Losing a loved one is an incredibly painful experience, and when that loss is due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, it can be even more devastating. Florida law provides certain rights and remedies for surviving family members in such tragic circumstances.
Understanding your family’s rights in a wrongful death case can help you navigate the legal process and seek the justice and compensation your loved one deserves.
Here, you can learn about wrongful death in Florida, exploring the rights of your family and the legal avenues available to you during this difficult time.
If you need immediate legal assistance, contact our legal team at Fetterman Law. We offer free consultations to discuss your case.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Florida?
Before we dive into your family’s rights, it’s important to understand what qualifies as a wrongful death in the eyes of the law. Wrongful death occurs when another party’s negligent, reckless, or intentional act causes a person’s death.
This can arise from a variety of situations, including:
- Medical Malpractice: Medical professionals fail to provide the standard of care, resulting in the death of a patient.
- Automobile Accidents: Negligent driving leads to fatal collisions, including drunk or distracted driving.
- Workplace Accidents: Fatal injuries caused by unsafe working conditions, inadequate safety measures, or employer negligence.
- Product Liability: Defective products causing fatal injuries, such as faulty machinery or dangerous medications.
- Criminal Activities: Homicides or assaults resulting in death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
Florida law provides specific guidelines regarding who can bring a wrongful death claim. The following parties are generally eligible to file a lawsuit:
- Spouse: The surviving spouse has the primary right to bring a wrongful death claim.
- Children: If no surviving spouse exists, the deceased’s children may file a claim.
- Parents: Without a spouse or children, the deceased’s parents may bring a lawsuit.
- Personal Representative: If none of the above parties takes action within a specified time, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file a claim on behalf of the estate and any surviving family members.
It’s important to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney to determine your case’s specific eligibility criteria and legal requirements.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
In Florida, there is a limited timeframe, known as the statute of limitations, within which a wrongful death claim must be filed. The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Florida is generally two years from the date of the deceased’s death. Failing to file within this timeframe can result in losing your family’s right to seek compensation.
However, exceptions and variations to this rule may apply in certain circumstances, so it’s crucial to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to understand the specific time limits applicable to your case.
Recoverable Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
When pursuing a wrongful death claim in Florida, your family may be entitled to various types of damages, including:
- Economic Damages: These encompass the financial losses suffered by the surviving family members, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages, and loss of future financial support.
- Non-Economic Damages: These include the emotional and psychological impact on the surviving family, such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and mental anguish.
- Punitive Damages: In extreme negligence or intentional misconduct cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter others from similar actions.
Consultation with a Wrongful Death Attorney
Navigating the legal complexities of a wrongful death case can be overwhelming, especially during such an emotional time. Consulting with an experienced wrongful death attorney
can provide invaluable support and guidance.
An attorney knowledgeable in Florida’s wrongful death laws can help you understand your family’s rights, assess the strength of your case, and navigate the legal process on your behalf.
An attorney will undertake the following crucial tasks:
- Investigation: They will thoroughly investigate to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and reconstruct the events leading to the wrongful death. This will help establish liability and strengthen your case.
- Legal Expertise: An attorney will understand Florida’s laws and legal procedures. They will ensure all necessary documents are filed correctly and within the specified time limits, protecting your family’s rights.
- Negotiation and Settlement: They will negotiate with insurance companies and the opposing party to seek a fair settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, they will be prepared to take your case to trial and fight for your rights in court.
- Emotional Support: Dealing with losing a loved one is emotionally challenging. A compassionate attorney can provide support and understanding, helping you navigate the legal process with empathy and care.
Contact Fetterman Law for Help with Your Florida Wrongful Death Claim
Experiencing the wrongful death of a loved one is a devastating and life-altering event. However, knowing your family’s rights in such cases is crucial for seeking justice and compensation.
You can confidently navigate the legal process by understanding what constitutes wrongful death, who can file a lawsuit, the statute of limitations, recoverable damages, and the importance of consulting with a wrongful death attorney.
Remember, each wrongful death case is unique, and seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney is essential to protect your family’s rights effectively. They will provide personalized advice, handle the legal complexities, and advocate for your family’s interests, allowing you to focus on healing and honoring the memory of your loved one.
We have years of experience helping clients and families with wrongful death claims at Fetterman Law. We will provide professional and aggressive representation to help you achieve your desired outcome. Call today to schedule a free consultation.