Wrongful Death in the State of Florida
There is no greater pain than the loss of a loved one, especially if their death occurs under negligent circumstances. In some cases of wrongful death, you may be able to entitled compensation. But before seeking legal counsel, it’s important to understand the laws in the state of Florida that pertain to wrongful death and your unique situation.
What is a ‘Wrongful Death’ Claim and Who Can Bring it to Court?
Wrongful death is when a person dies due to the misconduct or negligence of another party. A wrongful death claim is when a civil lawsuit is brought to court for the latter’s negligence. In the state of Florida, wrongful death can also be caused by a wrongful act, breach of contract, and default. The estate of the deceased person, typically close relatives, can then bring a civil lawsuit to the Florida court system and seek legal recourse for the death and the losses incurred from it.
If the person who is deceased did not have a will or estate plan that names any individual as the executor of their estate, then the court will appoint a representative to take that role. The executor of the estate files the claim on behalf of every survivor who has an interest in the case. In Florida, these individuals include the deceased person’s: parents, spouse, children, and any blood relative or adopted sibling who is dependent upon the deceased for support or services, partly or wholly. In instances where the deceased had a child outside of marriage, there are different parameters. The surviving child can recover damages in the case of a deceased mother, but if the father dies the child can only recover damages if they were formally recognized by the father and if the father was required to pay child support for that child.
Compensation in the State of Florida and Statute of Limitations.
You’ll often hear the word “damages” in regard to civil lawsuits. Damages are the monetary award paid to a person as a result of loss or injury. In wrongful death cases, financial injury is the main measure of damages, also known as “pecuniary injury.” Pecuniary injury in the state of Florida includes the following:
- Loss of support or services provided by the deceased
- Medical and funeral expenses incurred as a result of the death
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased
The estate may also recover damages for loss of wages, loss of benefits, and other earnings, including those that the deceased person could have realistically been expected to make or collect if they had lived.
Understanding the statute of limitations as it pertains to wrongful death cases in Florida is imperative, otherwise you risk losing your right to bring your case to court. In Florida, a wrongful death case must be filed within two years of the date of death. This deadline may be postponed (or “tolled”) under especially specific circumstances. If you feel that your situation may apply for a postponement, you need to seek out Armour Law Group for guidance.
Hiring an Attorney
There are some key aspects that you need to look for when hiring an attorney for your wrongful death claim. Listed below are some important questions to ask when researching which firm may be right for you:
- Are they experienced in handling your type of case? If this death was the result of medical negligence or malpractice, you’ll want to find someone who’s knowledgeable and experienced in that type of law.
- How much time do they have to dedicate to your case? Will they be able to focus on you and provide your families case during these trying times.
You may also want to look into online reviews from past clients, their reputation amongst other attorneys in the community, and if there is any outstanding disciplinary action against the attorney.
If your loved one has passed away due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company, or entity, you may want to consider taking legal action against those responsible.
If you think you have a wrongful death claim, contact Armour Law Group, Lake Nona personal injury attorney today.