In the State of Florida, an accidental death refers to the death of an individual that was not intentionally caused.
For example, state employees receive benefits including accidental death and dismemberment insurance. This coverage provides a death benefit to families if the state law enforcement employee dies accidentally during the course of duty.
In civil law, an accidental death can still be deemed the fault of someone else, even if that person did not act in a way as to intentionally cause the victim’s death. Florida Statutes § 768.16-768.26 provide a path to compensation for the families or estate of accidental death victims by way of filing a lawsuit against parties allegedly negligent or liable for the circumstances leading to the accidental death.
For instance, if someone named Debbie tragically passed as a result of an industrial accident, and Carol was determined to have allowed for unacceptable lapses in safety to occur, Carol could possibly be deemed partially or fully liable for the accidental death under Florida’s Wrongful Death Law.
However, the victims’ survivors must prove through a preponderance of evidence that the accident resulted from the negligence of another. So, if Carol was responsible for safety measures only up to a certain point but someone else lapsed in their duty of care, then she may not be as responsible for Debbie’s accidental death as her survivors allege.
These laws make proving accidental death liability a matter of assembling evidence that clearly demonstrates that someone was aware of dangers or given responsibility over removing dangers and failed to do so in a measurable way that directly led to the victim’s death.