Losing a loved one is always painful, and knowing that someone’s careless, reckless, or wrongful actions led to death can make the situation especially traumatic. On top of the emotional distress, a family could be left with expensive medical bills and will lose income if the deceased had been working. Florida law allows families to seek compensation after a wrongful death. A Greater Carrollwood wrongful death lawyer at Winters & Yonker will build a strong case to hold the at-fault party accountable and fight for the highest possible compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.
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How Is Wrongful Death Defined in the State of Florida?
According to the Wrongful Death Act in Florida, an individual has a right to file a lawsuit against the liable party if death has been caused by a wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty. This can include:
- Negligent actions, for example, accidentally hitting a pedestrian while speeding
- Intentional acts, for example, when a death occurs during a violent crime
- Breach of warranty including product defects
There are a lot of circumstances that can result in a wrongful death lawsuit. The following are some of the most common reasons why people file wrongful death claims in Florida:
- Medical malpractice
- Any type of accident involving planes, automobiles, trains, pedestrians, and bicycles
- Criminal acts that lead to murder
- Death during a supervised piece of work
- Being exposed to harmful substances or conditions as a part of one’s occupation
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Under wrongful death law in Florida, a personal representative of the estate of the deceased individual can file the claim. The representative can be named in the deceased person’s will or estate plan. In case the deceased individual does not have a will or estate plan, then the courts will name the representative. The named representative is required to list all survivors that have an interest in the wrongful death case.
In Florida, the spouse, parents, and children of the deceased person are entitled to pursue compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. Additionally, any sibling or blood relative of the deceased that partly or fully depended on the deceased person for support is entitled to seeking compensation for damages.
What Kinds Of Damages Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
In the unfortunate event that your loved one has died as a result of medical malpractice, car accident, using a defective product, workplace accident, or any other traumatic event, then you have some rights under the law in Florida. You are entitled to pursuing compensation from the liable party for the wrongful demise of a loved one. You should seek the assistance of a qualified and experienced wrongful death attorney in Greater Carrollwood, FL to help you file a wrongful death claim.
According to the Wrongful Death Act in Florida, the surviving family is allowed to recover two major types of damages, including damages awarded for emotional suffering and damages awarded for medical bills, funeral expenses, and the loss of net accumulations. Loss of net accumulations refers to the loss of savings that the deceased individual would have accumulated in case the wrongful death didn’t happen.
Damages Awardable to the Surviving Family
Florida’s wrongful death law defines survivors as the spouse, children, parents, and any other dependent, for example, a blood relative or an adoptive sister or brother.
Under the law, the surviving family of the deceased person is entitled to recover damages for:
- The loss of protection
- Loss of support and services
- Mental anguish and suffering
- Any medical and funeral expenses paid on behalf of the deceased person
Damages Awardable to the Deceased’s Estate
The estate of the deceased individual is permitted to recover damages for:
- Lost earnings
- Loss of net accumulations
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
Loss of net accumulations or income capacity is dependent on the determination of the amount the deceased individual would have left in their estate had his or her life not been prematurely ended.
How Is Negligence Determined in a Wrongful Death Case in Florida?
In order to be successful in a wrongful death case in Florida, the plaintiff has to prove the following four basic elements:
Duty of Care
The plaintiff should be able to establish that the accused party had a duty of care towards the deceased person. For instance, in an automobile accident case, the driver, when operating the vehicle, has a duty of care to drive carefully by adhering to all the traffic rules.
Breach of Duty of Care
After the plaintiff has proven that a duty of care exists, they then have to prove that the accused party breached the duty of care. Following up on the same automobile accident example above, the driver may have been speeding or driving while drunk when he/she breached that duty of care.
The plaintiff has to prove that the death of their loved one was caused by the defendant’s behavior and not any other cause. For instance, even if the accused party was speeding when the accident happened, he/she won’t be held responsible for the wrongful death in case a mechanical issue of the vehicle led to the deceased’s death. If a faulty part of the vehicle led to the accident, then the parts or vehicle manufacturer can be held responsible.
The plaintiff should be able to prove that the wrongful death caused losses to your family, such as funeral expenses and loss of companionship for example
How Do You Initiate a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Florida is two years from the date of the death. However, when it comes to wrongful death claims due to medical malpractice, there is a window of time for the matter to be investigated. Before a medical malpractice case can be filed, the potential defendant should be provided with a notice of intent to file a claim.
Wrongful death lawsuits are usually much more complex and start with the estate’s personal representative’s designation. This is why it is crucial to hire a seasoned wrongful death attorney in Greater Carrollwood, Florida if you are dealing with a wrongful death claim.
Contact Our Greater Carrollwood Wrongful Death Lawyers
If you have recently lost a loved one as a result of the negligence of another party, then you should work with the best wrongful death attorneys in Greater Carrollwood. A wrongful death lawyer has a deeper understanding of the legal process and will help you to save a lot of time and money compared to when trying to do it yourself. Get in touch with a Greater Carrollwood wrongful death lawyer at Winters & Yonker today to schedule a free consultation.