A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit brought to court when the negligence or wrongful act of one party causes the death of another person. Florida Statutes section 768.19 states that when a person’s death “is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract” of another person or some other entity, the estate of the deceased person may bring a civil lawsuit in Florida’s courts, seeking a legal remedy for that death and the losses stemming from it. Florida law requires the personal representative of the deceased persons estate to file the wrongful death claim within two years of the date of death, according to Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(d).
Family members who may recover damages in a wrongful death case are:
- the deceased persons spouse, children and parents
- any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services”
Florida state’s rules for awarding damages in a wrongful death lawsuit allow surviving family members to receive damages in cases in which:
- the value of support and services the deceased person had provided to the surviving family member
- loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased person
- mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss of a child
- medical or funeral expenses any surviving family member has paid for the deceased
The deceased person’s estate may also recover certain types of damages. These include:
- lost wages, benefits, and other earnings, including the value of lost earnings that the deceased person could reasonably have been expected to make if he or she had lived
- lost “prospective net accumulations” of the estate, or the value of earnings the estate could reasonably have been expected to collect if the deceased person had lived, and
- medical and funeral expenses that were paid by the estate directly.
If you have lost a loved one as a result of the actions of another person or a third party, please contact our skilled attorney at Darfoor Law Firm. We can assist you with evaluating your case and determining your legal rights and whether you have a claim under Florida’s Wrongful Death Statute. Call our office at 1-833-DARFOOR today for a free consultation from a Florida wrongful death attorney.
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