Those who have recently suffered from the death of a family member or spouse wonder if they should insist on getting an autopsy carried out to file a Gainesville wrongful death case. The simple answer is that an autopsy is definitely critical for proving a wrongful death case; however, it isn’t legally required. To be precise, the wrongful death statute of Florida doesn’t require an autopsy be carried out, but it is certainly difficult to prove the cause of death without the results of an autopsy.
When a lawyer evaluates a potential wrongful death claim, the first thing he/she needs to do is determine the cause of death. Once the cause of death is determined then 2 very important questions must be answered:
1. Was the death preventable?
2. Was the death caused by negligence?
Is There Any Way an Autopsy Can Assist the Case of a Wrongful Death?
An autopsy offers definitive evidence regarding the cause of death. Autopsies are thorough examinations of the external body (bruises, cuts, punctures, signs of trauma, etc.) and internal body (organs, disease, tissue samples, etc.). What’s more, the written report of an autopsy is significantly more descriptive concerning the cause of death as compared to a death certificate, which may be vague or list chronic conditions.
In a case where a patient is administered the wrong medication or incorrect dose, a toxicology report can determine the types of medication(s) administered and the amount present in the body at the time of death. For example, the cause of death may be listed as cardiac arrest; however, the amount or type of medication administered could have caused the death versus natural causes. An autopsy would provide the scientific evidence needed to answer the question as to how the individual died.
If I Get the Autopsy Carried Out, Is It Possible for Me to File a Lawsuit for Wrongful Death?
Getting an autopsy performed on your loved one can provide you with the answers you need to either file a wrongful death lawsuit or provide you with much needed closure. Unfortunately, the decision to obtain an autopsy must be made quickly at a time when the family is grieving.
If you’re considering bringing a wrongful death lawsuit, you need an experienced Gainesville personal injury lawyer who understands the law and the needs of grieving families. At the Law Office of Laurie D. Mitchell, we can help you make difficult decisions. Contact our law firm today at 352-371-9828.