The terrible loss of losing a loved one due to someone’s negligence can be devastating. When a family is experiencing the financial and emotional effects of such a loss, it’s important to understand the rights of surviving family members. Our wrongful death attorneys have the experience to guide you through your wrongful death legal actions.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim?
In general, a wrongful death is when someone dies as the direct result of someone else’s intentional, negligent, or reckless conduct. Family members may file a claim since the victim is unable to do so, but under Florida law, those family members are limited to the deceased person’s children, spouse, and parents, and a blood relative or adoptive sibling who is wholly or partly dependent on the deceased person for services or support.
Some events that may result in a wrongful death lawsuit include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Vehicular accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premises accidents
The damages that may ultimately be awarded depend on a number of circumstances, as well as the relationship the survivor has to the deceased. Spouses and parents, for example, may have a claim for emotional trauma or lost companionship, while minor children may be awarded damages for lost support and comfort. Punitive damages may also be awarded by the courts.
Wrongful Death Claims vs. Survival Actions
You may have heard of a survival action claim, which is another type of claim that may be filed following a loved one’s death, but it differs from a wrongful death claim in several distinct ways. A survival action is the continuation of a legal claim that existed prior to the loved one’s death. An example would be a person who had filed a claim to recover damages from an injury sustained in a fall on a wet floor in a retail store, but died in a car accident before the case was resolved. The deceased person’s survivors could seek to extend the existing slip-and-fall claim and recover lost wages and medical expenses associated with that claim.
It’s important to note that Florida courts usually require plaintiffs to file either a wrongful death claim or a survival action claim, but not both. Survivors must consult with a qualified attorney for help in determining what type of claim is appropriate and in the family members’ best interests.
Don’t Wait To Call Our Wrongful Death Attorneys.
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Florida is two years from the date your loved one died, so seek legal assistance promptly. If you want to learn more about the rights of survivors or have questions about whether you have a case, contact us online or call our expert wrongful death lawyers at 904-251-1111 or toll-free at 1-800-251-1111 to schedule a no-obligation consultation at no cost to you.