Wrongful Death FAQs
West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Attorney | Fetterman & Associates, PA
Q: My fiancée was seriously hurt in a drunk driving accident in West Palm Beach. He later died in the hospital. Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit against the drunk driver who caused the crash?
A: First, we want to extend our condolences for your loss. We can only imagine how difficult this time must be for you.
In Florida, the “survivors” who can obtain damages in a wrongful death suit include the surviving spouse, children and parents, as well as blood relatives or adopted siblings who are dependant on the decedent for support or services.
Unfortunately, the Florida Wrongful Death Statute does not list a fiancée as an eligible survivor. Our wrongful death lawyers at Fetterman & Associates advocate on behalf of family members in this situation. Contact us online or call 561-845-2510 today to see how we can help.
Q: How is “wrongful death” different from murder?
A: Unlike a murder case, a Florida wrongful death case is usually a result of negligence. A person has died as a result of neglect or by the direct actions of another.
Murder is legally defined as the killing of another human being with malicious intent. Many wrongful deaths are caused accidentally, and are therefore not malicious. This is taken into consideration into the way the cases are tried: murder is a criminal offense, while wrongful death is argued in a civil lawsuit.
A wrongful death may arise as a result of Florida medical malpractice. For instance, if a doctor failed to perform adequate testing for a condition and a patient died as a result, the patient’s survivors could sue for wrongful death. The doctor could not be tried for murder, as the failure to provide testing was not purposeful, and the doctor did not intend to cause harm.
A murder case may also arise if there is a possibility for gain. A wrongful death case may develop into a murder case, such as a loved one in a Florida nursing home left to die intentionally after leaving a substantial amount to a hospital attendant in his will. However, such cases are rare and are usually due to simple neglect.
Just because your loved one was killed in an accident does not mean there is no fault. If someone you love has died as a result of negligence, contact Fetterman & Associates for advice from an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney.
Q: Can a doctor be held responsible for misdiagnosed cancer?
A: Every day, we rely on doctors to know more than we do. Never is this more important than when we go in for a cancer screening-when we are told we are cancer-free, we will believe the diagnosis and go about our lives.
This is why a West Palm Beach Cancer Misdiagnosis is a particularly harmful form of medical malpractice. A patient’s chances of survival are severely reduced as the stages of cancer progress. For example, a patient being treated for late-stage cancer has 80% less chance of survival than a patient whose cancer was detected early.
Doctors may be held liable if they have:
- Demonstrated a poor standard of care
- Misread or misinterpreted test results
- Failed to biopsy, aspirate or test a suspicious lump to rule out a breast cancer diagnosis
- Declined to order hospital scans or further testing because it was “unnecessary” or “expensive”
If your doctor’s negligence delayed your cancer treatment, we can help you seek justice and stop your physician from making the same mistake again. Contact Fetterman & Associates today to get started on your West Palm Beach medical malpractice case.