There are situations where a person can cause the death of someone else and not wind up facing criminal charges. If your family has recently suffered a tragic loss, possibly due to a car accident or similar scenario where one person clearly has responsibility for the outcome, you may feel abandoned by the justice system if prosecutors declined to bring charges against the person who is responsible for your family’s loss.
Thankfully, just because the state hasn’t brought criminal charges doesn’t mean your family is out of options. In fact, you have the option to potentially file a wrongful death lawsuit against a person or business with direct responsibility for the death of someone you love.
Wrongful death statutes protect your family from financial losses
One of the unfairest things about one person’s negligence or misconduct causing the death of someone else is that their actions can have a ripple effect on a broader network of people who cared for and depended on the deceased.
Thankfully, Florida law specifically allows surviving dependent family members to bring legal action against a person who causes the death of someone else. Your family can seek compensation for medical and funeral costs, lost wages, lost benefits and even the loss of household services and companionship provided by your loved one.
Some cases even result in punitive damages
In situations where one person’s actions were egregiously dangerous, the courts may award punitive damages to the surviving family members of the victim in addition to compensation for provable financial losses.
Punitive damages can range from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars depending on the circumstances. However, support must see evidence of either gross negligence or willful misconduct on the part of the defendant in order to consider punitive damages.