It is something that none of us ever want to consider, but if your family suddenly lost a member due to the wrongful act of another person, the impacts will be felt on both a personal and likely a financial scale. Grief is hard enough without extra pressures like lost family income, medical expenses, and funeral and burial expenses piling up.
If your loved one’s death was due to the negligence of another party, whether this was an unintentional or intentional act, it is likely that you have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit in order to receive financial compensation for your family’s loss. This can be a complicated legal process, so you will need the help of experienced attorneys to achieve a likely success.
Here at The Law Place, the wrongful death attorney team belonging to our law firm have amassed over a total of 75 years of experience working wrongful death claims between them. To get free legal advice and a no-obligation free consultation today, all you need to do is call our office. Our lines are always open.
To find out how our wrongful death lawyers can help you today, call (941) 444-4444!
How Is Wrongful Death Defined by Florida Law?
Florida Statute 768.21 is the wrongful death statute and contains the legal boundaries for a wrongful death case.
The wording of the wrongful death definition in this statute is helpfully simplified by The Legal Information Institute as:
‘A death caused by the wrongful act of another, either accidentally or intentionally.’
In Which Situations Is a Wrongful Death Claim Applicable in Florida?
To give you a good idea of the range of personal injury situation types that wrongful death actions encompass, the following is a list of some of the reasons for wrongful death cases seen by the attorneys at our law firm:
- When a patient dies due to medical malpractice or another situation where a doctor fails to prevent a preventable death.
- Car accident fatalities, such as when another person causes the accident by reckless driving or failing to obey traffic laws.
- A situation where somebody was intentionally killed, although the wrongful death suit will happen separately to actual the criminal prosecution.
- Any other type of negligence (as per Florida Statute 768.81) that would qualify for a personal injury claim, such as premises liability, slips, and falls, and defective equipment or products.
If you are unsure if the deceased person’s pre-death experience is grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit or wrongful death claim, the best thing to do is get in touch with one of our attorneys for a free case review. We can tell you whether you are likely to receive compensation, how much, and how to go about the process, all at no obligation.
What Compensation Is Available to Surviving Family Members Through a Successful Wrongful Death Case?
When a person dies through no fault of their own, and you as a family member make a wrongful death claim, the compensation will vary depending on the specifics of the situation. Wrongful death settlements work by looking at the following factors:
- Burial and funeral expenses – When a personal injury victim dies, the actual cost of funeral and burial services often comes as a huge surprise to the family members. Your wrongful death attorney can help you to recoup the burial costs loss.
- Lost wages – Another often surprising for a surviving family member is the impact on household income. If the deceased victim was a contributing earner, wrongful death lawsuits aim to seek compensation that will simulate the salary of the deceased person.
- Medical bills – Depending on the type of injuries the deceased victim incurred prior to their death, it is highly possible that a medical professional (and therefore large medical expenses) were involved. The cost of these can be covered with wrongful death damages.
- Loss of companionship/consortium – As not all of the levels of loss caused by a spouse or decedent’s death can be measured financially, your wrongful death attorneys can fight for you to be compensated for the lost time you could have spent with the deceased person.
We understand that going through with a wrongful death action is not easy. It can feel wrong to file a wrongful death lawsuit, as it feels wrong to consider the money at such a terrible time.
However, the compensation provided by successful wrongful death lawsuits will give your family space to breathe, grieve, and process the loss uninterrupted in their own way. Your wrongful death lawyer from The Law Place will be compassionate, understanding, and stop at nothing to ensure that the responsible party for their negligence.
Is Choosing to Sue for Wrongful Death the Same as Accusing Somebody of Murder?
One thing that prevents many families from taking action and filing a wrongful death lawsuit is the mistaken idea that is the equivalent of raising a criminal case for murder.
However, this is not true, as wrongful death claims go through the civil court and therefore use civil law and do not result in criminal charges. This means that person responsible for the car accident, medical malpractice, or other wrongful act will not end up with jail time.
This is also helpful as your wrongful death lawyer will prove negligence in much the same way as with personal injury cases. Unlike with criminal cases, the burden of proof is much lower, unlike a criminal case that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
However, if you also wish to press criminal charges as well, the evidence used to prove wrongful death can also be used in this case.
Who Is Entitled to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
With wrongful death claims, only one person can raise the lawsuit. This person is known as the personal representative of the deceased.
There are a limited amount of parties who are eligible for this role. These are usually the spouse, parents, or children of the victim. However, a sibling or other blood relative may be eligible if they were specifically designated to be the deceased’s dependent.
How Is the Personal Representative Chosen in Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
In the simplest cases, the person responsible for filing a wrongful death lawsuit will be have been designated in the deceased’s estate and will documents.
However, when this situation does not apply, the court will usually designate somebody to be the personal representative for the wrongful death lawsuit. This will usually be that person’s spouse.
If the deceased had no spouse, the decision to decide the representative would normally be given to the family. We understand that this is often a point of conflict for families during an especially difficult time, and our attorneys can also work to mediate a deal that is fair and beneficial to everybody who has suffered the loss.
How Long Do Family Members Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After the Events Have Transpired?
Florida Statute 95.11 dictates how much time can pass after the date of the deceased’s death before a claim is no longer possible.
Unlike personal injury claims, you only have a window of two years before the statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim expires. If a time longer than this has passed, you will no longer be eligible to seek compensation.
Contact The Law Place Today
If your loved one has loved their life in the past two years due to no fault of their own, it is likely that you and other members of your family may be entitled to compensation for the losses you have suffered, both financially and otherwise.
Here at The Law Place, our team of experienced lawyers has the compassion, skill, and tenacity to guide you through the process of maximizing the compensation to get your family through these difficult times. All our work in this field is no-win-no-fee, so on top of a free consultation at no obligation, you will not have to pay a single cent unless your claim is successful. We ensure that somebody is working our phone lines all of the time, so you can call for more information whenever it is convenient for you.
To find out more, call today on (941) 444-4444!