractice, according to the Civil Justice Resource Group, a project of the Center for Justice and Democracy at New York Law School.

We must add, however, that medical malpractice wrongful death cases usually cannot be brought unless the decedent had a living spouse or a child under 25 years of age. Additionally, medical malpractice cases are treated differently than other wrongful death cases. It’s best to consult promptly with a reputable personal injury attorney if you are in this type of situation.

Workplace Accidents

Every morning, millions of Americans leave their homes, perform their jobs, and return home. In 2019, 5,333 employees never made it home from work . Of those, 306 were living in Florida . The primary cause of fatal workplace injuries in Florida is transportation incidents, followed by falls/slips/trips, exposure to harmful substances or environments, and violence or other injuries by people or animals.

If your family member has been a victim of a wrongful death for any reason, contact the experienced attorneys at Cutler Rader to discuss your situation and learn how we can recover the damages that you deserve.

Cutler Rader, P.L.

With over 75 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Cutler Rader understand the meaning of Justice. Our one and only mission is to get each client the justice he or she deserves; our team of attorneys never back down when we know our client is right.
We offer our clients the compassion and guidance they need as they work through trying times in their lives. The balance of working relentlessly for our clients combined with our caring approach has helped us achieve a fantastic record of success with our clients. We get our clients the justice they deserve.

At Cutler Rader, You matter. Your justice matters. Your Justice Starts Here. 954-913-2273.

References Used:
The 2020 Florida Statue: 768.18 Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine (state.fl.us). Accessed April 1, 2021.
The 2020 Florida Statue: 768.21. Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online Sunshine (state.fl.us)Accessed April 1, 2021.
Florida Dept of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Crash Dashboard – Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (flhsmv.gov). Accessed April 11, 2021.
Civil Justice Resource Group. Civil Justice Resource Group (centerjd.org). Accessed April 1, 2021.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fatal Occupational Injuries in Florida — 2019 : Southeast Information Office : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov). Accessed April 1, 2021.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fatal Occupational Injuries in Florida — 2019 : Southeast Information Office : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov). Accessed April 1, 2021.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fatal Occupational Injuries in Florida — 2019 : Southeast Information Office : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov). Accessed April 1, 2021.