Wrongful Death Laws in Florida
Losing someone you love can be difficult and heartbreaking, no matter the cause. However, when you lose someone in an accident that could have been prevented, it is that much worse. Florida has rules to protect workers and citizens against wrongful death. According to the Wrongful Death Act, individuals are allowed to bring forth a lawsuit against a person who caused the wrongful death. The law specifically states,
When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those occurring on navigable waters, and the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued, the person or watercraft that would have been liable in damages if death had not ensued shall be liable for damages as specified in this act notwithstanding the death of the person injured, although death was caused under circumstances constituting a felony.
At The Pittman Law Firm, we believe that everyone should be held accountable for his or her actions. If you lost someone due to negligence, carelessness, or malicious intent, you may have a claim to compensation. Our wrongful death attorneys are ready and willing to help you.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Under Florida law, the personal representative of the deceased’s property or survivors can bring forth a wrongful death lawsuit. Usually in matters of the estate, an individual should appoint someone they trust to handle such matters. However, if no one was appointed prior to death, the court may choose someone.
In terms of family members, the following can bring forth a claim:
- Blood relatives or adoptive siblings who are the deceased’s dependents
For children not born at the time of the death, they still have a right to bring forth a case for their deceased parent. However, if the child’s father dies, and he did not formally recognize them, they may not have a claim.
Damages One Can Claim by Florida Law
It can be difficult to sort out what you need to do or what to claim when your loved one passes away. All you can think of is how he or she is no longer with you. However, under Florida laws, there are certain damages that the deceased’s family or property can recover in the event of a wrongful death. According to Florida Statue section 768.21, both family and the estate have rights to the deceased’s assets and money.
Surviving family can claim the following damages:
- The financial support the deceased was providing
- The value of services performed, such as daily tasks and household chores
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
- Medical and funeral costs
- Loss of companionship
The deceased’s estate can claim the following damages:
- Lost wages, benefits, and other earnings
- Lost potential of net accumulation
- Medical and funeral expenses the estate has to cover
When it comes to wrongful death cases, it is important to take immediate action. Florida’s statute of limitation to file a claim is four years. However, the longer you wait, the more likely it is that evidence will deteriorate and memories will fade. If your loved one lost their lives because of someone else’s negligence, you deserve restitution. Contact our Tampa wrongful death attorneys today to see how we can help your case!