Wrongful Cremation in Florida
Having worked with countless grieving Florida families over the years, we at Ginnis, Krathen, & Zelnick, P.A. know how devastating it can be to lose someone you love. Having to go through the preparations of a burial or cremation for your loved one can be emotionally exhausting and stressful, but it’s also often the one time your family has to say goodbye together. It can be especially traumatizing, then, when your funeral home or mortuary is negligent and doesn’t give your family the care you deserve. If your family has experienced what is known as funeral home negligence, you need quality legal representation to resolve your conflict and help you to move on. Our Fort Lauderdale wrongful cremation lawyers are available to assess each component of your claim and secure the compensation you need. You can trust us to focus on the details of your case while you begin the healing process with your loved ones.
Contact us online or by phone today for accessible and honest service at (954) 905-4600. Our successful track record speaks volumes about our commitment to our clients’ well-being.
Common Types of Crematory Mistakes
When selecting a funeral home to cremate your loved one, it’s only natural that you should expect the home to give you the most compassionate and deserving care, especially during such a challenging time. Unfortunately, funeral homes can make mistakes just like another driver or medical professional. When a mistake is made and you believe negligence has occurred, it’s important to call our attorneys immediately to investigate the situation, even if you’re unsure whether you have a valid claim.
There are a certain number of steps funeral homes must take in order to provide families with a standard of care. For example, in most states, there is an in-depth identification process that requires keeping identification tags with bodies, completing paperwork, and labeling the crematory.
However, there is a lot that can go wrong during the holding process. Wrongful cremation can include the following:
- Cremating the wrong body
- Loss of body or remains
- Mislabeling remains so the ashes go to the wrong family
- Mixing of ashes of multiple individuals
- Failure to properly cremate the body
In addition to the things that can go wrong in the cremation process, some funeral homes have also been known to take advantage of vulnerable families by overcharging for services or recommending unnecessary services in order to make more money. And, in some rare cases, funeral homes have been caught selling bodies and body parts.
What to Do If a Funeral Home Has Been Negligent
If you notice or suspect that a funeral home has been negligent in handling your loved one’s body or remains, there are certain steps you must take if you wish to recover damages and hold the funeral home responsible. Acting quickly is imperative, as any evidence of misconduct or negligence in wrongful cremation cases can be destroyed in the time it takes you to get started on your case.
Individuals who suspect negligence has occurred can follow the following steps:
- Hold onto all your documents: The more evidence you have of your transactions and correspondence with the funeral home, the better. Keep your payment plans, receipts, emails, and other documentation safe in one place.
- Write down anything you can remember: If you don’t have physical receipts of your communication with the funeral home staff, be sure to jot down anything you can remember, as well as details that may suggest misconduct took place.
- Hire a lawyer: Wrongful cremation is, unfortunately, more common than most people would think, and our lawyers have experience helping families through the process. If you wish to recover damages and hold your funeral home accountable for their actions, it’s important to hire an attorney.
Hiring an Attorney is Imperative in Florida
When your family files a wrongful cremation claim, you may be able to recover the costs of the cremation as well as the emotional distress your family has been forced to endure. However, it can be difficult to prove you deserve compensation for emotional distress because of Florida’s Impact Rule. This rule prevents surviving family members from recovering damages for emotional injuries if they haven’t also suffered physical injuries. For example, a person may be able to recover compensation if they suffered a heart attack or some other physical ailment after watching their loved one die.
Even though it can be difficult to recover damages for emotional distress, it’s not impossible. When you call our team, we can sit down with you in a confidential, one-on-one consultation so we can learn more about your situation and what you’re going through. Having to lose someone you love is hard enough; being unable to get the sendoff you deserve is unspeakable.