How Do I Pursue a Wrongful Death Case in Florida?
If a loved one dies due to another person’s reckless or negligent behavior, and there is no criminal activity involved in the death, they may still be sued in civil court for wrongful death. The Florida Wrongful Death Act permits certain members of the decedent’s family to file a wrongful death claim against either the entity of person that was negligent and ultimately caused their family member’s death. If someone you loved died due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to receive compensation for their unexpected medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering or loss of consortium.
Florida Wrongful Death Act
The Florida Wrongful Death Act states that a wrongful death claim is appropriate when the person’s death was due to “the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person.” Oftentimes, wrongful death cases accompany criminal cases, however, they are an independent legal action that allows family members to seek monetary compensation.
Who May File?
The state of Florida states that the following persons may file a wrongful death lawsuit: surviving spouse, children, or parents, or blood relatives or adoptive siblings that are dependent upon the decedent either in part or in whole.
Damages for a Wrongful Death Claim
While no amount of money will ever bring a loved one back, there are oftentimes significant financial costs that were associated with someone’s wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence. A wrongful death claim allows the family of the victim to be able to hold the negligent person or entity responsible for their actions and help with the bills that would otherwise not have been incurred. Some of the types of damages that are available in a wrongful death claim in Florida include:
- Loss of support and services to survivors, which may include the replacement value of lost support, and the probable future income of the decedent
- Surviving spouse’s and children’s loss of companionship
- Medical bills and related expenses regarding the loved one’s death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
- The value of elder care or child care the decedent provided before their death
- Loss of the expected net assets of the decedent’s estate which may have been reasonably expected but for the wrongful death
- Loss of future earnings of the decedent
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is the deadline by which a family member or other person may file a wrongful death claim in the state of Florida. Florida has a deadline of four years after the loved one’s death to file a claim. If you attempt to file a claim for the wrongful death of your loved one after this period of time, the court will likely dismiss your case and your claim.
Let Us Help You Today
If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence, this may be an emotionally difficult time for you. Contact our compassionate legal team at Roman & Roman today at 877-767-1032 or contact us online for a free consultation to help you determine if you have a strong wrongful death claim, and help you with your next steps. We have offices in Clearwater, Hudson, and Tampa.