With the death of a loved one, your world shatters. You and your family members cannot replace the hole this person’s loss left in your lives or your hearts. In addition to the emotional trauma, you also have to face practical concerns. If you depended on the deceased for financial or other support, you face another type of potential devastation.
When your loss results from someone else’s negligence, wrongful death attorneys may be able to help.
Defining a Wrongful Death Claim
In the State of Florida, the wrongful death statute gives you the potential to pursue compensation when a loved one dies due to another person’s negligence. This type of civil action lets you sue an individual or business for an action or lack of action leading to your family member’s death.
To meet the legal definition of wrongful death in Florida, the act that caused the death must be wrongful or negligent. According to statute 768.135, “the term ‘wrongful manner’ means in bad faith or with malicious purpose or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety, or property.”
It may also be a breach of contract or warranty or a default. This act must have resulted in the death in question.
Causes of Wrongful Death
A variety of scenarios can fall under the umbrella of wrongful death, including:
- A car accident caused by a driver operating the vehicle under the influence, at excessive speed, or in a reckless manner
- Medical malpractice as a result of a delayed or missed diagnosis, error by a physician or other medical professional, or failure to meet an acceptable standard of care
- Mislabeled or defective products that prove to be unsafe to consumers
- Workplace hazards caused by insufficient training, improper operations, or unsafe practices
You may also file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one died as the result of an intentional criminal act. Your civil suit would be separate from the criminal charges.
If you think you may have a case, you should reach out to a wrongful death attorney who can discuss the intricacies of the law and your particular situation.
Who Can Pursue Wrongful Death Compensation?
If your loved one had not died, he or she would be able to pursue recovery through legal action. Since the injury was so severe it resulted in death, you may be able to seek compensation instead.
According to the law in Florida, a personal representative of the estate may file a suit on your behalf if you are a surviving parent, child, or spouse,
Brothers and sisters through birth or adoption, as well as other blood relatives, may bring a wrongful death suit if they depended on the deceased for support.
What Compensation Can You Seek?
In your legal action for wrongful death, the personal injury attorney representing you may ask the court to compensate you for a variety of damages, including:
- Medical costs and funeral expenses you covered on behalf of your loved one.
- Services and financial support you would have received from your loved one in the past and in the future.
The surviving spouse may seek compensation for loss of companionship, plus pain and suffering.
Surviving minor children (or adult children when no surviving spouse exists) can pursue damages for pain and suffering, as well as the loss of companionship, guidance, and instruction from a deceased parent.
Parents of minors may seek pain and suffering damages in a wrongful death suit, as may parents of adult children with no other survivors.
As you continue to mourn your loss, these matters may feel overwhelming. A personal injury lawyer can help you sort through the complexities of your wrongful death suit so you can find stable financial ground.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a time limit to begin a legal action. For wrongful death in the state of Florida, that limit is two years from the date of your loved one’s death.
Right now, you probably cannot imagine two years in the future without your family member. That’s understandable, but the time will pass. You should search for wrongful death attorneys as soon as you can so that you can protect your interests.
Contact the Attorney Team of Oldham & Delcamp, LLC
We understand how difficult it can be emotionally to type the words “wrongful death lawyers near me.” Let us help you narrow down the search.
The experienced litigation team at Oldham & Delcamp, LLC provides personal, effective, local representation for your wrongful death case. While we can do little to soothe your heartbreak when you have lost a loved one, we will help you seek financial peace of mind.
Our litigators — former insurance company attorneys and prosecutors — offer efficient counsel, but we do not shy away from the courtroom. We will not settle simply to save time. We will see your wrongful death suit through to a jury trial if that is what is necessary to pursue the best possible award for you.
When you reach out to our firm, you are more than a number on a case file. You are an individual who needs our unique brand of client-focused, results-driven services. When you cannot trust just anyone, you can trust a wrongful death lawyer from Oldham & Delcamp, LLC.
We offer free consultations for criminal defense, insurance claims, and personal injury matters, including wrongful death. If you live in the Pinellas Park, St. Petersburg, or Tampa Bay area and think you may have a wrongful death case, contact us online or call 727-201-5458 to arrange to speak to a member of the Oldham & Delcamp team.
Copyright © 2021. Oldham & Delcamp, LLC. All rights reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.