Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale – What you Need to Prove
A wrongful death lawsuit is something nobody in Fort Lauderdale wants to experience but life happens and wrongful deaths, accidental or intentional, happen far too frequently. If you have lost a loved one and you believe the death was caused by someone’s negligence then you may be in a position to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
In Florida wrongful death is defined as any death caused by “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty.” Basically this is saying that you can sue the person or organization that intentionally caused the death, accidently caused it through negligence, had a duty to keep the person safe but breached that duty or a product/service caused the death.
It sounds straight forward so one would think that if you have evidence suing for wrongful death should be fairly simple.
But it isn’t.
Simple Rules with Not So Simple Interpretations
In order to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit you have to show that your case includes all three of the following "elements"
- Conduct that amounts to a wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty.
- The conduct upon which the lawsuit is based must have caused the death of the decedent.
- The conduct that is the basis of the lawsuit would have entitled the person injured to file a lawsuit and recover damages if they had not died.
If any of these elements are missing your case can be dismissed before it even begins. Insurance companies do not want to litigate wrongful death cases. They would greatly prefer that the case be thrown out because all the elements aren’t present. As a result, insurance companies will try to disprove any or all of the elements and the judicial records are full of innovative defense arguments particularly for element #2.
If a UPS truck crosses the centerline and causes a head on crash in which your spouse is grievously injured but doesn’t die on the scene, UPS may not be responsible. They will argue that the paramedics, hospital, surgeon or anesthesiologist did not render proper care and that’s what caused your spouse’s death.
It can get bitter and nasty.
If you are considering a wrongful death suit you want an experienced attorney that can counter the claims of the insurance company. If you have questions on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact us Martin, Lister & Alvarez.