When your loved one dies unexpectedly, it can be a stressful and emotionally painful time. When your loved one’s death is the result of someone’s negligence, the pain can be even greater. While nothing can bring your family member back, a wrongful death claim can help a family find closure and seek justice on behalf of the deceased person.
Wrongful Death Statutes
Florida law allows for a claim when an individual’s death is caused by the “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty” of another person. A wrongful death claim is filed in civil court by the estate of the deceased person.
Under Florida Statutes section 95.11(4), a wrongful death action must be brought within two years of the date of death. There are a few specific circumstances where the deadline may be postponed, but an attorney with experience in wrongful death claims could best assist you in determining when the statute of limitations expires.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
A personal representative of a deceased person’s estate must be the party to bring the wrongful death claim. A representative is usually named in the deceased person’s will. If this is not the case, then a court will appoint someone to act as the representative. The claim is filed on behalf of the surviving family members who are suffering from the loss of their loved one. The estate’s personal representative is required to name all family members who have an interest in the case. Family members who may be entitled to recover damages in a wrongful death case include the deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents. It may also include any blood relative or adopted sibling who was dependent on the deceased person for support or services.
What Damages are Recoverable?
Florida Statute section 768.21 spells out the monetary damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim. These damages include:
- Loss of support and services
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering of losing a child
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Lost wages, benefits, and earnings
Contact a Trusted Attorney
If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone’s negligence, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.