When medical professionals make errors that result in the loss of a loved one, the emotional and financial toll on the affected family can be devastating. Florida, like many other states, recognizes the gravity of these situations and has specific laws in place to address wrongful death claims arising from medical malpractice. Understanding these laws is crucial for families seeking justice and compensation for their loss.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act
In Florida, the Wrongful Death Act provides a legal framework for pursuing compensation in cases where a person’s death is caused by the negligence, wrongful act, or default of another party. This act extends to medical malpractice cases, which involve the negligence or substandard care provided by healthcare professionals, leading to a patient’s death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Under Florida law, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate is responsible for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative is typically appointed in the deceased person’s will or by the court if there is no will. The personal representative acts on behalf of the surviving family members, including the deceased person’s spouse, children, parents, and any other blood relatives or adoptive siblings who were dependent on the deceased for support or services.
Statute of Limitations
In Florida, there is a statute of limitations for filing wrongful death lawsuits. Generally, a lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of the person’s death. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as when the cause of death was not immediately apparent or if fraudulent concealment of the malpractice occurred. It is crucial for families to consult with an experienced attorney to determine the specific timeline for their case.
Proving Medical Malpractice
To succeed in a wrongful death lawsuit involving medical malpractice, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following elements:
Duty of care: The plaintiff must establish that the healthcare professional owed a duty of care to the deceased person. This duty arises from the established patient-doctor relationship.
Breach of duty: The plaintiff must show that the healthcare professional breached the standard of care owed to the patient. This typically involves demonstrating that the care provided fell below the accepted medical standards.
Causation: The plaintiff must prove that the healthcare professional’s breach of duty directly caused or significantly contributed to the patient’s death.
Damages: The plaintiff must provide evidence of the damages suffered as a result of the wrongful death, including both economic and non-economic losses such as medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of financial support, emotional distress, and loss of companionship.
Damages and Compensation
If the plaintiff successfully proves their case, the court may award various types of damages to compensate for the losses incurred. These can include economic damages (such as medical expenses and lost income) and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering or loss of companionship). Florida law also allows for the possibility of punitive damages in cases involving gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Consulting an Attorney
Given the complex nature of wrongful death lawsuits involving medical malpractice, it is crucial for families to seek legal representation from an experienced attorney specializing in medical malpractice cases. An attorney can guide them through the legal process, gather relevant evidence, consult with medical specialists, and advocate for fair compensation on their behalf.
Losing a loved one due to medical malpractice is a devastating experience. Fortunately, Florida’s wrongful death laws provide a pathway for families to seek justice and compensation for their loss. By understanding the legal framework, proving medical malpractice, and enlisting the support of a knowledgeable attorney, families can navigate the complexities of the legal system and work towards obtaining the closure and financial security they deserve.
How can Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A help you if you have been in a wrongful death case in Florida
Losing a loved one in a wrongful death case involving medical malpractice can be an overwhelming and emotionally challenging experience. During such difficult times, having the right legal support and guidance can make a significant difference. At Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A., we understand the intricacies of Florida’s wrongful death laws and have a proven track record of advocating for families affected by medical malpractice. Our dedicated team of attorneys is here to provide compassionate assistance and fight for justice on your behalf.
Comprehensive Legal Counsel
Our firm specializes in handling wrongful death cases, particularly those related to medical malpractice, in Florida. With decades of experience, our attorneys possess a deep understanding of the complex legal processes and the necessary strategies to build strong cases. We work closely with our clients to gather crucial evidence, consult with medical specialists, and meticulously analyze the details to establish liability and seek rightful compensation.
Navigating the Legal System
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida can be a daunting task, especially when coping with grief and loss. Our compassionate attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. are committed to guiding you through every step of the legal process. We will explain your rights, outline the necessary procedures, and ensure that you meet all filing deadlines to protect your interests and preserve your claim.
Thorough Investigation and Building a Solid Case
Proving medical malpractice in a wrongful death case requires a comprehensive investigation and a strong evidentiary foundation. Our legal team leaves no stone unturned in gathering the necessary information and evidence to support your case. We work closely with medical specialists, review medical records, and consult with specialists to establish negligence and breach of duty on the part of the healthcare professionals involved. Our commitment to meticulous preparation allows us to present a compelling case on your behalf.
Negotiation and Litigation
At Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A., we are skilled negotiators and seasoned litigators. We strive to reach a fair settlement through negotiations with insurance companies and opposing counsel, aiming to secure the maximum compensation possible for your losses. However, if a fair resolution cannot be reached, our attorneys are prepared to take your case to court. We will tirelessly advocate for your rights and present a compelling case to a judge and jury, seeking the justice and compensation you deserve.
Compassion and Support
We understand that dealing with a wrongful death case is not just about the legal aspects; it is also about providing emotional support during a difficult time. Our team at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. is committed to being compassionate, empathetic, and responsive to your needs. We will be there to answer your questions, address your concerns, and support you throughout the legal process.
When faced with the devastating loss of a loved one due to medical malpractice, Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, P.A. stands ready to offer comprehensive legal counsel and unwavering support. With our experience, knowledge, and dedication, we are committed to fighting for justice and securing the compensation you deserve. Trust us to navigate the complexities of the legal system while you focus on healing and remembering your loved one. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.