The Florida Wrongful Death Act allows family members to pursue damages following the death of a loved one. Wrongful death claims can be brought against business entities, and employers can be forced to defend themselves if unsafe working conditions led to an employee’s death.
In this article, a Miami construction litigation attorney discusses wrongful death claims and common legal defenses. If your company is preparing to defend against a wrongful death claim, consult the experienced attorneys from Cotney Construction Law.
The Wrongful Death Act
As stipulated by the Florida Wrongful Death Act, the intent of the law is to “shift the losses resulting when wrongful death occurs from the survivors of the decedent to the wrongdoer.” Therefore, survivors — spouse, children, and parents, for example — are entitled to damages, which can range from mental pain and suffering to the loss of potential earnings. In addition to dealing with an inspection from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) following a death, construction companies may be held liable for damages from a wrongful death claim.
Related: OSHA Priorities in 2020
Defending Against Wrongful Death Claims
As an employer, it is your responsibility to foster a safe work environment, abide by state and federal safety regulations, and provide employees with the proper safety training and equipment. Assuming you’ve lived up to your responsibilities as an employer, you should not be held liable for a fatal accident.
There are a number of moving parts on every jobsite, and any one or all of them could have contributed to the death. Until a Miami construction litigation attorney reviews the evidence, you won’t know for sure if the death was caused by the negligence of a subcontractor, the failure of OSHA required equipment, or another factor beyond your control.
Related: Criminal Sanctions and OSHA
Partner With an Attorney
Although a person’s life is priceless, Florida courts will assign damages if wrongful death is proven, often to the tune of millions of dollars. If your company is facing a wrongful death claim, consult the experienced Miami construction litigation attorneys from Cotney Construction Law for guidance. Our legal team can review the specifics of your case and develop an effective defense. The death of an employee is undoubtedly tragic; however, you should not be held liable for a death that you were not responsible for.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.