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Legal Help After a Wrongful Death
When a catastrophic accident causes the death of a loved one, family and friends are left picking up the pieces and trying to make sense of the situation. If a person dies due to an event caused by another party’s negligence, survivors of the deceased may have a right to seek damages through a wrongful death claim. In these cases, it must be proven that the person or entity the wrongful death claim is brought against (the defendant) was responsible for the fatal accident. It’s important to know how to file a wrongful death claim and who can collect wrongful death damages based on Florida law.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Florida law states that a wrongful death claim must be filed by the decedent’s personal representative. This representative will recover all damages on behalf of the decedent’s estate and any surviving family members. A personal representative may be named in the decedent’s will or in an estate plan. If there is no will or estate plan, the personal representative will be appointed by the court based on Florida law and the decisions of the surviving family members.
Family members who can receive damages in a Florida wrongful death case include:
Spouses, children, and parents
- Blood relatives
- Adoptive siblings
- Anyone who was financially dependent on the decedent
According to Florida Statutes Section 95.11(4)(d), wrongful death claims in Florida must be filed within two years of the date of death. The time limit for filing may be postponed under certain specific circumstances, but a wrongful death attorney with experience handling these cases in Florida can help you determine exactly when the statute of limitations expires in your case.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death claims are brought in civil court and are resolved through monetary means, otherwise known as damages. Wrongful death damages, if awarded, may include financial compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Medical or funeral expenses
- Lost companionship
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
A wrongful death lawyer can help you better understand the statutes in the Florida Wrongful Death Act, which outlines the state’s rules for awarding damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Each case is different, but a wrongful death lawyer will help you fight for the wrongful death benefits you deserve.
Why Call a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Losing a loved one can be emotional and traumatic. During such a distressing period in your life, the last thing you should be worrying about is legal proceedings and what paperwork to collect. Wrongful death lawyers have an in-depth knowledge of the legal process involved with successfully filing a claim and are skilled in understanding the elements needed to build a strong case on your behalf. A wrongful death lawyer can also make sure that all legal documents are completed and correctly filed within the time limits.
Of course, choosing the right wrongful death lawyer for you and your situation can feel overwhelming. Below are some questions you can ask to find the right firm.
Before Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer, Ask the Following Questions:
- How many wrongful death cases have you previously handled?
- How many wrongful death cases have you taken to trial?
- What results have you obtained in representing survivors of a wrongful death?
- Do you have the financial resources to go up against large insurance companies?
- Are you the attorney who will be working on my case through trial if necessary?
All of these questions will help you find an experienced, trustworthy wrongful death attorney in Florida who will represent your case to the fullest.
Matthews Injury Law: Focused on Wrongful Death Cases in Florida
The attorneys at Matthews Injury Law have litigated tragic wrongful death cases throughout Florida and the nation. We personally work with families and loved ones to navigate them through the stressful process of pursuing a wrongful death claim. Our team of wrongful death attorneys will fight to recover the maximum amount of compensation that our clients deserve. We do not hesitate to take wrongful death cases to trial when necessary.
If your spouse or family member had an untimely death due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, contact the team at Matthews Injury Law as soon as possible. Choose a time that fits your schedule, set up a free consultation, and one of our attorneys will be in touch.