3 FAQs About Florida Wrongful Death Claims
Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be especially difficult when the death of a close friend or family member was caused by the negligent or wrongful conduct of another. In such circumstances, Florida’s Wrongful Death Act may provide an avenue to obtain justice and help provide some monetary compensation where appropriate. However, Florida law is very specific when it comes to who is entitled to make a wrongful death claim, what damages may be recovered, and the statute of limitations for such actions.
As with any legal question, it is always best to consult with an experienced attorney. Florida’s wrongful death laws can be complicated. Below is general information concerning some frequently asked questions about Florida wrongful death cases.
1. Who May Bring a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida?
Under Florida law, all wrongful death actions must be filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The personal representative, however, may bring the action on behalf of themselves, the decedent’s estate, and any individuals designated under Florida law as a “survivor.” Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible for spouses, children, and parents to recover money in wrongful death actions. Who is deemed a survivor, however, may depend on the type of wrongful death case (e.g. medical malpractice, automobile, etc.), whether the decedent was married at the time of death, the age and financial dependency, if any, of the decedent’s children and other relatives, and other circumstances. For more information, see Fla. Stat. § 768.21.
2. What Kinds of Damages Can You Include in Your Wrongful Death Suit?
Again, Florida’s Wrongful Death Act specifies the types of damages which a survivor and the decedent’s estate may recover in Florida wrongful death actions. Those damages may include: (i) the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death; (ii) future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value; (iii) loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection; (iv) mental pain and suffering; (v) lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance; (vi) medical or funeral expenses; and (vii) loss of the prospective net accumulations of the estate.
3. What Is the Filing Deadline for a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida?
The statue of limitations for Florida wrongful death actions is two years from the date of death in most cases. This is shorter than many other types of negligence actions in Florida. While there may be some limited exceptions to this short statute of limitations, it is always advisable to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you have questions about, or are thinking of filing, a Florida wrongful death action. The particular statute of limitations that applies in your case may depend on various factors and be shorter than two years.
Speak with a Miami Wrongful Death Attorney
For help with every aspect of your wrongful death action, you can turn to Viñas & DeLuca, PLLC. We have a proven track record of obtaining results for clients in wrongful death cases. Our team has secured millions of dollars for those who have lost loved ones due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of others. Call (305) 372-3650 or fill out our free and confidential Contact Form to schedule a free initial consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in Miami.