How Wrongful Death Lawsuits Work

A wrongful death claim in Tampa is a special type of personal injury lawsuit which is made when someone has been killed through the negligence or intentional act of another party. It is important that you understand how this claim works and what processes it will go through. The suit can be filed by a representative of the estate, on behalf of the surviving family members or by another affected party through the assistance of a personal injury attorney Tampa .

When Can A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Be Filed?

A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed when the victim was killed due to negligence or an intentional harmful act by the defendant in the Tampa area. There are a number of situations that this will cover. The first is when the victim has been intentionally killed and this can be proven through premeditation.

The second is when the victim has died as a result of medical negligence. This will cover times when a doctor has failed to correctly diagnose a condition or when the doctor was careless in the care that was provided. The wrongful death lawsuit in these cases will be brought against the doctor.

A lawsuit can also be filed when the victim is killed due to a car accident involving negligence on the part of the other driver. This will cover victims killed at the scene and those who pass away from the injuries they sustained during the accident.

What Will Need To Be Proven?

When filing a wrongful death lawsuit through your Tampa personal injury lawyer from the Accident Injury Law group, the same burden of proof will rest on the plaintiff as when a personal injury claim is made with the Tampa court system. The plaintiff in the case will need to prove that the defendant was negligent in their actions and that this is the direct cause of the death of the victim. They will also need to show that if due care had been taken by the defendant then the victim would still be alive. The plaintiff will also need to prove that the death of the victim was the cause of the damages that they are trying to recover in the lawsuit.

How To Prove Fault

When filing a claim you will need to prove that there was a duty of care provided by the defendant to the victim. The exact definition of due care will vary depending on the case it generally relates to a duty of keeping someone safe or refraining from doing someone harm. In these cases, it is a judge and not a jury that will make the final decision on whether or not the defendant owed the victim a duty a due care.

Once a duty of due care has been established you will need to prove a breach of the duty. Evidence will need to be provided to show that due care was breached. The evidence required will vary depending on the case, but the plaintiff will need to be able to convince the judge that their version of events is more than 50% true.

The plaintiff will also have to prove causation which means that the breach of duty by the defendant led to the death of the victim. Depending on the case the issue of causation can be very complex and difficult to prove. Once this has been done the plaintiff will need to prove that the death of the victim has caused the damages that they are looking to recover.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The wrongful death claim will generally be filed by the representative of the victim’s estate on behalf of the surviving family. Who is classed as the surviving family will differ depending on the state and the estate claims. All states will allow a spouse to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the victim. The parents of a minor will also be able to bring a claim if their child is killed. Minors will also be able to file a claim and collect compensation for the death of their parents.

The point where states start to disagree is when the parents of an adult child look to file a claim and when adult children look to file a claim. The states also disagree on grown siblings filing a wrongful death suit and whether the rights will extend to cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles. A rule of thumb is that the more distant the relation to the victim the harder it will be to show that the death has affected the plaintiff.