Losing a loved one due to the negligent actions of another person can be a difficult time. Aside from the emotional loss, there can be financial considerations such as expenses incurred from medical bills, funeral expenses and other end of life costs. In Florida, loved ones can file a civil suit for wrongful death that can recover these losses along with other compensation.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death in Florida is defined in the Florida Statutes. It states that wrongful death includes the death of an individual due to negligence, wrongful acts, breach of contract or default by another individual or entity. In these cases, a legal remedy may be sought to recover monetary losses due to the death of that individual. This can include losing a loved one in an accident that was not his or her fault, medical malpractice, recklessness or a death at the workplace due to negligence on the part of the employer. A wrongful death attorney in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale can help recover damages associated with the death of a family member, so the family is not faced with inordinate debt.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death?
Family members may file a wrongful death suit against the individual responsible for the death depending on their relationship to the deceased person. In Florida, the duly named representative for the deceased individual’s estate files for the estate. In the lawsuit, all surviving members must be listed who have an interest in the lawsuit.
What Defines a Family Member in Florida?
The relationship of family members who can file for wrongful death varies depending on the state. Florida Statutes define which family members may be included in the lawsuit. This includes a spouse, parents, children or any relative related by blood or an adoptive sibling if that individual was dependent on the deceased person for services or support, in whole or in part. The right to be included in the lawsuit is modified for the child of an unwed couple who can recover damages if the mother dies. However, in order to recover damages if the father dies, it is only possible if the father formally claimed the child and had an obligation to support the child.
What Types of Damages Are Covered Under Wrongful Death?
Damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit include the deceased person’s financial support, services, guidance, loss of companionship and protection, along with medical and funeral expenses. If the deceased was a child, it can include emotional and mental pain along with suffering. Areas recoverable by the estate of the deceased can include benefits, lost wages and earnings, including the amount an individual would have earned in the future. It can also include the value of future earnings the estate could have accrued if the individual had not died.
Is There a Statute of Limitations to File for Wrongful Death?
Lawsuits are possible if a claim is filed within the statute of limitations. In the case of wrongful death, the time within which the lawsuit must be filed varies according to the cause of death. Asking your attorney about the length of time is important since failure to file within that period means that the case may not be allowed to proceed by the court.
Should You Call a Wrongful Death Attorney?
Losing a family member is a trying time for the entire family, and this loss is compounded by the added expenses, lost wages and emotional and financial support from the deceased. The law office of Kaiser Romanello has extensive experience in the area of wrongful death and can help you recover the expenses and future loss due to the death of a loved one. Contact us if you have lost a loved one due to negligence by another.