Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Drunk driving is a very serious crime that causes horrific car crashes.  Often times the drunken driver reaches egregious speeds and does not keep a proper lookout, which causes very heavy impact collisions. Having represented injury victims in Florida for over a decade, I have represented many people who were injured due to drunk and intoxicated drivers.  Often times, victims of drunk drivers and their loved ones feel particularly traumatized knowing that someone acted with such reckless indifference towards their safety – that the accident “did not have to happen”.

Florida law recognizes the extremely reckless nature of crashes caused by drunk drivers and offers punitive damages to their victims. Punitive damages, as prescribed by Fla. Stat. §768.72, are a special kind of damages that are not available in most cases.  They are designed to punish those who cause injury as a result of a, “conscious disregard or indifference to the life, safety, or rights of persons exposed to such conduct.”  Florida law ensures that drunk drivers are included in
that category.

Continue Reading →

If you have recently lost a loved one due to the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of another person or business, you may be wondering about your legal rights to pursue a claim for damages against the responsible party under Florida law. Lawsuits arising from such circumstances are called wrongful death cases and are governed by the Florida Wrongful Death Act, Florida Statutes § 768.16 et seq., and other applicable laws.

When a family suffers the wrongful death of a loved one, there must first be a showing of wrongdoing by the defendant against whom the family seeks to recover. This involves a showing of negligence, a four-step test that requires proof of a duty, breach of duty, damages, and causation. Depending on the type of accident that led to the loved one’s death, there may be other elements that must be proven, but this four-prong test is at the heart of any personal injury lawsuit, including wrongful death actions.

Damages Available to Survivors under the Florida Wrongful Death Act

Once negligence is established, the question becomes the amount of damages that it will take to fully compensate the aggrieved party. In a wrongful death lawsuit, there are two types of damages that may be available. The first class of damages is those to which survivors of the deceased person may be entitled. The Act defines “survivors” as the spouse, children, parents, and, in some situations, other relatives who may have been dependent upon the deceased person for support or services. Children born outside of marriage are recognized by the Act as being the “child” of their biological mother but may not be considered the “child” of their father unless he had recognized a legal responsibility to provide support.

Continue Reading →

I received a call this week from a caring son who had lost his mother due to what he believed was a clear-cut case of medical negligence. Like any of us would, he wanted to hold the careless medical practitioner whose negligence killed his beloved mother accountable. He wanted to bring a Wrongful Death lawsuit to seek justice for his tragic loss.

While it broke my heart to do so, I had to inform this gentleman that in Florida he was prohibited from seeking damages for the death of his mother. That’s right: in the State of Florida, the adult children (25 and over) of a parent killed due to medical negligence are prohibited by law from bringing a Wrongful Death lawsuit against the medical practitioner whose negligence killed their parent (see Florida Statute 768.21(8)). Likewise, if an adult child (25 and over) dies due to medical malpractice and he or she has no spouse or children, the parents cannot seek compensation from the at-fault practitioner. It is what has become known in the legal field as a “free kill.”

Throughout the years I have had to explain to many people like the son who I mentioned earlier that there is no justice to be had in Florida for the families of certain medical malpractice victims. It is incomprehensible that a medical practitioner can literally kill someone and there is no justice to be had for the family who has lost a loved one.

Continue Reading →

Contact Information