The loss of a loved one can send your mind reeling in different directions once. Sure, the idea of pursuing a wrongful death claim is likely to be far from your priorities. Unfortunately, you may have a pressing time limit once you decide to seek monetary compensation. There are also other important issues related to this claim to think about.
What’s a wrongful death claim?
This is a legal action brought by the children, spouse, parents, or any survivor of an individual killed by the reckless, negligent, or intentional behavior of another person or entity. The truth is that no amount of money can bring your loved one back. But a wrongful death lawsuit can hold the responsible person accountable and probably offer comfort to the grieving relatives and friends.
Choosing to file a wrongful death lawsuit after the death of someone is a personal choice. It’s important to consult with a wrongful death lawyer once you make up your mind to pursue compensation and justice for your fallen relative.
Common causes of wrongful deaths
In Florida, a wrongful death lawsuit may arise out of numerous types of conduct. Some of the common causes include:
- Unsafe working environment
- Vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Unsafe products
- Accidental poisoning
- Unsafe residential and commercial spaces
- Preventable child deaths such as accidental drowning.
As mentioned earlier, there are many causes of wrongful deaths. If you strongly believe that your loved one died due to another person’s negligence or misconduct, consult a lawyer. The attorney will help you figure out whether or not you have a valid claim.
Who should file a wrongful death claim?
According to Florida’s wrongful death statute, the victim estate attorney can sue on behalf of the family members. The attorney (personal representative of the deceased person) can bring a lawsuit against the individual whose negligence or wrongful acts lead to the victim’s demise. If the victim didn’t succumb to the injuries, could have recovered monetary compensation against the accused, then the plaintiff (family of the deceased) might have a valid wrongful death claim.
If the deceased person had appointed a representative in a valid will before his death, that individual would act as a plaintiff. In case the victim didn’t create a will, the surviving spouse is the personal representative or another family member. Keep in mind that the representative will recover damages for the benefits of the deceased’s family.
What damages can be claimed in a wrongful death claim?
Florida State Statute section 768.21 outlines all the wrongful death damages that a plaintiff can claim. Some of these damages include;
- Loss of services and support
- Mental anguish and emotional suffering
- Loss of protection and companionship
- Medical-related bills and funeral costs
- Lost earnings
Depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s death, there are other damages you can recover. So, it’s best to talk to a wrongful death lawyer to figure out who should be held responsible and your claim’s value.
Statute of limitations
In Florida, the time limit or statute of limitations from bringing a wrongful death lawsuit is 2 years. Thus, if someone dies due to another entity’s negligence, the surviving close family member has only two years to pursue a wrongful death claim. This time limit holds true whether the cause of death was a traffic accident or any other type of accident.