Claims for wrongful death may be brought against a defendant who is accountable for the death of another person, regardless of whether that death resulted from negligence or malice.
Claims for wrongful death allow the estate of the deceased individual or their loved ones to seek compensation from the party responsible for the death.
Typically, a representative of the deceased person’s estate brings these cases, often for the family members affected by the loss. A Davie wrongful death attorney at Winston Law Firm may fight for maximum compensation and ensure that the responsible party is held accountable.
Who Can Make a Claim for a Deceased Individual’s Wrongful Death?
The official lawsuit should be started in court with the assistance of a Davie wrongful death attorney or another personal representative. This representative should be specified in the decedent’s estate plan or by a person the court has chosen.
This representative will file the claim on behalf of all family members who have suffered due to the loss of their loved one.
The representative must also list all living relatives who may be affected. These family members frequently consist of:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The children of the deceased
- the parents of the deceased
After the major beneficiaries have filed a claim, any other qualified relatives who relied on the deceased for financial support may do so.
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
For a death case to be valid, there must be proof that the death was caused by the defendant’s carelessness, recklessness, or negligence. A wrongful death lawyer in Davie will understand the legal aspects of your case and will work to prove that another party is liable for your loss.
Four main things need to be shown to prove a wrongful death:
Duty of Care
You have to show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim. People owe a duty of care to obey driving laws when on the road. If someone died because of the defendant’s recklessness while driving, they have ignored their obligation to follow the duty of care.
Breach of Duty
You have breached a duty of care when you don’t follow the rules, drive dangerously, and put other people in danger. This could happen if a drunk driver caused a car accident that killed someone.
To win your case, your Davie wrongful death attorney must prove that the defendant owed you a duty and that that duty was breached due to the defendant’s negligence.
The plaintiff has to show that there was causation. You have to show that the defendant’s actions caused the death. Causation is more clear in certain situations than in others.
In the case of a car accident, a lawyer must show that your injuries and damages were directly caused by the accident and nothing else.
You must demonstrate that the loss of your loved one caused financial loss. These damages must be able to be measured, and they can’t just be the emotional pain of losing a loved one. Here are some common examples of damages:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of care, security, or inheritance
- Loss of the deceased person’s income and future earnings
- Loss of benefits
How much the deceased may have contributed to regular family support responsibilities is more difficult to substantiate and estimate. To figure out this number, the court can look at things like:
- Condition of the person’s health before they died
- The age of the person when they died
- Their earning potential had they lived
- Their children’s or dependents’ needs
Other details about your case will be considered, but these examples will help you understand. To determine a more precise amount, a Davie wrongful death lawyer can examine the specifics of your case.
How Long do You Have to File a Claim for Wrongful Death in Florida?
According to Florida’s statutes, you have four years from the date of the car accident, fall, or another event that caused your injury to file a lawsuit. But if a close family member dies because of someone else’s carelessness, they only have two years to file a claim for compensation.
Rarely is the two-year limit extended, but it might be possible in a few specific cases:
- Charges against the government: If the government agency is at fault for the fatality, the case must be filed uniquely. The deadline for giving notice is three years, and the statute of limitations has been extended to four years.
- Murder: If the death was caused by murder, the time limit might not start on the date of death but on the date that the person who did it is found or arrested.
- Medical malpractice claims: If medical mistakes caused the death, the family has two years from the date the cause of death was found, not from the date of death, to file a claim.
Over time, evidence may be lost or corrupted, making it even more difficult to find proof to back up your wrongful death claim. You should consult a lawyer as soon as possible after a loved one passes away.
To preserve your right to collect damages, it is preferable to seek the counsel of a Davie wrongful death lawyer at Winston Law Firm as soon as possible.
Contact a Davie Wrongful Death Law Firm to Learn More About Filing a Claim
The attorneys at Winston Law Firm have helped countless clients pursue justice in wrongful death lawsuits. Our wrongful death lawyers are well-versed in Florida wrongful death, the statute of limitations, medical malpractice, and other applicable laws.
We can investigate the incident, establish fault for the loss of your loved one, construct a case on your behalf, and assist you in claiming financial damages. If your family needs legal representation, they won’t have to worry about paying us anything in advance. Our firm receives payment only if we win an award on your behalf.
Contact us today to learn more about filing a wrongful death claim and how our attorneys may be able to help.