Often when a family member or loved one dies due to an accident or someone’s careless disregard for life, the most common feelings tend to be extreme grief, fear or uncertainty about the future, and anger. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is not much of a priority. When it does come up there is lots of uncertainty surrounding the idea.
There are questions about who can file and on what grounds. Family members question if it is possible to quantify a life lost while others are offended by the very idea. When you need guidance on tasks this complex, you should consult a Cocoa wrongful death lawyer.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil suit that seeks to compensate for the loss of life caused by negligence or reckless disregard for human life. Receiving compensation will require proving that the life was lost as a direct result of the actions of the negligent party. Getting compensation does not require proving that the negligent party intended to cause your family member’s death.
The at-fault party can be held liable for compensation even if they did not mean to hurt anyone. We only need to prove that they knew that injury or death could occur and they carried on with their actions anyways.
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The Time Limit on Filing a Wrongful Death Suit
The state of Florida has a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. You have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file, failure to do so means that you give up your right to receive compensation for the loss of your family member.
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The Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death Suits
Car accidents are the most often associated with wrongful death claims, it is no surprise that they are the most common cause of death that result in a wrongful death claim. Here are some other causes of death that can result in a wrongful death claim:
- Any automobile accident – car, truck, motorcycle, bus, or any other vehicle.
- Airplane or train wrecks.
- Animal attacks.
- Negligence while committing another criminal act.
- Medical malpractice.
- Work accidents.
- Product liability.
- Neglect or abuse.
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Wrongful Death Prosecution
When another party’s negligence caused your family member’s death it is not the same thing as intentionally killing them. Whether they tried and intended to kill your family member is for the criminal court to decide. Our job is to hold the negligent party responsible through civil litigation.
The purpose of your claim is to seek monetary compensation for the damages you have suffered. This case will remain independent of any criminal charges the negligent party might be charged with.
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Who Is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida
To keep everyone from trying to file their own wrongful death suit, the state only allows a wrongful death suit to be filed by the personal representative of the deceased. If there is a personal representative their name will be in the last will and testament which will be read aloud in probate court. If no one is named or there is no will the decision will be made by the court, the court will also decide who is able to receive the compensation from the claim.
Although the wrongful death suit can only be filed by the personal representative, any family members who expect to receive any part of the compensation from the claim must have their name listed on the lawsuit. These are some of the survivors who might be eligible to receive compensation.
- Parents of deceased
- Children of the deceased
- Surviving spouse
- The estate of the deceased
- Any survivor who can prove that they were dependent on the deceased
Quantifying the Value of Life
There is no way to put a value on the loss of life. No amount of compensation can replace them, bring them back, or amend the loss you have suffered. The courts in Florida have ruled favorably on the following types of compensation in the past.
- Loss of companionship –This is generally the companionship of a spouse or significant other but it can include the loss of parental companionship.
- Loss of instruction and guidance – This is often awarded for the loss of a parent.
- Loss of support and services –This can be awarded for the loss of a parent or caretaker.
- Mental anguish
- Lost income and benefits –This would be awarded when children have lost a parent or caretaker.
- Funeral costs and burial expenses –This can be awarded to any survivors.
- Medical support services before death – This can include ambulance bills, medical care bills, life support costs, etc.
A Wrongful Death Lawyer in Cocoa Works on Your Behalf
The loss of a family member or loved one is a difficult time. There will be plans to make and family members to console. It is not the time to be investigating and collecting evidence.
When you hire Andrew Pickett as your Cocoa wrongful death attorney, you will receive the support you need in such a difficult situation. Once we have discussed the terms of the contingency agreement our team can get right to work proving your compensation claim. We allow you time to grieve while we are hard at work on your claim.
You Know Exactly Where Your Claim Stands
While we are working to progress your claim, we make sure that you know about all developments. We can provide regular updates so that you know exactly how things are going. When you know how things are progressing and that we are on the same page, you can feel confident taking time to be with your family.
A Wrongful Death Attorney Will Seek Compensation on Your Behalf
Take time to heal with your family with confidence that your case is being handled with the utmost care. Contact us today for your free wrongful death case consultation and get the legal guidance that you have been looking for.