Wrongful Death Claims Arising From Brain Injuries
As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) on an annual basis.1 Many of these individuals can incur significant losses due to medical costs, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. Unfortunately, about 52,000 of those TBI victims each year lose even more—their lives.
Brain injuries can lead to death in a number of ways and can either be immediate at the time of impact or can occur over time due to complications. The following are only some examples of how death may occur to a victim who sustained a traumatic brain injury:
- Infection or inflammation of brain tissue causes widespread cell death
- Bleeding or swelling in the skull causes a fatal increase in intracranial pressure2
- Aneurysms that form and burst
- Skull fractures that lead to abscesses, infections, or meningitis
- Complete deprivation of oxygen to the brain for a significant time period (known as anoxia, which can be common in drownings or birth injuries)
- Brain death, which is diagnosed after all brain functioning is irreversibly lost
How can these serious brain injuries occur?
Traumatic brain injuries can happen in a wide variety of accidents and incidents, many of which happen because another person or party acted negligently or intentionally wrongfully. Some examples of incidents that lead to a fatal brain injury can include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Ski accidents
- Sports injuries
- Birth trauma
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Assaults, stabbings, shootings, or other acts of violence
There are, of course, many other ways that a wrongful death can occur and the above are simply common examples.
Wrongful death claims in Florida
Under Florida law,3 the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can bring a wrongful death action on behalf of surviving family members including the spouse, children, parents, other qualifying blood relatives or individuals who were dependent on the deceased. There are complex limitations on recovery for certain family members and the types of damages to which they may be entitled under the law.
In addition, in order to prevail in this type of claim, the personal representative and/or surviving family members must prove that another party was negligent or that they acted in an intentional manner to cause the death. A showing of negligence require sufficient evidence to prove the following:
- The party had a duty of care to the deceased person;
- The party breached that duty of care;
- The breach of duty caused or contributed to the death; and
- The family members sustained losses as a result.
There are many types of losses available in a brain injury wrongful death case, including medical and funeral costs, loss of support and services, emotional pain and suffering, and more. In order to prove the full value of your losses, it is important to have a qualified wrongful death attorney on your side. You only have a limited time to file your claim in Florida—two years from the date of the wrongful death unless your case falls into one of the exceptions carved out in the law.
Consult with an experienced Tampa brain injury attorney as soon as possible
If your family member passed away because of a serious brain injury in a preventable accident, it is imperative that you seek assistance from a highly qualified wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Wrongful death claims can be complicated and it is imperative to be represented by a qualified brain injury lawyer who also thoroughly understands wrongful death laws in Florida.
At the Dolman Law Group, we have assisted many surviving spouses, children, and parents in Tampa in recovering financially after a wrongful death. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and, therefore, are always committed to providing the most efficient and personalized representation in each and every case. Consultations are free, so please call us today at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756