What Is Crucial When Collecting Evidence for Wrongful Death in Florida?

May 30, 2024
Leaser Law Firm

You’ve lost a loved one in an untimely accident, and now, you’re wondering how you can seek compensation for their unfortunate demise. If you want a fair settlement, you’ll need to collect strong evidence to back up your case. A Florida wrongful death attorney explains this evidence below.

Important Evidence for Wrongful Death Claims

The quality of your evidence plays a big part in your settlement offer. Here are a few types of evidence you must gather for your claim.

The Autopsy Report

The autopsy report can reveal exactly why your loved one passed away. In Florida, autopsy reports are required after any traumatic death, regardless of the duration of hospitalization or survival. Autopsy reports are necessary for:

  • Child deaths
  • Suspected suicides
  • Police custody deaths
  • Violent deaths (strangulations, stabbings, drownings, poisonings, etc.)

Photos and Video Footage of the Accident Scene

Pictures and video footage of the accident scene can show precisely how the accident happened and reveal the moments leading up to the accident. If the deceased perished in a car accident, this evidence may prove that they were not at fault for the crash.

Medical Treatment Records

Wrongful death claims allow you to recover damages for your loved one’s final medical bills. You can use your loved one’s final medical treatment records to tie their death to the at-fault party’s negligence.

These records might include:

  • Medications and dosages
  • Physician’s notes
  • Surgeries
  • Lab test results

Accident Reports

Accident reports can reveal critical details about your loved one’s accident. In addition to the police report, you may be able to request copies of reports from other investigating agencies. Your Florida wrongful death attorney can identify these agencies and request accident reports on your behalf.

Witness Statements

Witness statements can serve as powerful evidence in a wrongful death case. Your lawyer will attempt to locate anyone who might have witnessed the accident and ask for their statement.

Proof of Your Financial Loss

Losing a loved one can have a devastating impact on your household’s finances. To win a fair settlement, you must gather proof of financial impact, such as:

  • Copies of your loved one’s recent pay stubs
  • Copies of bills that you’re struggling to pay because of the deceased’s death
  • Proof of lost earning potential

Proving Wrongful Death

To win your wrongful death case, your lawyer must prove these elements:

  • The at-fault party had a duty of care to your loved one.
  • The at-fault party breached that duty of care, resulting in your loved one’s death.
  • You and other survivors of the decedent have suffered financial losses as a result of the death.

So, what does “duty of care” mean? That depends on the relationship between the decedent and the at-fault party. For example:

  • Drivers have a duty to obey traffic laws and drive safely.
  • Doctors have a duty to do no harm to patients.
  • Nursing homes have a duty to protect the health and safety of residents.
  • Manufacturers have a duty to produce safe, non-defective products that won’t harm consumers.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Common causes of wrongful death include:

  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice (surgical errors, medication mistakes, etc.)
  • Birth injuries
  • Nursing home neglect and abuse
  • Defective products
  • Default or breach of contract or warranty

We’ll Help You Seek Justice for the Death of a Loved One

If you wish to fully recover damages for your loved one’s passing, reach out to Leaser Law Firm. Scott A. Leaser, Esq., can help you gather critical evidence and prove your cherished family member passed away from the at-fault party’s negligence.

For a free consultation with a Florida wrongful death attorney, call (954) 233-3515.