The Victim’s Age and Marital Status Should Not Matter in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
What is the best age to lose a child? What is the best way to die an untimely death? These are unanswerable questions. The pain of losing an immediate family member is immeasurable, no matter their age and marital status. Unfortunately, Florida law does not see it that way. When it comes to wrongful death lawsuits where the victim died as a result of medical malpractice, the law only allows you to sue if the victim had a dependent spouse or children or was younger than 25. The law went into effect 30 years ago, in an attempt to stem the rising costs of healthcare by protecting doctors and hospitals from medical malpractice lawsuits that would drive up the cost of their insurance. One Florida family has finally challenged the law, but if you have lost a loved one because of medical malpractice, you can’t afford to sit around and just wait for the law to change. A South Florida wrongful death attorney can discuss your options with you.
The Marine, the Stepdaughter, and a Case of Gross Injustice
The victim in this case was a 32-year-old man who had served in the U.S. Marine Corps and seen combat during the Iraq War. He was engaged to be married and regarded his fiancée’s daughter as his stepdaughter. In January 2019, he was involved in a motorcycle accident in which he broke his leg. He went immediately to the hospital, where the doctors determined that he needed surgery. The surgery kept getting postponed, while the patient remained hospitalized, and he died before the surgery could be performed. He was not attached to a monitor while awaiting surgery, so it is not possible to know when is the last possible moment that the surgery could have been done in order to save his life.
His parents attempted to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, but they were told that such a lawsuit would not be accepted. Their son was older than 25, but he was not married, nor did he have biological or adopted children. In other words, he did not fit previous generations’ definition of a son in the springtime of his life or of a head of household. The family’s attorney drafted a bill that would allow parents to file lawsuits related to their children’s medical malpractice-related deaths, regardless of the age of the adult son or daughter. The underlying principle is that no one, regardless of age, should predecease their parents. The fact that the Marine was in his 30s does not diminish his parents’ loss, nor does it lessen the hospital’s responsibility to uphold the standard of care.
Let an Attorney Help You Today
A wrongful death attorney can help you seek justice if one of your close family members has died an untimely, preventable death. You may be able to recover damages for your suffering. Contact Palm Beach wrongful death attorney Scott Smith for a consultation.