What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim is a legal claim brought by the estate of a deceased person (on behalf of the survivors), seeking damages from another person or entity who’s wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty caused the death.
Who files a wrongful death claim?
The personal representative of the decedent’s estate is the person who must bring the wrongful death action on behalf of the estate and the survivors of the decedent. A personal representative of a decedent’s estate is appointed by a probate court. If the decedent had a will, then the will may state a preference in the appointment of a personal representative. If the decedent did not have a will, then the decedent’s spouse or other close family member is usually appointed as the personal representative.
Who is considered a survivor?
What must I prove in order to succeed in a wrongful death action?
In order to succeed in a wrongful death action in Florida, you must prove the following:
(1) your loved has died;
(2) the death was caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person (or entity); and
(3) the event would have entitled your loved one to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued.
If a settlement is not reached in your wrongful death case, then you would have to prove these three things to a jury in order to succeed in your wrongful death action. In wrongful death cases, the death is usually caused by the negligent act of another, however, intentional acts such as murder may also provide a basis for a wrongful death action.
What type of damages are recoverable in wrongful death actions?
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?
In Florida, a claim for wrongful death must be brought within 2 years after the person’s death. If you fail to file a wrongful death claim with the clerk of court within the two year statute of limitations, then your claim may be lost forever.
Do I need a Lawyer?
If you have been injured in a vehicle accident caused by someone else, then it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. Most of the time, the person who negligently caused an injury has automobile insurance covering them for the losses they have caused. The insurance carriers who must defend the other party and pay any settlement or award have attorneys and adjusters working hard on their side. These adjusters and attorneys will stop at nothing to negate their client’s fault in causing your injury, and to minimize the extent of your injuries.
To receive the compensation that you may deserve, you need to have someone working just as hard for you. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will assist in preliminary negotiations with the insurance company’s adjusters. Attempting to negotiate with the adjusters yourself could leave you with little to nothing because the adjusters will not take your claim seriously. If a lawsuit is filed, combating the claims of the other party’s attorney requires extensive legal and practical knowledge. If you do not employ someone with this knowledge, you may not receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.