Blogs By K Ryan

4 Types of Wrongful Death Cases

If you’ve lost a loved one to someone’s negligent or reckless behavior, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

Florida law states that a wrongful death lawsuit is created when someone succumbs to an injury that would have warranted a personal injury lawsuit. The law allows certain parties to sue on behalf of a decedent whose death was caused by a wrongful act, negligence, or breach of contract or warranty.

Depending on your relationship to the decedent, you may be able to get compensation for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of support, or loss of companionship in addition to funds for funeral or cremation costs.

Here are four common types of wrongful death cases.

Auto Accidents

Almost every Interstate 95 or US 19 trip involves lane shutdowns due to auto accidents. The sheer number of auto accidents and their resulting injuries makes this one of the main types of wrongful death cases. Federal data states that 36,000 people suffered fatal auto accident injuries in 2019 alone.

There seem to be countless causes for auto accidents, but recent data states that about 25% of fatal Florida auto accidents involve drunk drivers. Distracted or impaired driving is the sort of reckless and negligent behavior that underlies many wrongful death cases.

In a recent auto accident wrongful death case, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath won their client a $5.3 million settlement.

Medical Malpractice

This type of wrongful death case is created when someone dies because of a medical provider’s negligence. This negligence often appears as a medication error, surgical accident, or mistaken diagnosis that leads to someone’s death.

Medication errors can lead to fatal drug interactions. Surgical accidents can cause immediate or prolonged pain and death. A mistaken diagnosis can cause a fatal delay in life-saving treatment.

Though the avenues differ, the results are the same: a healthcare professional’s lapse in judgment or duty of care caused a preventable death.

Product Liability

Product liability refers to a manufacturer’s, wholesaler’s or retailer’s responsibility for any injuries or deaths caused by their products. While dealing with a defective product sometimes is as simple as waiting in line to make a return, some defects are serious and can cause fatal injuries.

In 2019, a Florida man using a semi-autonomous electric vehicle fatally crashed into semi truck. The family later filed a product liability wrongful death lawsuit against Tesla, alleging that the self-driving feature was defective. In 2016, a Tesla driver died in a similar crash.

In one Palm Beach product liability wrongful death case, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath won their client an $11 million settlement.

Workplace Accident

Employers are subject to premises liability, which requires them to take reasonable responsibility for ensuring worker and visitor safety. That means employers must take care to warn people of broken walkways, wet floors, or other potential hazards.

But workplaces are filled with dangers — and we don’t mean accidentally replying all to an office email or missing an important meeting with higher-ups. For example, a major risk for warehouse workers takes the form of their main mode of cargo transport: lift trucks.

Other work hazards may appear as unsafe conditions, lax adherence to safety regulations, or lack of proper equipment.

What if I’ve lost someone in a similar manner?

If you’ve lost someone you love to one of the above types of wrongful death cases, get in touch with a West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney right away.

Though it may seem like an insurmountable task when in the midst of grieving, you must file your wrongful death lawsuit within two years of your loved one’s death. There are few exceptions, such as if a federal or state entity is involved in your loved one’s death. An experienced Florida wrongful death attorney will know your options and how best to proceed.

Contact Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath today for a free wrongful death case evaluation.