Wrongful death lawsuits are based on the survivors’ rights to file a claim that would be available to the victim had they not died. Therefore, most defenses available in other personal injury matters are available in these cases. The usage and availability of defenses depend on the case’s circumstances and upon state law. Below are some defenses commonly used in wrongful death lawsuits.
To hold a defendant legally responsible for someone’s wrongful death, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s behavior caused the death. A cause doesn’t need to be direct, but there must be a link between the death and the defendant’s conduct. If there is no causal link, the defendant will not be held liable.
This defense can only be used if a defendant had reasonable belief that they were in danger of bodily harm or loss of life. Even if the defendant’s belief is subjective, it must be reasonable for a self-defense claim to succeed.
Some defendants cite release agreements as a wrongful death defense. Although such an agreement may protect the defendant from a suit based on simple negligence, it doesn’t protect them from a gross negligence claim.
The Decedent’s Unlawful Acts
If a decedent was committing a crime at the time of his or her death, their beneficiaries cannot file a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Davie FL. This defense is based on the idea that society should not reward those who commit unlawful acts.
Where the “assumption of risk” defense is permitted, defendants can assert that the victim assumed the risks associated with their behavior. For the defense to succeed, a decedent must know the dangers involved in an action but proceed anyway.
A defendant can claim a plaintiff’s contributory negligence if that person’s actions contributed to the death. A contributory negligence claim can prevent beneficiaries from making a recovery in a wrongful death lawsuit unless a defendant acted maliciously, wantonly, or intentionally.
Is it Necessary to Hire a Lawyer for a Wrongful Death Case?
Whether a client is a defendant or the plaintiff in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Davie FL, it is vital to have a lawyer’s help in disseminating the legal concepts associated with the above defenses. By hiring the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff P.A., one can ensure that the proper legal remedy is applied.
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