What is Florida’s Wrongful Death Act? How Does It Work?

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What is Florida’s Wrongful Death Act? How Does It Work? These are two excellent questions. In Florida, wrongful death cases are governed by Chapter 768, Florida Statutes and related case law. Chapter 768 sets forth in detail who can bring forth a legal action for the wrongful death of a family member, and what damages can be pursued, what persons qualify as beneficiaries or survivors in a wrongful death case.
Interpreting and understanding the details and nuances of Chapter 768, Florida Statutes and other laws pertaining to a Florida Wrongful Death Case can be very complex and difficult. Because of this, it is important for surviving family members to consult with a Florida Wrongful Death Attorney for consultation, advice, and legal representation regarding these matters. Businesses and insurance companies have their own attorneys and so should a family member dealing with the stressful aftermath of the wrongful death of a loved one.
Florida laws pertaining to wrongful death are not necessarily fair or rational. Some of the provisions of Florida’s Wrongful Death Act have been challenged on constitutional grounds but most have failed. The statutory scheme set forth by the Florida legislature is the law of Florida and must be followed in order to be able to pursue a claim for compensation and damages when a loved one dies due to the fault or negligenct of a person, business, or government.
The standard of proof in a Florida Wrongful Death case is similar to that of other civil cases. The Plaintiff must prove the facts supporting the elements of the wrongful death case by a preponderance of the evidence. This is the more likely than not standard of proof which is different that the proof required in a criminal case. The standard in criminal cases that a prosecutor must satisfy is beyond a reasonable doubt. While the standard of proof is not as strict in a civil case, it can often times be challenging to prove that negligence was the cause of death in a civil case. In most cases, there will be expert testimony from medical experts to support the proposition that the death was most likely caused by the negligent act or conduct of others.

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