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The loss of a loved one is a difficult and harrowing experience, and if you believe that the cause of their death was due to negligence of another, it can create an even deeper feeling of grief. Taking legal action by submitting a wrongful death claim may not be your priority as you go through the grieving process, but it is important to be aware of the time limit with which to file a wrongful death claim in the state of Florida. Statute of limitations vary from state to state, but once they’ve passed, you won’t be able to take action. If you’ve recently lost a love one and you feel as though their death was due to the negligence or misconduct of another, the sooner you act, the better.
What Is A Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is a claim against a person or entity that can be held liable for the death of another, usually due to negligence or misconduct. Negligence, in this case, refers to the failure of an individual or entity to behave in a manner reasonable and prudent.
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace incidents
- Dangerous roadways
- Product malfunction
- Commercial truck accidents
In order to establish that a wrongful death has occurred, it must be proven that the individual or entity had a duty of care for the deceased, that their act or omission breached that standard of care, that their actions were the direct cause of the death of the decedent, and that damages resulted thereof.
Damages Caused as Result of Wrongful Death
For the survivors of the deceased, several factors will be considered when determining the extent of damages caused by the wrongful death:
- Relationship – Spouse, immediate family members, child or parent
- Net income available to the survivor
- Replacement of the descendant’s services
- Life expectancy of all parties
A surviving spouse may be compensated for the loss of the deceased’s companionship, income, protection, and mental pain and suffering. Minor children may be compensated for the loss of parental guidance and protection, as well as mental pain and suffering. Parents may receive compensation for their mental pain and suffering after the loss of a child. In addition to these, survivors may be able to recover medical expenses and costs of burial. In some cases, a court may choose to impose punitive damages. In situations where a party’s negligent actions which led to a wrongful death are found to be intentional or reckless, punitive damages may be appropriate. These serve to punish the offending party in addition to discouraging such behavior from others in the future.
How To Prove Wrongful Death
To successfully take action in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must typically the following. Having an attorney who is familiar with a wrongful death claim will make these arguments, so that you don’t need to:
- The death of a human being
- Caused by the negligence of another or due to their intentional or reckless behavior
- The survival of family members who are suffering because of the deceased’s death
- The appointment of a personal representative of the decedent’s estate
Personal Injury Attorney
When it comes to seeking justice for the loss of your loved one, a personal injury attorney who specializes in wrongful death or in personal injury cases will dedicate their time to recovering justice for you during one of the most difficult times of your life. Consider attorneys with strong negotiation skills, as most cases end in settlements as the cost of a lengthy trial can be cost prohibitive. If you’ve recently lost a loved one to an accident or injury caused by the negligence or misconduct of an individual or entity, you may be entitled to bring action for wrongful death against those that are responsible. It may not be comfortable to pursue litigation during this sensitive time. Don’t delay or feel that you need to brave the road alone, there are many committed personal injury attorneys in Tampa who will be able to provide services and support to you through this ordeal.