Under Florida Statutes section 768.19, a wrongful act, negligence, or breach of contract resulting in the death of a person constitutes wrongful death. Under these terms, certain parties may take legal action against the party responsible for the death to pursue justice and compensation.
Unfortunately, many negligent acts result in fatal injuries each year. The families are often the ones who suffer most in the aftermath. They must cope with the loss of a loved one, determine financial responsibilities, and try to overcome the mental and financial hardships that follow.
Families must recognize what rights they have following a wrongful death to hold the responsible party accountable. Our firm is here to help.
Time Limits to Remember
In a wrongful death case in Florida, there are set time limits regarding how long a family has to file their claim. The set statute of limitations for the state is two years from the date the death occurs. If the family does not file their claim within the two years, they forfeit their rights to pursue compensation from the negligent party.
However, some circumstances may exist that allow the family to receive a postponed deadline. A lawyer who has experience and knowledge in wrongful death matters can help families recognize if they qualify for a deadline extension.
Factors in a Wrongful Death Claim
In proving a wrongful death, the family must show that various elements are present. Like any other personal injury case, the burden of proof falls on the family. It’s essential to demonstrate the following factors:
A fatal injury occurred
There was an act of negligence that resulted in the death
The surviving family members filing the claim suffer from monetary losses because of the death
The decedent has a personal representative to look over his or her estate
The family risks a claim denial if any of the above proves to be untrue or missing. The need for professional representation heightens when families recognize the potential of losing out on compensation, closure, and justice.
How Wrongful Deaths Occur
Wrongful death—as the name implies—occurs when someone commits an unlawful, wrongful, or negligent act. For instance, the following can cause someone to create an unnecessary hazard, leading to the death of one or multiple parties.
Driving: Someone is negligent whenever they drink or text while driving. These drivers put others at risk of significant danger.
Intent: Acts of violence are not just illegal and subject to criminal charges. These actions can result in a wrongful death claim because of one person’s existing intent to cause harm to someone else.
Malpractice: Medical malpractice often falls in line as a common cause of wrongful deaths because of the severity often associated with the list of errors falling under this practice. Misdiagnosis of cancer and surgical errors stand near the top of this list.
When these factors of negligence exist in a wrongful death claim, it’s possible to build a strong case for compensation.
The legal matters concerning wrongful death claims can be challenging. They often involve specific parties who may file the claim, certain compensation available to the family, and very intricate details to understand.
At Dismuke Law, we work hard to help our clients through some of the most stressful and emotional times. Losing a loved one is never easy—when negligence is involved, it can become even more devastating to endure.
Let our Lakeland wrongful death attorneys be the voice to pursue compensation. We’ll put our experience to work for families when they lose someone they love because of negligence. We seek justice. We seek closure. We seek to right the wrongs our clients' experiences.
Call our firm today at (863) 292-6922 and speak with a legal advocate who can help determine what options are available to move forward.