A loved one’s sudden death is always a traumatic event. It can be even more shocking when their death was caused by another person’s carelessness. You may feel helpless. It might even feel like there’s no way to hold that party responsible. The wrongful death statute in Florida helps prevent situations like these. Florida’s wrongful death laws help hold people responsible for wrongfully causing the death of another. The wrongful death act also helps to provide financial compensation to a deceased person’s loved ones.
Defining Wrongful Death in Florida
In Florida, a wrongful death occurs when a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence. Negligence can mean causing death through a wrongful act. Wrongful death can also mean causing a person’s death through violation of a contract or warranty.
If you have lost a loved one and believe it may be due to the actions of another party, you or your family may be considering legal action. Under the Florida wrongful death laws, a person’s survivors or estate may bring a civil suit for wrongful death in Florida. If you’re successful in your lawsuit, you may be able to recover monetary damages.
Grossman Attorneys at Law has extensive experience in handling wrongful death cases. When someone’s careless actions take a life, there are financial consequences. We can help you recover from these dark moments and bring you some peace of mind.
Bringing a Florida Wrongful Death Claim
Because the deceased person can no longer speak for themselves, a personal representative of the deceased will need to file a lawsuit. That person can be any trusted advisor. They act on behalf of the deceased person’s survivors and estate.
Usually, the deceased has identified a personal representative in their will or trust documents. If they haven’t, then the court can appoint one during a lawsuit. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help with understanding these concepts. But no matter how good your attorney is, unless they file a Florida wrongful death lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations, there will be no way for you to recover for your claims.
Examples of Common Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit Claims
People choose to file wrongful death lawsuits in Florida for many different types of claims. Common types of wrongful death lawsuits include:
- Medical malpractice,
- Criminal actions,
- Motor vehicle accidents,
- Defective vehicles,
- Defective products, and
- Workplace accidents.
This is not an exhaustive list. Regardless of the type of injury or accident that led to the death of your loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. An attorney can help you determine the strength of your wrongful death claim. They can also help you assess your legal options when considering your next steps.
Florida Wrongful Death Damages
When filing a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, you may want to consider who is eligible to receive damages. The Florida wrongful death act limits the parties who can receive damages to the deceased person’s estate and their surviving spouse, minor children, and parents (if alive). All of these parties must be named in the lawsuit.
The damages a survivor may recover may depend on their relationship to the deceased. A surviving spouse may be able to recover for the loss of the deceased’s companionship, as well as the deceased’s lost income. Minor children may be able to recover damages for lost support. Other types of damages that may be recoverable can include:
- Medical and support costs for the deceased (related to their cause of death),
- Funeral and burial expenses,
- Loss of support and services,
- Lost accumulated estate value,
- Mental pain or suffering, and
- Lost income and benefits.
Courts consider a variety of factors when calculating a damages award. These can include factors like the survivor’s relationship to the deceased person. A court might also consider a survivor’s dependency on the deceased.
Understanding the Florida Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Under the Florida statute of limitations, you’ll need to file a wrongful death claim within two years of the date of death. Make sure you know how to calculate the statute of limitations for your specific case. Forgetting to file your claim before the statute of limitations passes may mean that you lose all your rights to potential compensation. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you understand what this means. They can help you calculate the correct statute of limitations expiry date and tell you what the best date for filing a lawsuit might be.
Hiring an Experienced Florida Wrongful Death Attorney
The death of a loved one can be devastating under normal circumstances. When it happens due to accident, injury, or even intentional criminal action, it can take years to recover emotionally and financially. These are all reasons that you need an experienced wrongful death attorney on your side. If you were a minor at the time of your loved one’s death, or if you otherwise relied on them for financial or emotional support, then you may have a Florida wrongful death claim.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
In some cases, a wrongful death attorney can help you avoid a lawsuit and still obtain compensation. Some Florida wrongful death lawyers are skilled at negotiating with insurance companies. If the at-fault party in a wrongful death case has insurance, with the help of an attorney, you may be able to resolve your claim quickly. Having a lawyer who can work with you on obtaining a settlement can also mean getting funds into your hands quickly.
Preparing for Trial
If your wrongful death lawsuit cannot be settled with an insurance company (or if the other party doesn’t have insurance), you need someone who will fight for you in court. Wrongful death lawsuit trials can require thousands of hours of investigation and preparation. These trials can also be very taxing on the deceased person’s loved ones. A skilled wrongful death lawyer can help you and your family navigate all of these trial procedures and requirements.
Why Grossman Attorneys at Law?
Wrongful death cases can be lengthy and complex. The attorneys at Grossman Attorneys at Law have decades of experience in this area. We handle each case with the individual attention and sensitivity it deserves. Contact us today for a free case evaluation and to discuss how we can help you with your Florida wrongful death claim.