Every state has statutes on the books that frame the conditions under which a wrongful death suit may be filed. In Florida the relevant language that needs to be referred to can be found in sections 768.16 through 768.26 of the state law dealing with torts.
You are certainly welcome to visit that link of the Florida Legislature's website to try to get a grasp of what the law allows. But we think the chances are good that unless you have a legal education, you might find the language a bit hard to understand.
Wrongful death claims are sensitive matters. And it is difficult to pursue them effectively unless you understand the law and can exercise some level of emotional detachment from the circumstances that resulted in the tragedy occurring in the first place.
That's something that is nearly impossible for loved ones of a victim to do. Not only are they sure to be in deep grief over their loss, but they typically are not in a position to fully comprehend the many facets of life that will be affected. This is one of the key reasons why it's so important for anyone who thinks they may have a case to work closely with an attorney who has the skills and proper resources.
Every state's laws are different and those laws are subject to change as courts interpret them over time. But here are some general standards, as explained by FindLaw, that tend to be required in supporting a wrongful death suit.
- The death of the victim must have been the result of the negligence or reckless conduct of another person. That person could be a doctor, employer, service provider, criminal or even the chaperone of a supervised activity.
- There must be surviving family members who will suffer financially because of the death.
- A duly appointed personal representative of the victim's estate must bring the suit.
These are only a few of the conditions that are necessary. Other issues are sure to spark more questions and they deserve answers rooted in care and compassion.