Losing a loved one in a preventable accident can create added difficulties
during already devastating situations. While there is little that can
make amends for the untimely death of a friend or family member, it is
important to remember that there are laws in place that can be used to
ensure at-fault parties are held accountable for the negligent or wrongful
acts that led to the passing. Not only do wrongful death laws enable families
to seek justice on behalf of their loved one and make it clear such conduct
should never be tolerated, they also allow for a financial recovery of
damages. At difficult times when families may be struggling emotionally
and financially, these recoveries can prove invaluable as their rebuild
their lives and navigate their futures.
At Roman & Gaynor, our award-winning Clearwater attorneys have represented
many families in wrongful death actions over their 50 combined years in
practice. As real people with families ourselves, we understand the profound
consequences of these tragedies. As Board-Certified personal injury attorneys,
we also have the tools, experience, and resources to effectively fight
for justice and compensation.
wrongful death statute stipulates the grounds for pursuing lawsuits, eligible parties,
and other important information, our legal team wanted to provide a breakdown
of how the process works:
Elements of a claim – Wrongful death lawsuits can be pursued when death occurs as a
result of negligence or wrongful acts. These situations can range drastically
from intentional acts of harm or negligent acts, such as distracted driving,
which result in death. Families must be able to prove that death resulted
more likely than not from the alleged negligent or wrongful act.
Eligible Parties – Under Florida law, only certain parties are entitled to file wrongful death
lawsuits. These parties commonly include survivors such as spouses, children,
parents, and relatives who are dependent on the deceased individual. These
lawsuits can also be brought by personal representatives of the decedent’s
estate. Our legal team can help you determine your eligibility based on
your relationship with the decedent.
Damages – Families suffer profound emotional and financial losses after the
death of a loved one, which is why wrongful death lawsuits provide the
opportunity to recover financial compensation. For survivors, these damages
may include a range of economic and non-economic damages, such as medial
or funeral expenses, pain and suffering, loss of support, loss of future
financial support, and loss of companionship. Estates may recover economic
damages such as economic and funeral expenses, as well as lost financial earnings.
Statute of limitations – As with other civil tort claims, there are time limits in place
for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In Florida, the statute of limitation
for wrongful death is four years.
The wrongful death lawsuit process will vary depending on the unique facts
and circumstances of a case, but will generally begin with filing the
suit in civil court. Families, or the estate, must then provide clear
and convincing evidence that meets the elements of Florida’s wrongful
death statute, including proving that death was caused by a defendant’s
actions or inaction, negligence or wrongdoing, and damages. Our legal
team focuses on all elements of these lawsuits, including the full scope
of how death impacted families, to pursue the maximum compensation possible.
If you have questions regarding your rights following the death of a loved
one, our legal team at Roman & Gaynor is available around-the-clock
to discuss your case. Our attorneys work personally with our clients,
and treat their cases as if they were our own. To request your free consultation,
contact us today.