Wrongful Death Lawsuit Eligibility in Florida

If you have recently lost a loved one as the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering if you are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Florida, the answer is yes – under certain circumstances, family members of a victim can file a civil suit against the party or parties responsible for their loved one’s death. This blog post will provide an overview of wrongful death lawsuits in Florida, including eligibility requirements and the damages that may be awarded. If you feel you have a valid claim, contact our wrongful death attorneys. You can request a free consultation with our experienced attorneys to learn more about your legal options.

Attorney counsels client about wrongful death lawsuit eligibility in Florida

Florida Restrictions for Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Florida has certain restrictions in place for wrongful death lawsuits. In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, you must be able to prove that the victim would have been able to recover damages if they had lived. This can be difficult to prove, and often requires the help of an experienced Florida wrongful death lawyer.

Florida’s Wrongful Death Act

Florida’s wrongful death act allows certain individuals to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased person. The lawsuit can seek damages from the victim’s family members for the loss of love and companionship, lost wages, and funeral expenses. To be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, you must be a spouse, child, parent, or sibling of the victim.

How Do You Find a Good Wrongful Death Lawyer in Florida?

There are a few things to consider when looking for a wrongful death lawyer in Florida. First, you’ll want to make sure that the lawyer has experience handling cases like yours. Wrongful death claims can be complex, so it’s important to find a lawyer who has experience with these kinds of cases.

Second, you’ll want to find a lawyer who is familiar with Florida law. As mentioned above, Florida has its own set of laws governing wrongful death claims, so it’s important to find a lawyer who knows these laws inside and out.

Third, you’ll want to find a lawyer who has a good track record of success in court. When your case goes to trial, you’ll want a lawyer who has a proven track record of winning cases like yours.

Finally, you’ll want to find a lawyer who you feel comfortable with. This is perhaps the most important factor of all, as you’ll be working closely with your lawyer throughout the duration of your case. Make sure you choose a lawyer who you feel like you can trust and who you feel comfortable communicating with. If you keep these factors in mind, you should be able to find a good wrongful death lawyer in Florida.

What Should You Know Before Contacting a Wrongful Death Lawyer

Before contacting a wrongful death lawyer, determine if you have a wrongful death claim or a homicide case. Wrongful death claims are civil suits filed by the family or estate of a person who has died as the result of the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. A criminal homicide case is a criminal prosecution brought by the government against someone who has killed another person.

Key Differences:

  • In a wrongful death case, the family or estate sues for damages, while in a criminal homicide case, the government prosecutes the defendant.
  • A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of death, while there is no time limit for filing a criminal homicide charge.
  • The standard of proof in a wrongful death case is lower than in a criminal homicide prosecution – the preponderance of evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt.

Evidence Needed To Prove Liability in a Wrongful Death Case

In Florida, to prove liability in a wrongful death case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased, that the defendant breached that duty, and that the breach caused the death. The plaintiff must also show that the damages suffered by the estate are due to the death and not some other factor. To show that the defendant owed a duty of care, the plaintiff must usually show that there was a relationship between the defendant and the deceased. This could be a doctor-patient relationship, a relationship between business owners and customers, or a relationship between landlords and tenants.

To show that the defendant breached their duty of care, the plaintiff must present evidence that shows how the defendant failed to meet their standard of care. For example, if a doctor failed to diagnose a patient’s illness, that would be evidence of a breach of duty. To show that the breach of duty caused the death, the plaintiff must introduce evidence that proves that but for the defendant’s negligence, the deceased would have survived. This can be difficult to prove, especially if there is no clear causation between negligence and death.

The plaintiff must also show that they suffered damages as a result of the death. These damages can be economic, such as lost wages or medical expenses, or noneconomic, such as pain and suffering. The plaintiff must also prove that the death has caused them to suffer a loss of companionship or consortium. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. Contact a Florida wrongful death lawyer to discuss your case and learn more about your legal options.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Florida

In Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years. This means that you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the death. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to file a lawsuit altogether. This statute of limitations applies to both criminal and civil proceedings. In other words, the government can pursue criminal charges against the person or persons responsible for the death, but the victim’s family can also file a civil lawsuit seeking damages.

What Damages can be Recovered by Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

No one can truly prepare for the death of a loved one, especially if that death was caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior. The emotional pain and suffering caused by such a loss are difficult enough to endure, but when you add financial stress to the mix, it can feel overwhelming. Thankfully, Florida law allows the survivors of a wrongful death victim to file a lawsuit in an effort to recover damages.

What types of damages are available in a Florida wrongful death case? Generally, there are three categories of damages that can be recovered: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages include things like medical bills, funeral costs, and lost income. Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship. Punitive damages are awarded as a form of punishment against the defendant and are only granted in cases where gross negligence or intentional misconduct is proven.

It is important to note that Florida law does place a limit on the amount of non-economic damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit. As of 2019, that limit is set at $500,000. This means that if you are awarded punitive or economic damages in addition to non-economic damages, the total amount of your award may be reduced to stay below the $500,000 threshold.

Contact Our Wrongful Death Attorneys in Florida

If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence and are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to seek out experienced legal counsel. Wrongful death claims can provide financial compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, and other damages incurred from the loss of a loved one. If you feel you have a claim, contact our wrongful death attorneys today for a free consultation. We will review your case and help you determine the best course of action to take in order to get the justice you deserve. The Florida personal injury lawyers at Herman & Wells have helped many families through this difficult time and are here to help you too.

Case Results

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Wrongful Death Settlement

Our client’s 28 year old son was killed by a car. Prior to being hit by the car, he had been in an altercation and was “knocked out” and was lying in the middle of the street. A motorist then struck him and drug him nearly three blocks under their car. Testing showed that the motorist had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit. The wrongful death case was settled for $1,508,000.00.

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Intoxicated Driver Killed Father and Husband

We represented a family who lost their father and husband in an accident involving a truck driven by a driver believed to be under the influence.  We filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family and after fighting for our clients, we were able to settle their case for $2,050,000.

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