With that in mind, we have included a brief FAQ detailing some of the most common questions and answers people like you have had regarding wrongful death claims in Florida. If you have other questions that have not been answered on this page, contact us to further discuss the specific details of your case.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death is any death caused by the negligent, careless, or wrongful act of another. It doesn’t matter whether the at-fault party intentionally or accidentally caused the death of your loved one. The fact remains that their negligent actions are the cause of the decedent’s death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Under Florida law, only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate has the authority to file a wrongful death claim. This could be virtually anyone the decedent chose to name, such as a spouse, parent, or adult child. But if the deceased did not name someone as the representative of their estate, the court may appoint one.
How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?
The statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits in Florida is two years. Your lawsuit must be filed within two years of the decedent’s passing; otherwise, you may no longer be able to seek compensation in civil court. Keep in mind that there are exceptions to Florida’s wrongful death statute of limitations for cases involving murder or manslaughter.
What Does Compensation Look Like in Wrongful Death Claims?
The surviving family members of the deceased are awarded compensation despite the fact that the representative of the estate files the claim. Families can seek recovery of a wide variety of losses, including:
- Loss of companionship, love, and support
- Loss of society, advice, and protection
- Emotional distress
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial services costs
- Lost income and benefits
- Lost future earnings and benefits
How Is a Wrongful Death Claim Different from a Criminal Case?
Criminal charges are filed by a prosecuting attorney and seek criminal penalties like fines and imprisonment. Wrongful death lawsuits are civil claims, filed by the deceased’s personal representative, seeking compensation for negligent or wrongful actions that led to the death.
Get Your Florida Wrongful Death Questions Answered
When you lose a family member because someone else is reckless, careless, or negligent, you may be able to seek justice by pursuing a civil wrongful death claim against the at-fault party.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a trusted fatal accident lawyer at Lopez & Humphries, PA. Call us at (863) 774-3573 or fill out the quick contact form at the bottom of this page to get started on your case.