The unexpected death of a loved one in an accident is one of the most tragic events you can experience. However, understanding how wrongful death lawsuits work in Florida allows you to know your rights as a surviving family member and seek compensation on behalf of your loved one.
A wrongful death lawyer can help you better understand Florida’s wrongful death laws and provide legal representation through the claims process. So, when you decide to hire an attorney for your claim, you can receive the legal guidance you need to help you reach a favorable outcome.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Laws
A wrongful death lawsuit allows family members to recover compensation when a loved one dies because of another person’s negligent or criminal acts. The decedent’s family members can take legal action against them by filing a civil claim.
Florida Statutes §§ 768.16-768.26 detail everything regarding wrongful death law in the state. For example, § 768.21 outlines the surviving members who could seek compensation after the death of a loved one and the damages they could receive. An attorney could help determine if you qualify as a surviving family member.
If your family wins a settlement, you must split the proceeds amongst the estate’s beneficiaries. Thus, having a wrongful death attorney throughout this process is helpful to ensure you follow legal procedures correctly.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Statute Of Limitations
Each state has a statute of limitations giving injury victims a certain period to file a lawsuit against at-fault parties. Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d) sets a two-year deadline for wrongful death. Two years does not provide a wrongful death attorney an overabundance of time to take critical steps.
With only two years to file a lawsuit against the liable party, legal experts recommend hiring a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after the incident. However, once you hire one, they must take the following steps before they file a lawsuit:
- Investigate the death: Your attorney must examine the incident that caused your loved one’s death and collect as much evidence as possible to prove your claim.
- Identify the liable party: Investigating the incident and collecting evidence should help your lawyer identify the responsible party. Once they identify the liable party, they can organize evidence to prove they caused the death.
- Build a case: Your attorney will build a case based on the liable party’s negligence. They will prove the at-fault party owed your family member a duty of care, breached their duty, causing your loved one’s death, and that your family suffered damages.
- Identify your damages: Reviewing the losses you and your other family members suffered because of your loved one’s death can provide insight into how much compensation to seek. A lawyer can identify and calculate both your economic and noneconomic losses to make this determination.
- Negotiate with insurers: Your attorney will attempt to reach a fair settlement agreement outside of court through negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Giving your attorney as much time as possible to build a solid case before filing a lawsuit is crucial. However, they will negotiate for the compensation you deserve from the moment they send a demand letter until a judge and jury render a verdict.
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What Is The Purpose Of Filing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Florida?
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit has several purposes:
- Getting justice for your deceased loved one by holding the person or entity that caused their death accountable.
- Seeking compensation for your and your family’s losses because of your family member’s death.
Achieving a successful outcome in your case accomplishes either goal. However, seeking legal guidance from a wrongful death attorney offers a better chance of reaching these goals.
Damages You Could Claim In A Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit aims to recover compensation for your losses. A lawyer will determine the losses you suffered and place a value on your recoverable damages. Examples of recoverable damages in a wrongful death case include:
- Loss of consortium: You could seek compensation for the companionship and affection your family member provided.
- Medical expenses: If medical professionals provided care for your loved one before they passed away, you could include the medical bills you had to pay in your claim.
- Future income: If your loved one was your family’s primary breadwinner, you could include income they would have earned until retirement. An attorney can work with economists to analyze how much compensation to seek for this loss.
While seeking compensation for these damages won’t bring your loved one back, it can help your family move forward without dealing with financial strain. A wrongful death lawyer can guide you on the damages you seek in your specific case to help you maximize your case’s value.
Contact A Wrongful Death Attorney Today For A Free Consultation
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we understand the sorrow and grief you feel after losing someone you love. We can stand up for you and your family against the person or entity that caused your loved one’s death. You deserve justice, so you can expect us to go the extra mile when handling your wrongful death case.
Contact us today to speak with our Florida wrongful death lawyers for free. Learn about your legal options and how our firm can navigate through any issues that could arise. In addition, we understand the laws surrounding wrongful death lawsuits and believe surviving family members deserve to hold the liable party accountable. So, don’t wait—we can start on your case immediately when you entrust us to take on your case.
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