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An Overview of the Florida Wrongful Death Statute
Florida’s wrongful death statute helps ensure that individuals who wrongfully caused someone’s death are held responsible for their actions.
The law also helps ensures that a deceased person’s survivors and loved ones receive fair compensation and financial remedy for the death of their loved one.
Under the FL wrongful death statute, a wrongful death occurs when a person dies as a result of someone else’s negligence, wrongful act, or violation of a contract or warranty. A person may bring a civil suit for wrongful death in Florida and recover monetary damages.
If you have lost a loved one due to the actions of another party, you may be considering your options for taking legal action.
An experienced Florida wrongful death lawyer from Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon can help you explore your options for pursuing a claim from the at-fault party’s insurance company or filing a civil lawsuit.
Who May Bring a Florida Wrongful Death Claim?
In Florida, a deceased person’s personal representative must file a wrongful death lawsuit. That person acts on behalf of the deceased person’s survivors and the estate.
The deceased person’s will or testament usually designates a personal representative. If the deceased person has not designated a representative, the court will appoint one for the lawsuit.
Other parties may be able to recover damages for wrongful death if they can prove they were at least partly dependent on the deceased person at the time of his or her death.
No party may recover damages, however, unless they file legal action within the allowable term under the wrongful death statute in Florida.
Common Types of Florida Wrongful Death Claims
- Motor vehicle accidents resulting in death,
- Dangerous roadways or defective vehicles,
- Medical malpractice, and
- Intentional criminal actions.
A party may file a Florida wrongful death lawsuit whenever a person’s negligence or wrongful act results in another person’s death. No matter what type of injury accident led to the death of your loved one, you may have a valid claim.
The best way to determine the strength and viability of your claim is to speak to an experienced attorney. A lawyer can answer your questions and help you explore your options for taking legal action under the wrongful death statute in Florida.
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Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit Damages
The Florida wrongful death statute specifies the beneficiaries who may receive damages awards from a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit must list all survivors of the deceased person who will receive compensation.
Individuals who may recover damages from a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- The deceased person’s estate,
- The deceased person’s surviving spouse,
- The deceased person’s minor children, and
- The deceased person’s parents.
A deceased person’s survivors may recover damages for certain types of harm resulting from a person’s death. The types of damages a survivor may recover depend on his or her relationship with the deceased person.
For example, a surviving spouse may recover damages for the loss of the deceased person’s companionship and protection. Or a deceased person’s minor children may recover damages for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance.
Other types of recoverable damages include:
- The costs of support and services for the person injured until his or her death, with interest;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Loss of support and services;
- Lost accumulated estate value;
- Mental pain or suffering as a result of the loss; and
- Lost income and benefits.
Courts consider certain factors when calculating a damages award, including the survivor’s relationship to the deceased person, and the survivor’s level of dependency upon the deceased person.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to estimate the average value of a Florida wrongful death claim. Every victim’s situation is unique, as are the challenges faced by their loved ones.
The best way to determine what your wrongful death claim might be worth is to contact Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon and speak to an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Florida
To successfully file a wrongful death claim, you must comply with the Florida wrongful death statute of limitations.
Under the Florida statute of limitations for wrongful death, parties must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the date of death in most cases.
You must know how to calculate the statute of limitations for your case. If the statute of limitations passes, you may lose all legal rights associated with a wrongful death claim. A qualified wrongful death attorney can help you determine when to file your claim and help ensure that you do not relinquish your right to recover compensation.
FLORIDA WRONGFUL DEATH FAQ
Should I Hire a Florida Wrongful Death Attorney?
Losing a loved one causes severe hardship, pain, and suffering. If you relied on the victim for financial support or support in the home, you could face financial devastation, in addition to emotional trauma.
If your loved one was wrongfully injured and died as a result of another party’s actions, you deserve justice as well as fair financial compensation.
Having an attorney to assist you can be invaluable during this challenging time.
Your attorney will handle everything on your behalf, so you can be free to spend time with loved ones and handle the many challenges you face. Your lawyer will investigate the circumstances of the victim’s accident and gather evidence to build the strongest possible case.
In many cases, Florida wrongful death lawyers can successfully negotiate a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This helps get the claim resolved as quickly as possible and saves you the time and hassle of a trial. It also gets funds into your hands when you need them most.
If the insurance company won’t make an acceptable settlement offer, you need a team of experienced litigators on your side who are ready to fight for you in court.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Florida Today
The attorneys at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon have over 100 years of experience representing and protecting our clients’ interests. Our dedicated wrongful death attorneys will support you through this difficult time and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Since 1913, our firm has provided an exceptional level of personal attention to our clients, tailoring our legal services to meet your needs.
When you choose us to help you with your wrongful death action, you will have the full force of our experience and resources behind you. Your initial consultation is free, and you never pay any legal fees until we cover compensation on your behalf.