Florida's Wrongful Death Act: An Overview

funeralWhen someone we love dies because someone else is negligent, it can be devastating. Legal action may be the last thing on your mind. We understand this. However, if your loved one was involved in a negligence-related accident such as a drunk driving collision, you should know that you can hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

Before you file a claim, you need to understand a few things. Our Tampa wrongful death lawyers are here to help you understand the various aspects of a claim so you can better prepare yourself moving forward. Below, we explain what the Florida Wrongful Death Act outlines as far as who is allowed to file a claim, what kind of damages you can seek, and the time limits you have to file.

Who Can File a Claim?

The Florida Wrongful Death Act limits who is able to file a wrongful death claim. According to Florida Statute 768.21, surviving spouses and children under the age of 25 may file on behalf of the deceased individual. Children over the age of 25 and who suffer a condition that limits their physical or mental capabilities may also be able to file a claim if they were a dependent of the decedent.

What Kind of Damages Are Available?

Damages you can receive are often dependent on your individual situation. For instance, for spouses who did not work, damages may include lost wages the decedent would have earned and money to cover vocational training. The damages may also include loss of companionship and pain and suffering experienced by the decedent prior to death. Other potential damages may include lost parental support, funeral expenses, and more.

How Long Do I Have to File?

The statute of limitations in Florida requires eligible parties to file a wrongful death claim within two years from the day of the death. This gives the family time to go through the mourning period, regroup, and bring forth the necessary information to file a claim. If you do not file a claim before the statute of limitations, you may lose your ability to hold the negligent party accountable.

If you are a surviving spouse or surviving child under the age of 25, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act. You shouldn’t allow the responsible party to get away with his or her actions. Call us today to learn more about your options in a potential claim.

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