If you’ve lost a loved one due to another party’s negligence, you may qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit and be eligible for compensation. In this post, we’ll go over what you need to know about filing a wrongful death claim in Florida.
What Is Wrongful Death?
According to Florida Statutes Section 768.19, a wrongful death is one that was caused by a wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of warranty or contract. This means that a wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to another’s fault. This could include:
- Medical malpractice
- Automobile accidents
- Defective products
- Construction accidents
- Intentional harm (criminal act)
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim In Florida?
Under Florida law, the executor of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. In the absence of a will or estate plan, the Court will appoint a representative, usually the surviving spouse or an individual selected by a majority of the deceased person’s heirs. In a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, the following family members are legally allowed to recover damages:
- Minor children
- Adult children
- Blood relative or adoptive sibling who was dependent on the deceased person for services or support.
Steps To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Below are the steps it takes to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida:
Speak With A Wrongful Death Attorney
The first thing you should do is consult with an attorney. A wrongful death attorney can build your case by investigating the accident, gathering evidence, dealing with insurance companies, and hiring experts to testify for your wrongful death case.
Determine If You Qualify
Make sure you are one of the eligible relatives under Florida law that can file a claim. You must also make sure that you are submitting the claim within the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Florida is two years from the date of the death. To be successful, you will also have to prove that the death was due to negligence.
Collect Evidence And Determine Your Claim’s Value
Your wrongful death attorney will be able to help you collect the necessary documentation and evidence to prove that your loved one’s death was due to the fault of another party. Gathering the proper evidence will help build a successful case against the accused. Your lawyer will also help gather information that will help determine the value of your claim. This can include medical expenses, funeral expenses, and any other expenditures.
File Your Claim
After your attorney gathers all the necessary evidence, they will file an official claim with the court. This claim will include supporting evidence, identification of the accused, and your claim’s value.
After the claim is filed, the next steps in the process are negotiations and pre-trial, and then trial if necessary. To avoid hefty legal fees, it is usually best to reach a settlement agreement. Your attorney will present all of the evidence to prove your claim and negotiate with the defendant’s team for fair compensation.