When someone close to you loses their life due to someone else’s negligence, you might qualify to file a wrongful death lawsuit and be compensated for the deceased’s untimely death. If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is contact a Florida wrongful death attorney. They will be able to provide legal insight into your case and help you determine if you are eligible to file a claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
In Florida, a wrongful death lawsuit can only be filed by family members. The majority of claims are filed by parents or spouses, but the child of an individual who died due to negligence is also eligible. A wrongful death lawsuit holds the at-fault party accountable for the emotional and financial losses that come with this kind of tragedy. This claim usually involves purposeful actions or negligence that lead to loss of life. Car accidents, intentional killings, and medical malpractice are among the most common causes of wrongful death.
How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida
1. Determine if You Qualify to Submit a Claim
Florida law restricts wrongful death lawsuits to close relatives of the deceased. The following relatives are eligible to file a claim:
- Dependent blood relatives
- Dependent adoptive siblings
- Children born out of wedlock to a mother or father
You also need to submit the claim within the statute of limitations in your state. In Florida, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case is two years from the date of death. If you don’t file a claim within this time limit, you will not be eligible for compensation.
Another factor that needs to be present is negligence. To file a wrongful death claim, you must be able to prove your loved one’s death was caused by negligent actions. Some examples would be a car accident, nursing home neglect, or a medical error that resulted in death.
2. Discuss Your Case With a Wrongful Death Attorney in Florida
The first thing for you to do is discuss your matter with a legal representative, especially if you are unsure whether your claim is valid. By speaking with a wrongful death attorney in Florida, you will be able to figure out whether you do have a case and initiate taking legal action.
3. Collect Evidence to Support Your Case
As your claim begins, your attorney will collect the necessary evidence to develop a strong case against the accused person. This usually involves dealing with law enforcement personnel and medical professionals who are specialized in these cases. Your lawyer may also consult an expert witness or accident reconstruction professional to analyze the claim.
4. Determine the Value of Your Claim
After gathering all information about your claim, your attorney will be able to determine the value of your case. This includes funeral expenditures, medical bills, and any other expenses incurred by the family seeking compensation.
5. Submit Your Wrongful Death Claim
After gathering sufficient evidence about your case, your legal representative will make an official filing with the court. This claim will contain evidence supporting your case, identify the accused person, and indicate your claim’s value.
6. Pre-Trial and Negotiation
It’s usually best to reach a settlement agreement, to avoid having to go to trial. That is because trials can take a long time, which will increase your legal fees.
In order to reach a fair settlement agreement, negotiation needs to take place. Negotiation usually involves coordinating using the defendant’s legal team to obtain the desired information. Moreover, sometimes court motions are filed at this stage. Your legal representative will usually be dealing with the defendant’s lawyer directly.
Your lawyer will have the opportunity to present the gathered evidence to prove your claim. At this stage, the defendant’s team can prevent the issue from going to court by offering your team a settlement agreement. If the defendant’s team offers a low settlement amount, your lawyer can counter the issue and negotiate for fair compensation.
7. Go to Trial if Necessary
Your case might go to trial in the event the accused’s legal team fails to offer you adequate compensation. Your legal representative can inform you to attend court if he or she believes that you may have a strong case. You may take this court action when the negotiation process fails to succeed.
What Damages Can You Seek in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When your lawyer helps you file a wrongful death lawsuit, they will consider all the damages relevant to your loved one’s loss. Below are some of the damages you may be entitled to:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Medical bills from your loved one before they passed
- Emotional support and lack of companionship
- Suffering and emotional pain endured for losing someone close
- The value and services your loved one contributed
Contact a Florida Wrongful Death Attorney at VG Law Group
When you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Reach out our Florida personal injury law firm today and schedule a free consultation.