Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Losing a loved one is a devastating experience that can worsen when someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing causes their death. In Florida, when a wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract causes someone to die, individuals close to them may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for their losses.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or intentional act, it’s essential to understand who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida and what damages you may be able to recover. If you believe you have a claim, seek the advice of a qualified attorney without delay.
Who Can Be a Personal Representative in Florida?
In Florida, the person determined to be the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative is the only one who can file a wrongful death lawsuit claiming damages.
A deceased person’s will may sometimes list the name of a chosen personal representative, but if there is no will, the court may select a close relative or friend of the dead to serve as the personal representative. To serve as a personal representative in a wrongful death lawsuit, the individual must be a Florida resident or a Florida-based corporation.
Filing on the Family’s Behalf
In Florida, the personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the following parties:
- Surviving Spouse: The surviving spouse of the deceased person can recover damages for loss of companionship and protection, as well as for any pain and suffering that they experienced due to the death of their spouse.
- Children: The deceased individual’s children may also be entitled to compensation for the absence of their parent’s care and protection. Additionally, they might be entitled to compensation for any financial losses they may have incurred due to their parent’s passing, including lost potential inheritance or income.
- Parents: If the deceased person’s parents are still alive, they may also be able to recover damages for the loss of their child.
- Other Relatives: If the deceased person does not have a living spouse, children, or parents, other relatives who depended on the dead person for support or services may also be able to recover damages.
What Damages Could Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The damages potentially recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida fall into two general categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. Depending on the circumstances of the death, the personal representative may also be able to recover punitive damages in addition to economic and non-economic damages. Judges may award punitive damages to further hold the defendant accountable for their wrongdoing and discourage them from doing it in the future.
Economic damages are the financial losses the surviving family suffered due to their loved one’s death. These may include:
- Medical and funeral expenses: The family members may be able to recover compensation for the healthcare expenses and the cost of the burial and funeral service that they may have incurred due to their family member’s death.
- Lost income and benefits: If the deceased person was the primary breadwinner, the surviving family members could potentially receive funds for the pay and benefits they lost due to the death.
- Loss of support and services: The surviving family members can also claim damages for the value of the support and services the deceased person would have provided if they had not died.
Non-economic damages refer to the emotional and psychological impact of the deceased person’s death. These may include:
- Pain and suffering: The grieving family members can be entitled to financial compensation for the emotional pain and suffering brought on by the loss of their loved one.
- Loss of companionship and protection: Family members may also recover compensation for losing their loved one’s companionship, guidance, and security.
- Mental anguish: The surviving family members may be able to recover compensation for the emotional trauma and distress they suffered due to their loved one’s death.
- Loss of parental companionship and instruction: If the deceased person had minor children, the children could recover damages for the loss of their parent’s companionship and guidance.
- Loss of spousal companionship: The surviving spouse can recover damages for the loss of their spouse’s companionship and emotional support.
It’s important to remember that Florida limits non-economic damages in wrongful death lawsuits. The number of survivors and the case specifics determines how much non-economic damages can be recovered. An experienced attorney can be beneficial in determining what the outcome of your case could be.
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
In Florida, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The legal system often refers to the deadline to file a case as the “statute of limitations.” If you fail to file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you may lose your right to recover compensation for your losses.
However, certain cases have some exceptions to the statute of limitations. For example, if the accused party concealed their wrongful conduct, the clock may not start ticking until the victim’s friends or family discovers the concealment. It’s always best to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney to determine if you have any exceptions that may apply to your case.
Contact Mausner Graham InJury Law Today
Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing is a tragic and emotionally devastating experience. If you believe that someone else’s actions caused your loved one’s death, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for your losses.
However, navigating the legal system can be complex and overwhelming, especially while you’re still grieving. That’s why it’s essential to seek the guidance of an experienced wrongful death attorney who can guide you through the process and advocate for your rights.
At Mausner Graham Injury Law, we understand the emotional toll these cases can take on families. We’re committed to providing you with the support and guidance you need to move forward.
If you’re considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, don’t wait. Contact us today at 305-344-HURT(4878) to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We’ll review your case, explain your legal options, and help you seek justice for your loved one.