Losing a loved one can be an incredibly difficult and emotional experience, and if the death was the result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, it can be even more devastating. In the state of Florida, when a person’s death is caused by the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity, the deceased person’s surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be wondering what to expect during the process. In this blog post, we will discuss the key aspects of a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, and what you can expect if you decide to pursue legal action.
What is a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of civil lawsuit that is filed by the surviving family members of a person who has died as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity. In Florida, the wrongful death statute (Florida Statutes section 768.16) defines wrongful death as a death caused by “the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person.” The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the surviving family members for the loss of their loved one, as well as any other damages that they may have suffered as a result of the death.
Who Can File a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Florida, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit is reserved for the deceased person’s “survivors.” This includes the deceased person’s spouse, children, parents, and any other blood relatives or adoptive siblings who were “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.” In some cases, if there are no surviving family members who are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may be able to file the lawsuit on behalf of the estate.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The damages that can be recovered in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things like medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost income, and other financial losses that were suffered as a result of the death. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and loss of consortium. In Florida, there is no cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit.
What to Expect During a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If you decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, there are several key steps that you can expect to go through. These include:
Investigation and Gathering of Evidence: Before a lawsuit can be filed, the plaintiff’s attorney will conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death, and gather evidence to support the lawsuit. This may involve reviewing medical records, witness statements, and other relevant documents.
Filing of the Lawsuit: Once the investigation is complete, the plaintiff’s attorney will file the lawsuit in the appropriate court. The defendant will then be served with a copy of the lawsuit and will have the opportunity to respond.
Discovery: During the discovery phase of the lawsuit, both parties will exchange information and evidence that they plan to use at trial. This may include depositions, requests for documents, and other forms of discovery.
Mediation and Settlement Negotiations: In many cases, the parties may attempt to settle the case through mediation or settlement negotiations. If a settlement is reached, the case will be resolved without going to trial.
Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial. During the trial, both parties will present their evidence and arguments to a judge or jury, who will then make a decision on the outcome of the case.
It is important to note that every wrongful death lawsuit is unique, and the length and complexity of the process can vary depending on the specifics of the case. However, working with an experienced wrongful death attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process, and can help you navigate the complexities of the Florida legal system.
In addition, it is important to understand that the emotional toll of a wrongful death lawsuit can be significant. Losing a loved one is already a difficult experience, and the legal process can add additional stress and anxiety. It is important to prioritize self-care during this time and to seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional if needed.
If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, it is important to act quickly. The statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits in Florida is two years from the date of death, so it is important to begin the process as soon as possible to ensure that you do not lose your right to pursue legal action.
A Florida wrongful death lawsuit can be a complex and emotionally challenging process, but with the help of an experienced attorney, you can seek justice for the loss of your loved one. By understanding the key aspects of the process and taking steps to prioritize self-care, you can navigate the legal system with confidence and find closure in the aftermath of a tragic loss.
Victory Law Firm P.A. is a law firm that specializes in personal injury law, including wrongful death lawsuits in Florida. Here are some of the ways that our firm can help with your wrongful death lawsuit:
Experience and Expertise: Our attorneys have extensive experience and expertise in handling wrongful death lawsuits in Florida. We understand the legal complexities of these cases, and we have the knowledge and skills necessary to help you navigate the legal system with confidence.
Investigation and Evidence Gathering: We will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death, and gather evidence to support your case. This may include reviewing medical records, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with experts.
Compassionate and Personalized Legal Representation: We understand that losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional experience. That’s why we provide compassionate and personalized legal representation to our clients. We will work closely with you to understand your needs and priorities, and we will always keep you informed throughout the legal process.
Negotiation and Mediation: In many cases, we are able to reach a settlement through negotiation or mediation. We will work to negotiate a fair and just settlement that compensates you for your losses and helps you find closure.
Trial Advocacy: If a settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to take your case to trial. Our attorneys are skilled trial advocates who will vigorously represent your interests in court.
If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, we encourage you to contact Victory Law Firm P.A. for a free consultation. We will provide you with the guidance and support you need to seek justice for your loved one’s death.