Tallahassee Wrongful Death Attorney
The death of a family member can be a traumatic experience for you and other survivors. After this event, you are forced to deal with the absence of a loved one who may have been an integral part of your family and who may have even taken care of you and others.
Of course, while no amount of money could ever replace the presence of someone dear to you, monetary compensation could help with funeral or burial expenses, any medical bills, loss of the deceased’s earnings, and may even compensate for mental anguish and other non-economic damages.
If your loved one’s death was the result of the negligence or intentions of someone else, you may have the right to file a wrongful death action in order to receive due compensation. A wrongful death action may be the result of:
- traffic accidents;
- vehicle manslaughter;
- medical malpractice;
- murder; or
- death in the course of committing another crime.
Who can file a wrongful death action?
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act dictates that the decedent’s personal representative will file the claim on behalf of the deceased’s survivors and estate. Survivors generally include the spouse, children and/or parents.
Furthermore, any blood relatives or adopted brothers and sisters who are “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services” may benefit from the civil claim. This does discern clearly those eligible to file a wrongful death claim must be married or directly related to the decedent and cannot solely be close friends or acquaintances.
Types of Compensation You May Recover
In order provide guidelines for relatives or the spouse of a deceased individual when filing a wrongful death action, Florida Statute 768.21 details what sort of damages may be sought in the claim.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act provides that survivors may be entitled to:
- the value of lost support and services, both current and future (many factors must be examined to arrive at an adequate sum);
- compensation for lost companionship and for mental pain and suffering for the spouse of the decedent;
- compensation for mental pain and suffering if a parent has lost a minor child, or an adult child if there are no other survivors; and
- compensation for lost parental companionship, guidance, and mental pain and suffering for the children of the decedent.
Survivors may pursue medical and funeral expenses if one of the survivors has paid these costs.
The personal representative may recover damages for the estate, including loss of earnings of the decedent from the date he or she was injured until the day he or she died. Any charges against the decedent’s estate may be recoverable, including medical and funeral expenses.
You Must Act Quickly
Taking quick legal action after the death of a loved one may seem like a daunting prospect. Although you may wish to focus on grieving and emotional recovery, understand that time is of the essence. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death act under Florida law is two years, meaning you have only this amount of time to file a claim.
Contact a Tallahassee Attorney for Help
Dealing with the death of someone dear to you can be stressful. In the process, you may be left with burial costs and funeral expenses, as well as questions about the future financial security of you and your family.
If your loved one has passed away due to the negligent or intentional actions of another, contact the attorneys at Barrett, Fasig & Brooks today. We can help you file a wrongful death action against the liable party or parties. Call us at 850-224-3310.