When you lose a loved one, your life may feel like it’s been flipped upside down. When that loved one dies in an unexpected way that was not their fault, the loss is often even more devastating. Not only will you likely be experiencing deep emotional trauma and struggling with grief, but you may have also been left with financial burdens, as you probably hadn’t made any preparations for their passing.
If you have lost someone due to an incident that was someone else’s fault, then you deserve justice, not just on their behalf but also for yourself and your family. This is why wrongful death lawsuits exist.
Our team of attorneys at The Law Place has over 75 years of combined experience in helping clients successfully file wrongful death claims in Florida. We know that life is incredibly tough after losing a loved one, and our lawyers are here to help you get what you deserve while taking on the bulk of the work so that you don’t have any extra stress. You can trust that our devoted Sarasota wrongful death attorneys will help you navigate this difficult process and ensure that your legal rights are protected. While we know that a wrongful death lawsuit can’t make up for your loved one’s passing, it can help provide for your family financially and act as proof that justice has been served.
So for sensitive assistance, call The Law Place for a free consultation whenever you’re ready at (941) 444-4444.
What Is “Wrongful Death” in Florida?
Florida Statute 768.19 states that wrongful death is when a person or organization causes another person’s death by a “wrongful act, negligence, or breach of contract or warranty.” This basically means that a wrongful death occurs when someone dies because of the legal fault of another party. Some examples of this are listed below:
- Medical malpractice.
- A negligence-based incident (such as a motor vehicle accident.)
- A defective product.
- An intentional act (such as a crime).
If you have lost a loved one because of an incident that wasn’t their fault, then you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. The Florida legal system is very complicated, and in order to give yourself the best chance at succeeding, you will need to hire a reputable wrongful death lawsuit.
Who’s Eligible to File Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Florida?
In Florida, the personal representative (also known as an “executor”) of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim.
When the executor files a wrongful death lawsuit, they are acting on behalf of the deceased’s estate plus any surviving family members, and the personal representative must list all potential beneficiaries when filing the claim.
In some cases, though, family members who had a close relationship with the deceased can file a wrongful death claim, often if they relied on the deceased for support. The spouse of the deceased has the first right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, and then the children of the deceased. If the deceased doesn’t have any surviving children or a spouse, then the deceased’s parents may be able to claim.
To find out if you have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your lost loved one, contact The Law Place today. You’ll be able to arrange a free consultation, where you’ll speak to an experienced and knowledgeable attorney that can provide you with reliable legal advice about your specific case.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
The State of Florida has a “statute of limitations.” This means that, like all other types of civil lawsuits, wrongful death claims need to be filed within a certain period of time. Florida Statute 95.11 states that the statute of limitations for the majority of wrongful death lawsuits is two years from the date of the death. If you have not filed a claim before this deadline, the deceased’s personal representative will lose the right to file any wrongful death action.
However, there are exceptions. If the death was a result of manslaughter or murder, a wrongful death claim could be brought at any time, even if the accused hasn’t been convicted, charged, or even arrested for the crime.
What Damages Can Be Claimed in a Florida Wrongful Death Case?
If your wrongful death case is successful, the court will order the defendant to pay “damages” to you as compensation for your loved one’s death. Under Florida law, all potential damages in a wrongful death action can fall under damages awarded to the deceased person’s family or damages awarded to the estate.
Damages that are paid to the family usually include money to compensate for the following:
- The loss of the support and services that the deceased person provided.
- The loss of the deceased person’s companionship.
- The mental pain and suffering that their death inflicted.
- The loss of parental guidance, companionship, and instruction.
- Any medical and funeral expenses paid by a family member.
The damages that can be recovered for the deceased person’s estate include the following:
- Lost wages, benefits, and any other earnings from the date of the person’s injury to the date of their death.
- The value of earnings and benefits that the deceased person could have been expected to have if they were alive.
- Any medical and funeral expenses paid by the estate.
We understand that no amount of financial compensation or legal success will be able to fix the emotional pain that you’re enduring, but it will help support you financially and ensure that some form of justice is served. So, if you’re considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, call The Law Place today for a free case evaluation and find out if you have a valid claim.
How The Law Place Can Help You
Filing a wrongful death suit in Florida can be incredibly complicated and confusing for people who don’t have any legal experience. Because of this, it’s vital that you hire a skilled lawyer to give you and your family the best chance at securing the compensation that you deserve.
Below are some of the ways that our wrongful death lawyers can help you:
- Free case review – The Law Place offers a free, no-obligation consultation for any client who thinks they may have a valid wrongful death claim. During this consultation, we will build a strong attorney-client relationship with you, discuss your case, explain the best legal options you have, and answer any questions.
- Prove the liability of the negligent party – There needs to be a negligent party if you wish to file a civil suit. Our personal injury attorneys will discover who was liable for your loved one’s death and gather evidence to prove this.
- Prove that you are entitled to compensation – Our team will also need to collect evidence to prove that you’ve experienced damages because of your loved one’s death.
- Negotiate a fair settlement – It’s likely the negligent party will offer you a settlement. Your lawyer will be able to ensure that the settlement appropriately covers your losses and that they’re not taking advantage of you. If we’re not satisfied, we’ll negotiate or take your claim to court.
The Law Place
When someone passes away, their loved ones are left suffering from emotional distress and often financial burdens. If your loved one passed away because of someone’s negligence, your emotional suffering might be heightened because of how unexpected their death was.
Because of this, you should ensure that you hire a lawyer who is compassionate and skillful at helping you file your wrongful death claim. At The Law Place, our attorneys are ready to fight on behalf of you and your family to ensure that you get the justice you deserve.
Call today at (941) 444-4444. We’re here to help.