when families become victims

One thing no one in this life can escape is death. However, when that death is the result of a tragic and unexpected accident, family members and loved ones are left with indescribable grief, not to mention their fear for the future. Not only can a sudden and shocking death be emotionally painful, but it can also shake the stability of those left behind. Families of victims often face legal and financial hardship as well. Thus, this kind of unnecessary loss of life also turns families into victims.

In the event that a loved one’s death is the result of negligent or reckless actions of another party, lowercase is here to offer support and guidance through this challenging process. Our the experienced personal injury lawyers are dedicated to serving the best interests of victims and their families. If you believe you have lost someone you love due to wrongful death, call lowercase today at 833-LOW-FEE5 (833-569-3335).

what is a wrongful death claim?

Wrongful death is commonly defined as a claim against an individual who can be held liable for the death of another. Such a claim allows one to file a lawsuit even though the victim is no longer alive to bring the case themselves. Wrongful death state statutes vary state by state, with some details being drastically different in different parts of the country. The most common types of wrongful death claims include:

Here in the Sunshine State, we have Florida Statutes section 768.19. This particular piece of legislation states that when an individual's death is the result of another person or entity’s “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract", their estate may bring a civil lawsuit to court. Furthermore, Florida law does establish requirements for who can file the wrongful death claim.

how to file a wrongful death claim

Firstly, only a personal representative of the victim's estate can file the claim. This individual is typically mentioned in the deceased person's will or estate plan. Conversely, if there is no will or estate plan, the court will appoint one. However, it is important to note that the claim is still on behalf of the victim's estate and any surviving family members. Therefore, a personal representative must list every survivor who has an interest in the personal death claim.

According to Florida law, family members who may recover damages due to wrongful death case include the victim’s:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is "partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services."

In any case, be sure to ask a lowercase attorney about identifying the personal representative of your loved one.

Next, you want to make sure the specific circumstances of your case meet the criteria for wrongful death claims. Ask yourself:

  • Was this death the result of the incident in question?
  • Are you able to prove that your loved one’s death was caused by the actions or negligence of the defendant?
  • Can you show how your loved one’s sudden death has directly affected you and/or other members of the victim’s family?
  • Is this death the cause of financial hardship for the survivors?

In order to successfully pursue this kind of claim, you must be able to answer yes to these questions. This is the very basis of what these kinds of lawsuits are built from.

wrongful death damages

Technically, these cases are civil suits. As a result, liability is expressed in terms of financial damages. Additionally, there can also be a criminal case related to the death. However, this kind of action addresses different concerns. Typically, criminal charges do not result in damages being paid to the victim's estate.

Florida Statutes section 768.21 sets the standard for awarding damages. The damages awarded in a wrongful death case may vary, but Florida law covers several forms of compensation for the loved ones of victims. These include:

  • Value of support and services the deceased person had provided to the surviving family member
  • Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection for spouses and minor children
  • Pain and suffering, both mental and emotional, for spouses and children
  • Medical expenses any surviving family member has paid for the deceased person
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost wages, benefits, and other earnings
  • Value of lost earnings the victim could reasonably have been expected to make had they not died

Even though no amount of money is ever enough to heal this kind of loss, there is no reason you or your loved ones should have to struggle financially while you grieve. A mourning family should never have to be burdened with the costs of medical and funeral expenses in their most desperate time.

statute of limitations on wrongful death cases

Finally, there is the topic of a time limit for wrongful death cases. Laws establishing time limits for filing different kinds of lawsuits are referred to as the statute of limitations. For wrongful death lawsuits, most states have separate statutes.

According to Florida law, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years of the date of death. In very rare cases the deadline may be postponed. However, this is only done under a few very specific circumstances. With this in mind, it is critical to your claim that you are aware of that deadline and act accordingly. Moreover, this is all the more reason to seek the expertise of professionals with experience in litigating wrongful death cases.

call us today

Not everyone understands how to establish liability in wrongful death and pursue it to the full extent of the law. It can be a challenging process to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of a loved one’s death. However, the compassionate and skilled lawyers at lowercase know how to shed light on the most essential details of each claim. By examining police reports, interviewing witnesses and reviewing physical evidence, we can build the best possible case for negotiating a settlement that best serves you and your loved ones.

You never have to be in this fight alone. A lowercase personal injury attorney is here to help. Our purpose is to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We work to ensure that justice is served for the victims and families of those who lose their lives due to the recklessness or negligence of others. Call us at 833-LOW-FEE5 (833-569-3335) today.

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