If someone’s negligence or intentional actions led to your loved one’s death here in St. Petersburg, you may be able to make them pay for the damage and suffering they caused.
A St. Petersburg wrongful death lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can work with you to pursue appropriate compensation for you and your loved ones.
Parties Who May File a Wrongful Death Action
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act is located in §§768.16 to 768.26 of the state’s negligence laws. It states that survivors can file an action to recover compensation. It must be submitted by a personal representative, who can either be appointed in the deceased’s estate plan or by the court. They will do so on behalf of the rest of the remaining family members.
According to Florida Statute §768.18, survivors primarily pertain to the deceased’s spouse, children, and parents. Other dependent relatives may also file actions, but only after the primary ones have had the chance to. If there are any children born out of wedlock, they may also recover damages.
When filing the case, do make sure to list all survivors represented in the suit. Each survivor will be awarded separately in the verdict.
Filing Deadline for St. Petersburg Wrongful Death Cases
Florida’s statute of limitations states that you have up to two years to file your St. Petersburg wrongful death lawsuit. Though it may seem like a long time, it is in your best interest to get started early. Doing so can help you comply with the deadline in case other matters keep you from working on the suit in the future.
The court automatically dismisses cases that exceed their time allowance.
Time Limit Exceptions
Some situations may arise that can toll your statute clock, which moves your deadline to a later date. For instance, the liable party started using a fake identity after the incident. The statute of limitations would only resume running once the other party stops hiding.
Additionally, the statute of limitations does not apply in wrongful death cases involving homicide. This is due to the Jeffrey Klee Memorial Act, which lets you file anytime. It can be especially helpful in instances wherein the killer only reveals themselves several years or decades later.
Before you get started with your wrongful death case, you could consult first with one of our lawyers. They can help determine exactly how much time you have left, especially if tolling exceptions apply. The attorney can also help with your tasks to ensure that you can finish forming your suit on time.
Your available damages
The wrongful death damages you may be able to receive are similar to those in a personal injury case. If there was a gap between the incident’s date and when your loved one died, the economic damages would include the deceased’s medical expenses and lost wages. The liable party may also pay for the funeral costs. You may also recover damages for the financial support you lost, such as your loved one’s future income if they had lived.
A successful wrongful death case may also let you recover non-economic damages as compensation for intangible costs. For spouses, these can pertain to the companionship their partner provided.
Surviving minors who lost their parents can receive payment for the lost guidance and protection. Meanwhile, parents can also claim damages for the pain of losing a child.
Comparative Fault Rules May Still Apply
Although the other party may be mostly liable for the wrongful death, they might still argue that your loved one was also partly to blame. This would bring Florida’s comparative negligence rules into play in your St. Petersburg case. You may recover a reduced amount of compensation depending on the percentage of fault placed on your loved one.
Let us say that a family member was found not wearing their seat belt when a drunk driver collided with their car. The driver argues that the lack of seat belts would have contributed to the impact’s severity. Thus, the court decides to place 30 percent of the fault on the loved one. If the damages totaled $1,100,000, the surviving party only gets $770,000 or 70 percent.
Evidence is Imperative
It would be best to make sure you have gathered as much evidence as possible. The more you can prove the other party’s fault in your loved one’s death, the larger the amount you may be able to recover. You’ll also want to compile all available records of your loved one’s expenses, such as medical bills. It will help in accurately calculating your total damages.
A St. Petersburg wrongful death lawyer from our firm can examine your current evidence for possible weak points. They can also help search for more proof that you might have missed, such as camera footage or eyewitness testimonies.
Your attorney will also study other relevant laws surrounding your loved one’s death so that you do not have to. Suppose that they died from a trucking accident. In this instance, your lawyer can check for local and federal motor carrier regulations that the truck driver or company might have violated. You could then use it as further proof of their liability.
Our Attorneys Can Help You Fight for Compensation
Grieving while fighting for compensation can be psychologically draining. However, a St. Petersburg wrongful death lawyer from our firm can help ease your burden. They can provide a more level-headed view of your situation, walk you through each step of the case, and speak on your behalf to all other parties.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine handles civil lawsuits in St. Petersburg and various cities in Florida. Besides wrongful death cases, we also work in various practice areas, including bankruptcies, class actions, and property damage claims. To discuss your case with us, you can call us anytime at 1-800-747-3733. We are here for your concerns 24/7.
We Can Help.