8 Most Common Wrongful Death Cases in Florida

by Apr 22, 2021Wrongful Death

8 Most Common Wrongful Death Cases in Florida

by Apr 22, 2021Wrongful Death

8 Most Common Wrongful Death Cases in Florida
8 Most Common Wrongful Death Cases in Florida

There is a difference between wrongful death, homicide, and murder. In all three situations, someone loses their life. However, with wrongful death, the person’s death was caused by negligence or the wrongful acts of another.

It is difficult to prove liability in a wrongful death case. First, it must be established that the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased person. Second, you have to prove that the defendant breached that duty of care. A breach is caused by either not acting or refusing to act with reasonable care. Third, it must be shown that the breach of duty is the reason the victim died.

The following are eight of the most common types of wrongful death cases in Florida.

1. Motor Vehicle Crashes

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, on average, there are 770 crashes daily. These result in an average of 2,255 deaths each year in Florida.

According to the CDC, Floridians incur around $40 million in medical expenses and more than $3 billion in lost work because of motor vehicle-related fatalities. In Florida, a disproportionately large number of fatal accidents involve younger people.

It is easy to think that “accidents happen.” However, nothing is farther from the truth. Every fatal car accident, even if it is 100 percent unintentional, is preventable. Understandably, people would give everything they have to bring their loved ones back. And losing a loved one, especially someone who was a breadwinner, will have a long-term traumatic impact on the family.

Families shouldn’t have to worry about bankruptcy, foreclosure, or other serious financial consequences because their loved one was the victim of a car accident. Wrongful death suits help family members cover things like burial expenses, emotional suffering, medical bills, and present and future financial losses.

2. Wrongful Death Cases in Florida from Workplace Accidents

Workers in Florida face several risks. Construction work is one of the most dangerous fields. Those who work in the manufacturing fieldwork with heavy machinery and face the possibility of fatal mechanical injuries or crush injuries. Even ordinary office environments can put employees at risk with long-term toxic exposures, slip and fall injuries, and other fatal accidents.

3. Pedestrian Accidents

Many common wrongful death cases in the state of Florida are because of pedestrian accidents. All it takes is for a driver to lose concentration momentarily for them to collide with a pedestrian.

A midsize car weighs about 3,360 pounds. The average SUV weighs around 3,500 pounds. They are made of metal, hardened plastic, and other durable materials. When a vehicle of this size is moving at any speed, it poses a danger to unprotected pedestrians. Accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles result in serious injury for the pedestrian and often death.

Many of these accidents are caused by distracted drivers not being completely aware of their surroundings. They are eating while driving, putting on makeup while driving, or using their cell phone behind the wheel.

Some motorists fail to follow traffic laws. For example, they might speed, fail to yield to pedestrians, and don’t stop at intersections.

In Florida, drivers are required to have a driver’s license and to follow the rules of the road. Drivers may breach their duty to pedestrians if they are texting while driving, ignoring traffic signals, or just driving too fast for the road conditions they are dealing with.

4. Defective Products

Defective products lead to many wrongful death cases in Florida. These defective products include everything from vehicle parts to toxic foods to defective child’s products.

Defective medications can cause fatalities in several ways. The drug could be improperly manufactured or contaminated during the manufacturing process. It could be improperly designed, leading to fatal side effects. Or drug manufacturers could fail to warn people of potentially fatal side effects or fail to provide the right instructions or recommendations for how the drug is used.

These same principles apply to other defective products. The parts of children’s toys and other products can cause harm to children if they are not built with child safety in mind. If a part of a vehicle is defective, it could cause a fatal accident.

5. Slip and Fall (Premises Liability)

According to the United States Bureau of Labor report from 2017, Florida has a higher percentage of workplace slip and fall fatalities (21 percent) than the national average (17 percent).

Slip and fall accidents can occur virtually anywhere. Some of the more common locations for them to happen include:

  • Bars
  • Construction areas
  • Curbs
  • Escalators or moving sidewalks
  • Grocery stores, especially when the floor is wet
  • Nightclubs
  • Public restrooms
  • Restaurants
  • Shopping malls
  • Slippery areas around swimming pools
  • Stationary sidewalks

If a loved one dies because of a slip and fall accident, family members can bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. There is a two years statute of limitations for making such a claim. The two years are from the time the person who slipped and fell died. It is not from the time of the accident if the two dates are different.

These statutes apply to claims against commercial or private property. There are different statutes that apply if a person slips and falls on government property.

6. Medical Malpractice Is Behind Many Wrongful Death Cases in Florida

Medical professionals are trusted to provide people with proper care. Most medical professionals in Florida have the best interests of their patients in mind. However, some medical professionals make mistakes or fail to adhere to established protocol. Medical malpractice is behind many common wrongful death cases in the state of Florida.

When these negligent actions or errors lead to preventable fatalities, the medical professional could be held liable for medical malpractice. Medical professionals must provide a reasonable standard of care for their patients.

Medical malpractice or neglect comes in several varieties. It includes delayed or incorrect treatment, pharmaceutical errors, defective medical devices, hospital negligence, misdiagnoses, birth injuries, surgical errors, lack of informed consent, and pharmaceutical errors.

7. Poisoning and Overdoses

While these cases are increasing, not every poisoning or overdose qualifies for a wrongful death claim. However, prescription medications and illegal narcotics may cause fetal harm. They could be a necessary element of a wrongful death claim.

For example, if a person lost a loved one because of an opioid overdose, they may take legal action against those responsible for the loved one’s addiction. If the addiction developed because of an opioid prescription, there is a chance the loved ones may sue the medical professional who gave the prescription for medical malpractice or sue the pharmaceutical company responsible for the manufacturing of the drug that got them addicted.

8. Drowning

Florida is one of the most dangerous locations in the nation for drowning. The ocean, water parks, and swimming pools, especially for small children, pose a real and present danger. Residential swimming pools are the riskiest. They account for 17 out of 20 drowning death.

Making a wrongful death claim following a drowning is complex. Where the incident happened will influence how the case proceeds. Premise liability claims may be brought against owners of private property. However, claims against public swimming pools or government agencies are more complex.

If your loved one has died because of someone else’s negligence, it can be difficult to know what steps to take. You know you deserve compensation for your loss, but knowing how to go about getting it can seem overwhelming.

Fortunately, the wrongful death attorneys at Bodden & Bennett Law Group can help you. You can discuss the death of your loved one with them in a free and no-pressure consultation. If they take your case, there are no upfront fees. They are paid only when and if you receive compensation for your loss.

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