Wrongful Death Claims in Tallahassee
Our Compassionate Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Coping with the death of a loved one is a devastating process, and nothing can offset the pain of the loss. When a loved one has died because of someone else's wrongful actions, though, it may be appropriate for survivors to seek justice through a wrongful death claim.
A wrongful death claim is a suit that arises when a person dies as a result of the negligent or reckless conduct of another. A wrongful death claim allows the people surviving the victim to seek compensation for wages lost, benefits lost, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering. Wrongful death claims can be critical in helping survivors provide for their financial futures.
A wrongful death suit is different from other types of personal injury claims because the actual victim (the "decedent") is not bringing suit; rather, it is the family members or the decedent's estate.
The damages recovered do not include damages that are personal to the decedent, since the decedent is not allowed to recover for pain and suffering, mental distress, or any other form of compensatory damages unique to him or her. The purpose of a wrongful death suit is to provide relief to family members who have been injured emotionally and financially as a result of the family member's death. The plaintiff in a wrongful death action is the personal representative of the decedent. Fla. Stat. § 768.20.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Usually, immediate family like spouses and children file for wrongful death, as they are most affected by the loss of a family member and the financial support he or she provided. Parents often make these claims as well. In some cases, people in the extended family may also make a claim if they were economically impacted by the death. An attorney from Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. can help you determine who is entitled to file a claim for wrongful death.
The decedent's family can pursue compensation for some or all of the following:
- Loss of emotional support
- Loss of wages
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
Who Can Receive Compensation?
The personal representative does not need to have a connection with the events that caused the decedent's death. The decedent's negligence, however, will be imputed to the plaintiff, reducing or barring the plaintiff's recovery on behalf of the estate to the extent that the decedent's negligence was a proximate cause of his or her own death. Perdue v. Copeland, 220 So. 2d 617 (Fla. 1969).
If a survivor is found to be negligent, the non-negligent survivor's recovery cannot be reduced due to another survivor's negligence. Frazier v. Metropolitan Dade County, 701 So.2d 418, 420 (Fla. 3d DCA 1997).
In Florida wrongful death cases, special consideration is given to the statute of limitations. Generally, you have two years from the time of the decedent's death to file a lawsuit. Fla. Stat. § 95.11. Wrongful death actions based on medical malpractice, however, are governed by the medical malpractice statute of limitations, which may extend your right to sue to four years. Fla. Stat. § 95.11.
We can help families who have been affected by a loved one's death caused by various circumstances, including:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall
Let Us Help You
If a loved one has died due to the negligence or recklessness of another, you may be entitled to compensation. You don't have to go through this alone!
Wrongful Death Compensation
The person who receives wrongful death compensation varies from other types of personal injury cases in that the actual injured victim is not receiving the money. Instead, the family members or a representative of the decedent’s estate usually file the wrongful death claim and receive any compensation that is awarded. Below is some useful information about getting compensation in wrongful death cases from the experienced Tallahassee wrongful death attorney at Shapiro Law Firm, P.A.
Working with an Attorney
For most families, suffering from the death of a loved one can be an extremely difficult time. They need to grieve personally in order to begin to move on. This is difficult to do when they are focusing on recovering the damages from the injuries their family member sustained. With the help of a qualified attorney, the family can focus on their grief while the attorney fights for the wrongful death compensation they deserve and the justice they need.
Obviously, there is no amount of money that will replace the loss of a family member. However, wrongful death compensation can satisfy the demands of justice and help family members reach financial security.
Compensation from a wrongful death suit may be used to defray any of the following costs:
- Lost income
- Medical expenses
- Funeral costs
- Ongoing bills
Variety of Wrongful Death Situations
Unfortunately, wrongful death can occur in a variety of personal injury accidents. It is common in car crashes, on-the-job injuries, medical malpractice, and many other situations.
If your family member was killed due to the wrongful actions of another person or business entity, make sure you contact a lawyer today so you can get the wrongful death compensation you deserve.
How the Statute of Limitations Affects Your Wrongful Death Attorney's Case
Wrongful death lawsuits are designed to ensure that justice is served and that all responsible parties pay for what they’ve done. A wrongful death lawsuit is also designed to compensate surviving family members for the financial and emotional hardships that they have endured as a result of their loved one's death.
When it comes to wrongful death litigation, you want to make sure that you talk with a lawyer and file a lawsuit as soon as possible despite the grief you are experiencing.
The reason that you want to act so quickly is because of the statute of limitations that governs wrongful death lawsuits, which is the period of time that you have to file a suit.
The Tallahassee wrongful death attorneys at Shapiro Law Firm, P.A. offer the following useful information regarding the statute of limitations in this type of litigation.
Wrongful death laws are different from one state to the next. In order to stand the best chance of prevailing on your claim, you must:
- Be an immediate family member of the deceased.
- Have an official death certificate as proof of your loved one’s death.
- Have suffered emotional and/or financial hardship as a result of the wrongful death.
State Statute of Limitations
Every state has its own individual statute of limitations for wrongful death litigation, and a qualified lawyer who specializes in wrongful death cases will be able to help you get a better understanding of the statute in your particular state.
Depending on where you live, you can have as little as a few months in which to legally file a lawsuit, or as much as a few years. Once that statute of limitations has passed, however, your claim will become invalid no matter how legitimate it might actually be.
There are special situations in which you may qualify for an exception to the statute of limitations for wrongful death litigation. For example, if the actual cause of a person’s death wasn’t discovered until after the statute of limitations had passed, then a claim can still legally be filed, even though the limitation has expired. An attorney in your area can let you know if any special circumstances apply in your case.
You’ll want to make sure that your wrongful death case is handled by a reputable and experienced lawyer in order to improve your chances of receiving the maximum compensation available to you under the law.
To learn more about the wrongful death litigation process or to receive a FREE consultation with an experienced Tallahassee wrongful death attorney from Shapiro Law Firm, P.A., call (850) 629-7226 now.