The Wrongful Death Lawsuit Process

The Wrongful Death Lawsuit Process

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.

Because Florida’s 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.

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