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When the negligent behavior or misconduct of a person results in the death of another person, the family of the deceased have a right to file a wrongful death suit against the responsible party. Wrongful death suits are often filed after a criminal trial, but they can technically be filed whenever a person suspects negligence contributed to the death of a loved one.

Even if a person is found not guilty by a criminal court, they can still be found guilty of wrongful death. If you or someone you love is considering filing suit against a person or company, contact a Jacksonville wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek the amount of damages you deserve.

Important Elements of a Wrongful Death Case

A Jacksonville wrongful death lawyer can prove an individual died due to the careless or reckless behavior of another person if they can establish the following facts in court:

  • A human being has died
  • The death of the human being in question was directly or indirectly caused by the negligence of another person
  • The death of an individual causes their family to suffer financially
  • The person filing suit is a representative for the estate of the deceased individual

Who Has a Case?

An individual may file a wrongful death suit if their loved one died under the following circumstances:

  • Death during a monitored or supervised activity
  • Automobile or public transportation accident
  • Death on the job
  • Criminal activity

In the vast majority of cases, only the parent, spouse, or child of the deceased individual may file a wrongful death suit. In all of the situations listed above, individuals or companies have an obligation to ensure the safety of another to some degree. For example, a company has an obligation to ensure their workers have the safety training and gear necessary to do their job. If a worker dies because they did not have adequate protective gear, the family of the worker could potentially file a wrongful death claim against the employer.

Pecuniary vs. Punitive Damages

After a person dies, their family will have to deal with a lack of income, which can lead to immense financial hardship. If this occurs, the court may decide to award pecuniary damages to the family of the deceased. These damages are measurable and are meant to cover costs stemming from medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and funeral expenses.

The amount the family receives will depend on the expenses they endured, as well as the salary and earning potential of their deceased loved one. The amount awarded will also include interest. In addition to pecuniary damages, the court may also award punitive damages to the family of the deceased. Punitive damages, as their name implies, are awarded in an effort to punish the responsible party for their wrongdoings.

They are also intended to ease the pain and suffering of the family. Punitive damages are not measurable in the same way as pecuniary damages. If a person hopes to obtain punitive damages, they may need to speak with their Jacksonville wrongful death lawyer.

Hiring a Lawyer

If you believe the death of your loved one was caused by the negligence of another person, please contact a Jacksonville wrongful death lawyer. Local attorneys have extensive experience handling wrongful death cases, and dedicate their time pursuing the appropriate recovery for potential clients.