Losing a loved one is difficult under any circumstance, but when a loved one dies or is killed because of someone else’s negligent behavior it can be absolutely devastating. Unfortunately, it happens all too frequently in our local community.
Did you know, however, there may be legal remedies in these cases. Surviving relatives of a deceased person may be able to work with their attorney to file a “wrongful death” lawsuit against the negligent party that caused the death. Negligence is a legal term used to characterize conduct that creates an unreasonable risk of harm to others. If someone negligently causes an injury to another person, then they may be held responsible for paying damages.
In a wrongful death case, negligence is often derived from car accidents, industrial accidents, medical malpractice or defective products. Every state has its own civil wrongful death statute, or set of statutes, which establish the procedures for bringing wrongful death actions. Certain elements apply anywhere and can often include the following:
- The death of a human being.
- Another person’s negligence or intent to harm caused the death.
- There are survivors harmed by the loss of the victim.
- The survivors suffered monetary injuries as a result of the death.
In Florida, survivors may be eligible for wrongful death damages for a number of reasons, including a loss of companionship, potential earnings, mental pain and suffering, and medical and funeral expenses. The amount of awarded damages depends on various factors, including the survivor’s relationship to the deceased, the likely income of the deceased and a replacement value of the decedent’s services to the survivor. Courts may also decide to award punitive damages to survivors if it’s determined that the negligent party was reckless or grossly at fault.
No amount of money can ever replace a lost loved one. Bear in mind, there are time limitations involved. The amount of time, or statute of limitations, to bring a wrongful death claim in Florida is two years from the date of the death. If a wrongful death claim is not brought within this time period, the claim may be barred forever.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or recklessness of another, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney. Our local team is committed to helping you. You may call us any time, day or night.