Losing a loved one is a devastating experience, and it can be even more challenging when their death was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. In such cases, it may be possible to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for the damages and losses suffered by the deceased person’s surviving family members. If you’re considering filing a wrongful death claim in Florida, here’s what you need to know.
What is a wrongful death claim in Florida?
In Florida, a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit brought by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate, seeking compensation for the damages and losses caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty that resulted in the person’s death. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to hold the responsible party accountable and compensate the surviving family members for their losses, including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and loss of companionship, among others.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Florida?
Under Florida law, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate is the only party authorized to file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative is typically appointed by the probate court and acts as a representative of the deceased person’s estate, pursuing the claim on behalf of the surviving family members. If the deceased person did not appoint a personal representative before their death, the court will appoint one.
What damages can be recovered in a wrongful death claim in Florida?
In Florida, the surviving family members may be entitled to recover various damages in a wrongful death claim, including:
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Loss of support and services
- Loss of companionship and protection
- Mental pain and suffering
- Loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance (for minor children)
- Lost earnings and future earning capacity
- It’s essential to work with an experienced attorney who can help you identify all of the damages to which you may be entitled and build a strong case to maximize your recovery.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Florida?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is generally two years from the date of the person’s death. However, there are exceptions and nuances to this rule, depending on the circumstances of the case, so it’s best to consult with an attorney to determine the applicable deadlines and ensure that you file your claim within the required time frame.
How to file a wrongful death claim in Florida?
To file a wrongful death claim in Florida, you’ll need to follow these general steps:
- Hire an experienced attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases. They can help you navigate the legal process and build a strong case to maximize your recovery.
- Identify the responsible party or parties and gather evidence to support your claim. This may involve interviewing witnesses, reviewing medical records, and hiring experts to testify on your behalf.
- File a wrongful death lawsuit in the appropriate court and serve the defendants with a copy of the complaint.
- Participate in the discovery process, which involves exchanging information with the defendants, such as documents and witness statements.
- Attend mediation or settlement conferences to try to resolve the case without going to trial.
If a settlement is not reached, proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will hear the evidence and decide the outcome of the case.
What to look for in a wrongful death attorney in Florida?
When searching for a wrongful death attorney in Florida, it’s essential to look for someone who has experience handling similar cases, understands the nuances of Florida’s wrongful death laws, and has a proven track record of success. You should also look for an attorney who is compassionate and communicative and who will keep you informed throughout the process.
Here are some specific factors to consider when choosing a wrongful death attorney:
- Experience: Look for an attorney who has handled wrongful death cases similar to yours and who has experience practicing in Florida’s state and federal courts.
- Reputation: Research the attorney’s reputation online and ask for references from previous clients. You can also check with the Florida Bar Association to ensure that the attorney is in good standing.
- Communication: Choose an attorney who is responsive to your questions and concerns and who keeps you informed throughout the process.
- Compassion: Losing a loved one is an emotional experience, so it’s essential to choose an attorney who understands your situation and is compassionate and understanding.
- Contingency fee: Most wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they only get paid if you win your case. Ensure that you understand the attorney’s fee structure before hiring them.
Filing a wrongful death claim in Florida can be a challenging and emotional process. However, with the help of an experienced attorney, you can seek justice and compensation for the losses suffered by your family. Remember that time is of the essence when filing a wrongful death claim, so it’s essential to act quickly and consult with an attorney as soon as possible. By following the steps outlined above and choosing the right attorney, you can navigate the legal system and seek the justice and closure you and your family deserve.
Victory Law Firm P.A. is a Florida-based law firm that specializes in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our team of experienced attorneys has helped many clients in Florida file successful wrongful death claims and recover compensation for their losses.
Here’s how Victory Law Firm P.A. can help with your wrongful death claim case in Florida:
- Free consultation: We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have. This consultation allows us to evaluate your case’s strengths and weaknesses and advise you on your legal options.
- Investigate the case: Our attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of the case, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and working with experts to build a strong case on your behalf.
- Determine liability: We will identify the responsible party or parties and determine the extent of their liability for the wrongful death.
- Calculate damages: We will work with financial experts to calculate the full extent of the damages suffered by your family and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
- Navigate the legal process: We will guide you through the legal process and handle all aspects of your wrongful death claim, including filing the lawsuit, attending mediation, negotiating settlements, and going to trial if necessary.
- Provide compassionate support: Losing a loved one is a difficult experience, and we understand the emotional toll it can take on you and your family. Our attorneys will provide compassionate support throughout the process and keep you informed at every step of the way.
- Work on a contingency fee basis: We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we only get paid if you win your case. This arrangement ensures that you can pursue justice and compensation without worrying about upfront costs or legal fees.
If you’re considering filing a wrongful death claim in Florida, Victory Law Firm P.A. can provide you with the legal representation and support you need to navigate the process successfully. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you seek justice and compensation for your family’s losses.