If someone you love dies as a result of the negligence or carelessness of another person, you may be wondering if you have the right to file a wrongful death suit in Florida—wrongful death suits are filed in order to gain compensation for the loved ones of those who have passed away.
Understandably, this is a topic many people have questions about. It’s also a topic you need to get information on in a timely manner, considering there is a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit.
Today, we’re here to provide you with the helpful information you’re seeking. This blog post serves as a starting point for much of the information you need. However, it’s also important to note these are just guidelines—this does not qualify as legal advice. To get counsel relating to your specific case, be sure to speak to a wrongful death lawyer in Florida.
So, let’s get started.
In this blog post, we will discuss what people need to know about proving wrongful death in Florida. We’ll also provide some tips on how to find an attorney who can help you with your case.
What is Wrongful Death?
Let’s begin by explaining what the term “wrongful death” means. Wrongful death is defined as a death that occurs as a result of the negligence or carelessness of another person. When someone dies due to the negligence of someone else, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death suit against the responsible party.
For a wrongful death claim to be successful, the plaintiff must prove the defendant’s negligence or carelessness was the cause of death. This can be done by presenting evidence that shows that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased and that they breached this duty, which resulted in the death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
Now that we’ve explained what wrongful death is, you may be wondering who can file a suit. In Florida, the surviving spouse, children, or parents of the deceased may be able to file a wrongful death claim. If the deceased doesn’t have any surviving family members? Then the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may be able to file suit on their behalf.
Remember, there’s a statute of limitations in Florida for filing a wrongful death claim (we’ll talk more about that in a moment). This means you will only have a certain amount of time after your loved one’s death to file suit. For this reason, it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you believe you may have a case.
Wrongful Death Suit Settlements Average in Florida
When it comes to settlements, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. A settlement can range from the low thousands to hundreds of thousands or even millions.
The amount of money you’re awarded will depend on many factors.
Factors that Influence Settlement Amounts in a Wrongful Death Suit
So, let’s look at some of the factors that can influence these settlement amounts in greater detail next.
The severity of the injuries
One of the main factors taken into account when calculating a settlement is the severity of the injuries. If your loved one suffers for a long time before passing away, or if their injuries were particularly severe, you may receive a higher settlement.
Medical care costs and funeral expenses
Another factor is the cost of medical care and funeral expenses. You may be able to recover these costs as part of your damages.
The value of lost benefits such as pension income and health insurance
Was your loved one the primary breadwinner for your family? Then you may be able to recover the value of lost benefits such as pension income and health insurance.
The age and earning capacity of the deceased person
The age of the deceased person can also play a role in the number of damages you receive. If the deceased was young and had many years left to live, you may be able to recover more for their lost earnings and potential future earnings.
The age of the deceased’s dependants
If the deceased had young children at the time of their death, they might be entitled to a higher settlement.
These are just a few of the many factors that may be considered when calculating a settlement. As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to settlements. The amount of money you may be awarded will depend on many different factors.
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Florida
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is typically two years from the date of death. This means you will typically have only two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file suit.
If you lose a loved one due to the negligence of another, it’s vital to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to review your case and help you determine if you have a claim.
Other Questions About Wrongful Death
We’ve covered many of your big questions surrounding wrongful death suits in Florida, but we know you may have other questions on the subject. So, let’s answer those next.
What is the difference between wrongful death and survival action?
In the state of Florida, a wrongful death suit may be filed when an individual dies due to the negligence or misconduct of someone else. A survival action, on the other hand, is a claim that can be brought by the decedent’s estate for any damages the decedent suffered prior to their death. A survival action can also be filed in addition to a wrongful death suit.
How do you prove wrongful death?
This is perhaps the most difficult part of filing a wrongful death claim in Florida. You must be able to prove the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or misconduct. This can be done in a number of ways. But most typically, it revolves around one of three things:
- A defective product causes the death
- Medical malpractice causes the death
- Another person’s negligence or intentional misconduct causes the death
If you can prove any of these three things, then you likely have a good case for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. However, it’s also important to note that even if you can prove one of these things, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll win your case. The court will still have to weigh a number of other factors before deciding whether or not to award you damages.
Are wrongful death settlements taxed in Florida?
In the state of Florida, damages awarded in a wrongful death settlement are not subject to taxation. This means the loved ones of the deceased can receive the full amount of the settlement without having to worry about taxes eating into their recovery.
What are some common scenarios of a wrongful death claim?
Some common scenarios that could lead to a wrongful death claim include car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and defective products. It’s important to note not every death is considered wrongful. Further, for a claim to be successful, there must be evidence to show the death was caused by negligence or recklessness.
Can siblings sue for wrongful death in Florida?
In Florida, siblings may be able to sue for wrongful death if they were financially dependent on the deceased. This means if the sibling can show they relied on the deceased for financial support, they may be able to recover damages in a wrongful death suit.
How an Attorney Can Help You Win Your Wrongful Death Suit
When you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of your next steps. The good news is you don’t have to go through this process alone. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help you every step of the way, from filing your claim to negotiating a settlement.
A wrongful death attorney can also help you prove your case. In order to win a wrongful death suit, you must prove the other party was negligent and that their negligence led to the death of your loved one. This can be a complicated process, but an experienced Port St. Lucie personal injury lawyer knows how to build a strong case on your behalf.
At Garcia Law, we understand how difficult this time may be for you and your family. We are here to help. Our Treasure Coast wrongful death attorney has represented many clients in wrongful death cases, and we can help you too. Contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you.