The sudden death of a family member isn’t only shocking, but it’s traumatic too. Such a death can be caused by the intentional act, recklessness or the carelessness and negligence of another person or entity. A wrongful death can shake the foundation of a family and leave it both emotionally and financially flattened. No sum of money can replace a parent, husband, wife, brother or sister, but the damages from a civil wrongful death lawsuit can operate to lighten the financial burden suffered by the survivors of the person who died.
We Can Help You and Your Family
Robert Sparks Attorneys in Dade City understands the changes that surviving families go through. We can help you get back on your feet again and obtain the financial and emotional closure in this chapter of your life that all of you need. You can begin that process by contacting us for a free consultation and case review as soon as you can.
The Rights of Surviving Family Members
Florida’s wrongful death laws are located at Florida Statutes section 768.16 to 768.26. Under these laws, when a personal injury victim dies as a result of an act or failure to act by somebody else, his or her executor can file a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue compensation for the damages that the decedent’s survivors suffered. Assuming that the case has merit and a settlement or award results, the decedent’s surviving family members are able to recover the money damages they deserve for the harm that they’ve endured.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case in Florida?
In Florida, only the estate of the wrongful death victim is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the decedent died with a will, the person who is named as his or her executor can bring such a case. If a person died without a will, a judge will appoint somebody to act as the executor who won’t benefit or inherit from the settlement or award. The people who might benefit from a wrongful death case in Florida might include the following individuals:
- Adopted dependent children.
- Other blood relatives.
- A child born out of wedlock may be eligible to benefit if the father acknowledged paternity and supported the child.
The Statute of Limitations
Nearly all Florida personal injury cases have a four-year deadline for filing a personal injury case. Take notice that a wrongful death case in Florida has only a two-year limitations deadline. If an appropriate wrongful death case is not filed in Florida within two years of the decedent’s death, his or her estate will likely be barred from proceeding in such a case in the future.
Common Accidents That Can Cause a Wrongful Death
A wide range of accidents can be the cause of a wrongful death claim. These include airplane, train or bus crashes, automobile, motorcycle and truck crashes, boating or swimming pool accidents, accidents on property owned or occupied by somebody else, deaths caused by dangerously defective products and medical malpractice.
Damages Recoverable by Survivors
The damages that survivors might pursue are also wide-ranging. Those might include but not be limited to the following:
- Loss of financial support.
- The value of the decedent’s lost services.
- Loss of parental guidance and companionship.
- Psychological and emotional pain and suffering.
- Funeral and burial costs.
- Other valuable damages to the decedent’s estate.
Contact a Dade City Wrongful Death Lawyer.
Don’t try to navigate your way through a Florida wrongful death case on your own. It’s a complex and confusing process, and the opposing insurance company and its defense attorneys will only try to devalue or even deny any compensation that you may be entitled to. Rather than trying to do that and hurting your case, get serious, and help your family by contacting the Dade City wrongful death lawyers at Robert Sparks Attorneys for that free consultation and case review. As we take these types of cases on a contingency fee basis, no cash is even due for us to pursue the maximum settlement or award that you deserve.