Answers To Your Questions About Wrongful Death Claims In Florida
At Badgley Law Group, we have represented many clients in Orlando and throughout Central Florida in wrongful death claims. Our attorneys have fielded many questions from clients in this complex legal area.
If someone you love has been killed by someone else’s negligence, peruse the questions and answers below and contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer from Badgley Law Group.
Who files a wrongful death lawsuit?
Family members who may recover damages in a Florida wrongful death case include:
- The deceased person’s spouse, children and parents
- Any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services
Although Florida law requires the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file the wrongful death claim, it can be on behalf of any of those listed above.
In certain circumstances, unrelated minor children living with and supported by the decedent may also bring a claim for wrongful death.
What is a wrongful death?
In order to bring a successful wrongful death cause of action, the following elements must be present:
- The premature, unnecessary and wrongful death of a human being, which is caused by another person’s careless, negligent or intentional behavior, including neglect.
- The survival of family members who are suffering the loss of financial support, love, care, comfort, supervision, guidance, household assistance and general society previously that the wrongfully killed person provided to them.
How long do I have to file A wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida must be filed within two years of the date of death in most cases, according to Florida Statutes Section 95.11(4)(d). The deadline may be “tolled,” or postponed, under a few very precise instances.
What damages can be recovered in a wrongful death case?
According to Florida Statutes section 768.21, possible damages that can be awarded to family members of the deceased include:
- The value of support and services the deceased person had provided to the surviving family member
- Loss of companionship, guidance and protection provided by the deceased person
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss of a child
- Medical or funeral expenses any surviving family member has paid for the deceased person
The deceased person’s estate may also recover certain types of damages. These include:
- Lost wages, benefits and other earnings, including the value of lost earnings that the deceased person could reasonably have been expected to make if he or she had lived, and provided to his or her family
- Lost prospective net accumulations of the estate, or the value of earnings the estate could reasonably have been expected to collect if the deceased person had lived (in other words the savings that a person plan for the future of his or her family)
- Medical and funeral expenses that were paid by the estate directly