The wrongful death of a loved one is one of the most tragic and traumatic events a person could ever experience. A wrongful death can occur through someone’s negligence, wrongful actions or complete inactions. A wrongful death can leave families struggling, not only emotionally, but financially as well, due to the loss of future financial support.
While you are taking time to cope with the sudden loss of your loved one, be sure to keep in mind that it is very important to contact an attorney immediately. Delays in investigating the facts that led to the death of your loved can hurt your case in ways that cannot be resolved. In this difficult phase of healing it’s important that you pursue your case with the help of Attorney Natlie G. Figgers to make sure you don’t lose your right to seek compensation. Although no amount of compensation can right this situation, your loved one deserves justice.
Who can file?
Wrongful death claims comes under the range of civil lawsuits. The state of Florida has its own limitations on how long surviving family members have to file their wrongful death lawsuits. Families are entitled to receive damages for hospital expenses, funeral costs, pain and suffering, and much more. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of someone’s negligence, it is important that you speak to our wrongful death attorney right away.
Florida law requires a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file the wrongful death claim. The personal representative may be named in the deceased person’s will or estate plan. If there is no will or estate plan, the personal representative will be appointed by the court.
Family members who may recover damages in a Florida wrongful death case include:
- Any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.”
Florida Statutes of Limitations on Wrongful Death Cases:
Like most personal injury lawsuits in Florida, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two-years of the incident. This time frame to file a wrongful death lawsuit is very limited and therefore, to allow investigators to get a full understanding of the circumstances that led to your loved one’s death, a wrongful death lawsuit needs to be pursued as soon as possible. A significant lapse in time can decrease your chances of obtaining crucial pieces of evidence for your case.
Damages that one may seek under Wrongful Death cases:
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are different from other civil lawsuits. The personal representative filing a wrongful death lawsuit does not necessarily have any claim to any damages the courts may award. If any damages are awarded, only the surviving family members will be able to collect it. However, the personal representative is usually also a surviving family member and therefore, will most likely receive a portion of the damages. According to 768.21 of the Florida statute, surviving family members can be awarded damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral cost
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Loss of companionship and protection
- Lost wages, earnings, and benefits that of the deceased loved one
Proving a Wrongful Death claim:
A wrongful death claim is basically a civil lawsuit in which a family member of the deceased sues another person or company whose negligence or wrongful act caused the death of the deceased family member. Florida Statute 768.19 provides that when a decedent’s death “is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract” of another person or entity, the estate of the decedent may bring a civil lawsuit to seek a legal remedy for the death of the decedent, the loss of future earnings, and for suffering caused by the wrongful death of the decedent.
To successfully prove a wrongful death claim, there must be proof that the individual or entity had a duty of care to your deceased loved one and the breached that duty through negligence, a wrongful act or the failure to act.
If you have lost a loved one due to negligence, wrongful act, or omission, you may a valid wrongful death claim. Attorney Natlie G. Figgers will help you fully understand your options and procedures to get justice to your deceased loved one.