A friend or family member passing away is one of the hardest events anyone ever has to deal with. To help hold those responsible accountable, every single state has enacted some form of wrongful death law. Florida wrongful death lawyers protect victims from negligence and provide a financial safety net for unexpected expenses associated with wrongful death.
If your loved one has died as a result of someone else’s negligence, call the experienced team at The Berman Law Group now at 800-375-5555. We will fight for justice on your behalf and their behalf.
All states handle wrongful death suites, as well as damages, differently. This is one reason having aggressive Florida wrongful death lawyers on your side is critical. They can handle the legal side of things and take that weight off your shoulders. This allows you time to grieve and process your loss.
Learn what wrongful death is, who can file suit, common causes of wrongful death, and more below.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a type of personal injury lawsuit that results from someone being killed due to negligence. While this may seem simple in many cases – such as a drunk driving car accident where one party is killed – it can be very complicated in others.
You must establish four elements in order to prove a wrongful death occurred. These are:
- A party was responsible for the death of the victim – this party can be an individual, a group of individuals, or even a company
- The party was negligent in such a way that they are strictly liable for the victim’s death
- There is a surviving next of kin
- The death has caused monetary damages
Once these four elements have been established, wrongful death has legally occurred.
Make sure to consult with wrongful death attorneys in Florida as soon as you believe wrongful death has occurred. Not only will this help your case be handled as quickly as possible, but Florida has a statute of limitations on how long the surviving parties can file a wrongful death claim in. This is explored in-depth below, but for now it’s enough to know that you have two years from the time the death occurred or that the incident was discovered to file for wrongful death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
If you have lost a loved one as a result of negligence, medical malpractice, or any other cause, you may want to file a wrongful death lawsuit. That’s natural and even expected. You want to hold the people responsible for your loved one’s death accountable.
However, you may not be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. If, for example, you are dating someone who is killed due to negligence, you may not be able to start a wrongful death suit. That’s because Florida law only allows the personal representative of the victim to file a claim.
The personal representative is someone named in the victim’s will or estate plan. If no one is named, then the court can appoint one. It’s important to remember that while it’s the personal representative who files the claim and begins the wrongful death lawsuit process, the victim’s estate and family members are entitled to receive compensation as well. In other words, the personal representative isn’t the only one who benefits from a wrongful death claim.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
There isn’t a single cause of wrongful death, rather any type of accident that is life-threatening and the result of another party’s negligence can be considered a cause. Some causes are more common than others. For example, it’s more common to be in a car accident that results in your loved one’s death, than it is to have a jet engine detach from a plane due to poor manufacturing and kill your loved one.
Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Vehicle Accidents – including cars, motorcycles, scooters, etc.
- 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Workplace Accidents
- Product Liability
- & more
If you believe the death of your loved one was due to someone else’s negligence, contact The Berman Law Group today. Our team of experienced wrongful death lawyers in Florida is here to help. We’ll go through your case and determine if negligence occurred.
Time Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
We touched on the statute of limitations for wrongful death case above, but it bears examining in greater detail here. You have two years from the date of the accident that cause your loved one’s death or from the date that the accident was discovered. It’s this second point that is important. Most times, the accident will be discovered at the same time it occurs. This is the case with vehicle accidents of all types, catastrophic injuries and many instances of product liability. Medical malpractice, though, presents an entirely different situation.
If a doctor failed to diagnose a fatal disease or condition, they have committed negligence that led to your loved one’s death. If a surgeon made a mistake while operating on your loved one, they have committed negligence. These aren’t always immediately apparent.
It’s cases like these, alongside many other instances of medical malpractice, that make working with skilled Florida wrongful death attorneys so important. Not only will the attorneys know exactly how long you have to file a claim, but they’ll be able to guide you through the entire process. This is especially critical when dealing with large medical corporations that have teams of lawyers on their side.
There are other circumstances which can impact the timeframe you have to file a wrongful death case. This includes when the claim is against the government.
Wrongful Death Damages
There are two parties in Florida that are able to receive compensation and damages after a wrongful death lawsuit. These are the survivors and the estate.
The survivors are the family members of the victim. This includes the spouse, children (including minor children), parents and other blood relatives. The estate, on the other hand, is made up of people who were dependent on the victim. This can include non-married significant others, close friends, business partners and more.
The survivors are able to receive compensation for the loss of support, the loss of services, the loss of companionship, the loss of protection, the loss of guidance, the loss of instruction, pain and suffering, medical expenses and funeral expenses.
The estate is able to receive compensation for lost earnings, the loss of net accumulations, and medical and funeral expenses. Net accumulations refers to a jury’s decision over how much money the victim would have left their estate.
Florida used to limit the amount of pain and suffering damages the survivors and estate could recover in medical malpractice cases. It was set to one million dollars for cases against medical practitioners and increased to one and a half million dollars if a non-medical practitioner. In late 2017, this cap was struck down by the Florida Supreme Court.
Florida Wrongful Death Lawyers You Can Trust
If your loved one has been the victim of wrongful death, you deserve the best legal representation possible. You already have to deal with the emotionally-fraught experience of mourning their loss, you shouldn’t also have to deal with a complicated maze of legal requirements.
Thankfully, you have The Berman Law Group on your side. Our team of wrongful death attorneys in Florida are here to help. With decades of collective experience, they know exactly how to make sure the parties responsible for your loved one’s death are held accountable.
Call The Berman Law Group today at 800-375-5555.