Late last week, a local newspaper reported that a jury awarded a total of $16 million to the families of four individuals who were killed in a helicopter accident back in 2011.
A couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, as well as a pilot, were killed near Lake Mead in the fatal accident. The crash was investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. Evidently, the Board found that there was “inadequate maintenance” of the helicopter. The investigation found that there was a faulty bolt that was not found during routine inspections.
Sundance Helicopters owned and managed the helicopter that crashed. They denied any responsibility or liability for over three years. However, a jury finally determined that the company was negligent and that its negligence caused the untimely death of these individuals.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Florida?
It is important to hire an attorney to pursue your wrongful death claim in Florida. An attorney can assist you in ensuring that all elements of a wrongful death claim have been met so that a suit is more likely to be successful.
The elements of a wrongful death claim include:
- The actions were a result of negligence, wrongful act, or a breach of a contract;
- The action or conduct must have been the cause of the death; and
- If the person had not died, he or she would have been able to bring a suit against the wrongful party for damages as a result of the injury.
Although there are only three elements, they are not often easily met. In the case discussed above, the suit went on for three years before a jury ever even heard the case. A proper complaint is the first and most crucial step in bringing a claim. Without a proper complaint and substantiation, the suit can easily be dismissed before it ever even gets heard by a jury.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Suit?
In Florida, only certain individuals can bring a wrongful death suit. Generally, the representative for the deceased person must file the suit. In most cases, a spouse is the individual to bring a wrongful death suit. The spouse may bring a suit for the loss of companionship and pain and suffering. Additionally, parents may bring a suit if their minor child was the victim of a wrongful death. Like spouses, each parent can claim pain and suffering for the loss of their child. Furthermore, the family may allege funeral and burial expenses for the loss of their loved ones as well.
Has a Loved One Passed Because of the Negligence or Wrongful Conduct of Another?
The death of a loved one can be an extremely trying and traumatizing time in your life, but having an attorney assist you with the legal aspects can lessen your burden. Please contact one of our experienced and dedicated attorneys at 352-387-8700 to set up a free initial consultation. If a loved one has passed because of the negligence of another, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and the funeral and burial expenses you incurred.
More Blog Posts:
Tampa Bay Attorney Dies in Boating Accident, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published August 20, 2014.
Tampa City Truck Driver Kills Toddler in Accident, Ocala Injury Lawyers Blog, published September 12, 2014.