Can Survivors Pursue Wrongful Death Claims when a Criminal Act Causes the Death of a Loved One?
Florida law recognizes the rights of families to pursue a wrongful death claim whenever they lose a loved one due to any wrongful act of another party. These acts include negligence, such as drunk driving or medical malpractice. However, they also include criminal actions that result in death, even if the wrongdoer did not intend to kill. These situations typically involve both a criminal and a civil case. An experienced wrongful death attorney can guide families in Tampa through this stressful period in their lives.
The unfortunate truth is that families who lose a loved one due to the wrongful act of another party can face extensive medical bills in addition to the loss of income and funeral expenses. However, the stated intent of the Florida Wrongful Death Act is to shift the burden of these losses from the survivors of the decedent to the wrongdoer. The Act permits immediate family members and other relatives fully or partially dependent on the decedent to pursue damages from any party who causes their loss due to a negligent or other wrongful act.
It is important to understand that criminal trials and civil trials represent separate and distinct legal actions. A vital difference between the two involves the evidence needed to effectively prove a case. Criminal trials require evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, but civil cases require only a preponderance of evidence. Thus, even when wrongdoers are acquitted of all criminal charges, a skilled Tampa wrongful death lawyer may still effectively hold them liable in wrongful death cases.
No amount of compensation can replace the loss of a loved one. However, the attorneys at Larson Johnson, P.L. can help families recover past expenses and future anticipated damages when the wrongful act of another causes a painful loss. Call us for a free initial consultation to discuss your situation.