Considering filing a wrongful death claim in Florida? If so you likely have a lot of questions, but don’t worry, some frequently asked questions about wrongful death claims in Florida have been answered below for your convenience and a local wrongful death lawyer will be able to answer any additional questions that you may have.
Q: Who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Florida?
A: Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, a qualifying surviving relative may file a wrongful death claim in Florida provided that the relative passed away prematurely due to the negligence, wrongful act, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person and that such an action would have entitled the decedent to collect damages under a resulting personal injury claim had he/she survived. In this instance a “qualifying surviving relative” may be the deceased’s spouse, child, or parent. Additionally, any blood relative or adoptive brother or sister of the deceased also qualifies if, at the time of the deceased’s passing, they were partly or wholly dependent on the deceased for support and/or services. The personal representative of the estate of a deceased person is entitled to certain damages as well.
Q: How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?
A: It is important to note that surviving family members who have the right to file a claim under the Florida Wrongful Death Act have a limited amount of time within which to do so. This is because the statute of limitations contained in section 95.11(4)(d) of the Florida Statutes states that wrongful death lawsuits filed in Florida must be brought within two years of the date on which the qualifying decedent passed away. This is a very important time limit to be aware of as wrongful death claims that are brought after this statute of limitations has expired will almost always be barred from proceeding.
Q: What types of damages can be recovered under a successful Florida wrongful death claim?
A: While the types of damages that are awarded to successful wrongful death plaintiffs in Florida vary significantly from case to case the court may choose to award any or all of the following categories of damages:
- Loss of support and services,
- Loss of companionship and protection,
- Parental mental pain and suffering,
- Medical and funeral expenses, and
- Loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance.
Additionally, the deceased’s estate may also be award damages under some circumstances. For more information about the types of damages that can be recovered under a successful Florida wrongful death claim, please see our post Damages Available in FL Wrongful Death Lawsuits.
Q: I’m interested in filing a wrongful death claim, what should my first step be?
A: Successfully pursuing a wrongful death claim in Florida can be quite a daunting task and while individuals are legally permitted to file such a claim without the assistance of an attorney those who choose to do so must be careful to ensure that they completely understand the various complex legal issues that are inherent in wrongful death claims. Therefore, your first step when pursuing a wrongful death claim should be to consult with a local wrongful death attorney about your legal options.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
If you’ve prematurely lost a loved one due to someone else’s reckless, negligent, or wrongful act and believe that you may have a valid claim under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, be sure to contact the experienced wrongful death lawyers of Piccin & Glynn, Attorneys at Law, at your earliest convenience. We would be happy to review your case, discuss your legal options, and suggest a course of action during a free initial consultation. All you have to do is set up an appointment by calling our Ocala office toll free at 352-558-8480 or filling out our online contact form.