If you have suffered the loss of a family member and you believe it was the result of somebody else’s actions you need to consult with a wrongful death lawyer in Fort Lauderdale. In Florida the definition of wrongful death appears to be pretty simple. The language is straight forward and easy to understand. In order to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit you have to show cause and in Florida that means:
- The conduct of the defendant 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.
These elements all seem to be able to be answered with a “yes or no” but unfortunately that’s not the case. In fact one of the greatest hurdles to initiating a wrongful death lawsuit and/or carrying the case through litigation are challenges from the defendant that “cause” has not been proven. Each of the elements can be picked apart and creative defense theories claiming there is no cause can be argued. For example a pedestrian is struck and seriously injured while crossing legally in a crosswalk. The motorist is clearly negligent in the operation of his or her automobile. The pedestrian then dies of a heart attack while in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Did the motorist cause the death or did the pedestrian’s preexisting heart disease cause it? Generally speaking, wrongful death suits seek significant financial awards which serve to motivate the defendant’s lawyer to test every argument he or she may have and to drag out the negotiations in hopes that the plaintiff will settle for less. In Florida the definition of wrongful death is really as clear as a swampy piece of the Everglades. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing a wrongful death lawyer make certain that the firm has extensive experience in this type of lawsuit and that they have the resources to carry the fight for an extended period of time. This is not a job for a generalist or a specialist in another area of the law.