Guide to Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Settlements

It is never easy to cope with the loss of a loved one. However, when someone you loved was killed due to the negligence of another person, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.

You deserve to grieve properly without the added stress of figuring out your legal options. This guide for Florida wrongful death lawsuits and settlements will help you determine where to begin.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim can only be made if the death of your loved one was caused by the negligence of someone else. This differs from manslaughter, homicide, and murder, as wrongful death is a civil matter rather than a criminal one. Wrongful death lawsuits are meant to compensate the surviving loved ones of the deceased for their losses.

What Are the Wrongful Death Laws in Florida?

In the state of Florida, there are restrictions on when and how certain family members can file a wrongful death claim. An attorney is instrumental in this process as they will help you navigate it.

According to Florida law, surviving family members may file a wrongful death suit if the loss was due to a wrongful act, a breach of contract, or negligence. A statute of limitations also exists for wrongful death claims. You must file the lawsuit within two years from the death of your loved one.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?

With a wrongful death claim, an attorney can help you initiate your official complaint in a wrongful death claim. Generally, the people permitted to file this claim are limited to the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased. In the case of minor children, defined by law as those under the age of 25, they may receive higher damages than adult children.

Additionally, other relatives that were dependent on the deceased for financial support may be eligible. However, the primary beneficiaries must have a chance to file a claim first. If you are not the spouse, child, or parent of a loved one that died via wrongful death but depended on them for financial support, an attorney will be instrumental in helping you move forward.

Who Can You Sue for Wrongful Death?

In a wrongful death case, you may be able to sue multiple parties. That means individual people as well as companies and government entities. For example, if your loved one was killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you could bring a wrongful death case against the drunk driver and the establishment that continued to serve that driver alcohol. Another example is if improperly maintained roads led to the accident that resulted in the death of your loved one, you could file a wrongful death claim against the party that was responsible for maintaining the road.

What Damages Can You Collect from a Wrongful Death Claim?

As the surviving family member, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the expenses you’ve incurred after your loved one passed away. This could include funeral expenses and medical bills. Lost wages, benefits, and other earnings may also be sought based on the amount your family member would have contributed through the natural course of their lifetime if it weren’t cut short.

In cases involving the loss of the child, financial help will usually be provided for emotional and mental suffering. Spouses may receive compensation for the loss of companionship and protection. Additionally, you may be able to claim punitive damages if it can be proven that the defendant was grossly negligent or had malicious intent.

What Factors Impact a Wrongful Death Settlement?

Putting a value on someone’s life is very difficult to do. As such, wrongful death settlements will vary widely depending on the nature of the case.

If your loved one was young and healthy, you are more likely to see a higher settlement. This is because they would have been expected to live a long and full life if the incident that caused their wrongful death never occurred. For victims that had a high earning capacity and education level, their loved ones will be more likely to receive more as well.

When someone dies as a result of another person’s negligence, the children of that victim will be given a higher settlement amount compared to those without young dependents or any adult children. The total amount of the medical bills, funeral costs, and any benefits such as pensions will impact the size of the settlement.

If the case goes to trial or is settled, this will additionally impact the amount offered. Typically, insurance companies attempt to settle for less. In the event of a wrongful death, negligence must be proven to claim compensation.

What Should You Do If You’ve Lost a Loved One Due to Wrongful Death?

Since each case is different, it is important to discuss your situation with a wrongful death lawyer. They will help you determine if you are eligible to file this type of claim. As this time is no doubt difficult for you, an experienced lawyer will help you work through the stresses of recovering compensation for the financial losses you’ve suffered due to the accident.

Doing so allows you to release some of the burdens and work through your grief. Losing someone you love is difficult to cope with, but when it happens suddenly, as in the case of most wrongful deaths, you may also be in shock. Never try to handle a wrongful death claim on your own because in your grief, you may not accurately assess all the damages that will affect the settlement amount. Leave this to a capable wrongful death attorney who will know every aspect of the law regarding wrongful death cases.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment