Is an autopsy required in order to pursue a Florida Wrongful Death case on behalf of a parent who has lost a child? In the State of Florida, a wrongful death case is governed by Chapter 768, Florida Statutes and related case law which set forth the elements of a case. The burden of proof is on the parents, through their attorney, to prove each element of the case to be entitled to an award or settlement for the damages related to the Florida Wrongful Death of a child.
Often times, as a child Florida Child Injury Lawyer, I am asked if an autopsy is required in order to pursue a wrongful death case involving the untimely and preventable death of a child. The simple answer to this to this issue is No. An autopsy is not required under Florida law as an element in the Florida statutes and case law to pursue a Florida Wrongful Death case; however, it should be noted that the Plaintiff, otherwise known as the Estate of the deceased child, has the burden of proof to show that the death of the child was the proximate cause of the negligent acts of another person, business, or government agency. While an autopsy is not required per se, it may be helpful to have an autopsy completed in order to help prove that the death was caused by the negligence of others. If an autopsy is not performed, the cause of death may be able to be proved by other facts, circumstances, testimony, and evidence. The Estate of the deceased child in a Florida Wrongful Death case can present medical records, accident records, and expert testimony of medical witnesses to prove the cause and mechanism of the death of the child.
Because a wrongful death case in the proof regarding the same can be quite complicated it is important for a parent to contact a Florida Child Injury Lawyer as soon as practical to review the case and to get advice as to potential causes of actions.
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