Who Can Bring an Action for Wrongful Death in Florida?
Wrongful death refers to a civil action where a party sues for a death that has been caused by someone else’s negligence. Every state has different laws regarding how these cases are handled. In Florida, along with many other states, beneficiaries are able to sue the wrongful party on behalf of the deceased. This statute allows family members to receive compensation for the death of a loved one as well as holds the person or company accountable for their actions. Wrongful death includes negligence of any wrongful act that results in the death of a person. Wrongful death lawsuits can arise from many different circumstances, including auto or trucking accidents, motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice, criminal actions, construction site defects, hazards in the workplace, and defective products. Punitive damages may also be recovered by the family members if it can be proved that the behavior that caused the death was intentional, reckless, and malicious.
Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased. The personal representative is declared by the will of the deceased. If there is no will, the court will decide who the personal representative will be. Most often the personal representative is a spouse or other family member. The personal representative is able to file the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the surviving family members and estate.
Those who are entitled to compensation for the death of their family member include spouses, children, parents, and relatives who are dependent on the deceased. Most often, the claim is filed by an immediate family member. In most cases, parents are only able to recover damages for minors and the damages are usually related to mental and emotional trauma resulting from the death of the child. Parents of adult children who have passed away are generally not able to recover damages, but there are some exceptions to this.
The statute of limitations is a law that puts a timeline on when a claim must be filed. In Florida, the wrongful death statute of limitations is two years. This means that a lawsuit must be filed within two years of the wrongful death. If this deadline is missed, the claim will be forever barred. There are very specific and rare circumstances where this time limit does not apply. It is important to contact an experienced attorney in order to maximize the damages recovered and abide by the statutes and laws in Florida.
Wrongful Death Damages
Florida’s “Wrongful Death Statute” includes specific damages that can be recovered. In Florida, the surviving family members and the estate can both receive compensation for the wrongful death of a person. Recoverable damages include:
- Support, guidance, and services lost.
- Loss of companionship, protection, and love.
- Pain and suffering experienced due to the loss of a child, spouse, parent, or sibling. This includes mental and emotional trauma.
- Medical bills and funeral expenses.
- Lost wages, benefits, potential future earnings, medical expenses, and funeral expenses.
As you can see, the wrongful death laws can be quite complicated. It is important that you contact an experienced lawyer, like a wrongful death lawyer in Tampa, FL from Jeff Murphy Law, in a timely manner so that you can maximize the compensation received as a result of damages incurred due to the loss of a loved one.