When a person is killed because of the negligence of another person, the loved ones of the dead person may be entitled to monetary compensation. Compensation can be sought out by a personal injury attorney in Florida through a wrongful death lawsuit. It must be established that the death was caused by an act of omission or negligence of the defendant before any compensation is paid.
A common problem that typically pops up after a wrongful death lawsuit is filed is the validity of an arbitration agreement. In Florida, an arbitration agreement can be enforced against the loved ones of the deceased by the defendant when a lawsuit is filed.
How Derivativeness Affects the Lawsuit
In a recent case of wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, the father of a plaintiff was admitted to the nursing home of a defendant. Before his admission, he was asked to sign a contract which included an arbitration agreement but was unable to sign. The plaintiff wrote his name on where his father was supposed to sign as a proxy.
A few days later, the resident died, and his son filed a lawsuit against the nursing home claiming that the death of his father was as a result of negligence on the part of the nursing home. The nursing home referred to the arbitration agreement the plaintiff signed insisting that the claim should have been submitted to arbitration. However, the court did not enforce the arbitration agreement as it had already determined that lawsuits for wrongful death accusations are independent and do not stand as derivatives of an underlying tort.
Derivativeness of Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Florida
Different states have different laws regarding whether or not a wrongful death lawsuit should be viewed as an independent lawsuit that is caused because of a potential violation of the rights of the plaintiff, or whether they should be treated as derivatives of an underlying tort against the deceased. The Supreme Court of Florida in 2013, ruled that wrongful deaths are derivative. However, not every arbitration agreement is valid. It is important that anyone filing a lawsuit against a nursing home contacts a personal injury attorney specialized in nursing home wrongful death cases.
If you have a loved one admitted in a nursing home in Florida, and you believe he or she is subject to abuse or neglect, it is important that you reach out to a reputable law firm specialized in representing nursing home residents in different types of nursing home lawsuit. It is your responsibility to protect the rights of your loved one. Even if your loved one dies and you suspect that the death was due to negligence, contacting a personal injury attorney is the right thing to do. The attorney will help you build a case against the nursing home.