The most painful period in your life is that moment when you lose someone you love. When the death of your loved one was a reason for the negligent conduct of someone, the grieving process only increases. You have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit and obtain the financial compensation you and your family are entitled to receive.
Our wrongful death attorneys advocate for the interests of families and represent those who have lost loved ones in Florida due to the negligent action of others.
Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If a person dies as a result of negligence, defective product or even medical malpractice, a wrongful death lawsuit can be established. It can be complicated to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit because you must prove that others’ negligent act caused or led to death. Accidents involving negligence include car accidents, accidents at work and medical malpractice, among others. So many types of events can enable surviving family members to file a lawsuit for wrongful death.
Our experienced and skilled Florida wrongful death lawyers will represent you by filing a wrongful death lawsuit and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Who May Bring a Florida Wrongful Death Claim?
Florida law allows the estate’s personal representative (PR) of the deceased person to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. The PR must have been mentioned in the Will of the deceased person. In the absence of a Will or an estate plan, the court may appoint the PR.
While the PR files the wrongful death lawsuit, it is filed in the name of the estate of the deceased person and any remaining family members. The PR must list any surviving party having an interest with the case.
Members of the family who will recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida include:
- The spouse, children, and parents of the deceased person.
- Adopted sibling or blood relation who was dependent on the deceased person.
A child of an unmarried parent, if his or her mother dies, the child will recover damages in a wrongful death case. However, if the father of the child dies, the child will only recover damages if the father had fully recognized the child as his own and was expected to contribute to the child’s support.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida
If you have decided to file a wrongful death case, please note that the following elements are to be established:
- Duty of care - This is the first element to be established in Florida. This suggests that the negligent party owed a duty of care to keep the deceased person safe.
- Breach of duty - To prove negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant(s) violated the duty of care owed under the circumstances to the deceased. For example, if a driver crossed a red signal and crashed with a biker in the middle of a road in the event of a motor vehicle accident, resulting in the death of the deceased, that act would possibly constitute negligence of the defendant driver.
- Cause - For the deceased’s estate to recover through a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, the estate must show that the defendant(s)’s negligent actions caused the death of the deceased. In other words, the estate must prove that the death of the deceased was inevitable and that it would not have happened except for the negligence of the defendant.
Damages - Damages in Florida wrongful death lawsuits can be proved by a combination of witness evidence from laypersons and experts. The damages are available in cases of wrongful death in Florida consist of both economic and non-economic damages.
Damages in Florida Wrongful Death Cases
A case of wrongful death is a civil claim. This means it is taken to court by the estate of the deceased person, not by the government. Although a criminal case can sometimes be filed in a court, which is separate from a wrongful death case as it addresses multiple other issues and normally does not result in damages being compensated to the estate of the surviving family.
Common damages that the surviving members may receive include:
- Loss of wages, earnings, Including the value of lost earnings that might fairly have been anticipated of the deceased person if he or she had lived.
- The loss of the estate’s “prospective net accumulations” or the number of earnings that the estate might fairly have been entitled to receive if the deceased person had lived.
- Funeral expenses.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations requires the timely filing of claims and lawsuits. If cases linger for too long, evidence becomes old and, for different reasons, possible trial witnesses can become unavailable. The implementation of time limits for filing lawsuits helps trial evidence to stay fresh and to settle lawsuits promptly.
According to Florida Law, the statute of limitations in a wrongful death case is usually 2 years which start from the date of death of the deceased. If a wrongful death claim or a lawsuit is not filed within the required period, the estate will be indefinitely barred in the future from filing a claim or lawsuit or pursuing monetary recovery.
The PR of the estate of the deceased should not postpone taking legal action. The lawyers for wrongful death at our Law Office will handle your case in a timely manner and ensure that you file your case within the statute of limitation period provided by Florida Law.
Contact our Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys
It is important to hire a competent wrongful death attorney to guarantee a favorable result in your wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits can be lengthy and difficult, and also involve a particular range of skills and knowledge that only wrongful death lawyers with a great deal of experience have in such cases.
Our attorneys have dealt with several wrongful death lawsuits in Florida. With your claim, we are ready to step in and assist you. If you are seeking a wrongful death lawyer and require further information, contact our law office today.