In a situation where the death was caused by an accident or even a deliberate act, there may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. This will not ease the pain but such can possibly ensure that the family is financially secure for their future.
Losing a loved one is devastating, even more so when the death is unexpected caused by the “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract” of another person. With the sudden loss, there may be an unexpected financial burden to the survivors of the deceased.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The reason for a wrongful death lawsuit is for the family to receive compensation. In the state of Florida, the law requires only the Personal Representative (sometimes referred to as ‘Executor or Executrix’ in other states) can file a civil lawsuit on behalf of the deceased estate . If there is no will or estate plan, a Personal Representative will be appointed by the court. A civil lawsuit is when a lawsuit is brought to court by the deceased person’s estate, purely in the interest of the deceased’s family, and not by the government. Should wrongful death be suspected, according to Florida law, a lawsuit must be filed typically within two years of the date of death.
The deceased’s estate (and surviving family members) can file for the following compensation:
- Loss of the deceased’s future earnings or benefits
- Loss of guidance and companionship
- Pain and suffering and mental suffering due to the loss of a child
- Medical or funeral expenses paid by family members/estate
A wrongful death lawsuit is different from a criminal charge, both however can be filed against the guilty party. However, criminal charges are not a private action but rather one that will be filed by the local State Attorney’s office. Albeit, a criminal charge may not result in compensation being paid to the estate of the surviving family members, other than possibly seeking restitution from the accused, but rather for justice to be served.
It is highly advisable that you seek the assistance of an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney to guide you in the process to ensure you do not lose your right to take matters to court.
For more information and assistance in a wrongful death lawsuit, contact us today.