No amount of money can ever replace the loss of a loved one. When a wrongful death occurs, it can be particularly tough on families because of the unexpected nature of the tragedy. And, while you’re mourning the loss, the reality of finances can add an extra layer of stress to an already difficult time. Before consulting with a wrongful death attorney, here are four things to consider in a wrongful death claim to ensure you get the settlement you are entitled to and deserve.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?
Putting aside the legal jargon, Florida Statute 768.16 explains that wrongful death can refer to a variety of situations, including accidental death due to negligence, product defects, medical malpractice, or intentional death. Though most cases are due to negligence, it’s important to consider the circumstances of the death to understand whether it might qualify as a “wrongful death”.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Claim?
Filing a wrongful death claim in the state of Florida requires that it be filed “by the decedent’s personal representative.” Those who are considered statutory survivors may be entitled to monetary damages. This means you may need an attorney to help determine who is a statutory survivor, help file your claim, and to manage the estate afterwards. But, beyond just knowing who can file the claim, it’s important to understand who you can file the claim against.
In Florida, if the death meets the criteria defined for wrongful death, you would be able to make the claim against the “responsible party.” In other words, you can file against the person who caused the death to occur.
How Much Can You Recover?
Pursuing a wrongful death claim can be well worth the time spent, as the claim itself can cover quite a bit. In fact, some of the common expenses that are covered include:
- Funeral expenses;
- Medical expenses leading up to death;
- The emotional distress of descendants, including pain and suffering;
- Any lost wages suffered;
- Lost earning capacity of the deceased;
- Loss of support, companionship, or care.
In some instances, there may be other recovery options available as well.
When Should You File?
According to Florida law, anyone who’s suffered a wrongful death must file “within two years after the claim accrues.” Most of the time, this means you have two years from the time the death occurred to officially file the claim. By design, this is meant to give the family time to mourn and allow them some clarity in determining whether it is worth pursuing.
Despite this two-year period, it’s important that you don’t wait too long to file. Like any claim, you will need to provide documentation and evidence to support the case, so getting this ready sooner is always better than waiting.
Working with a Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you lost a loved one due to wrongful death, there’s no replacement for your loss. No monetary value can adequately make up for the loss you suffered. However, this sort of potential compensation is designed to at least ensure you could continue living without having added financial suffering as well.
Don’t wait and wonder whether you might have a claim. Contact Frank Marsalisi today for a free consultation. Marsalisi Law is Where Law Gets Personal. Taking one look at our outstanding client testimonials will tell you why. Frank has a strong dedication to his community. While in law school, Frank would return home to serve his community as a law clerk, assisting in the representation of clients with cases related to personal injury, discrimination, and real estate disputes.