Losing a loved one is one of the most painful things a person can experience, especially when it is unexpected. Knowing that another person’s reckless behavior directly led to your loved one’s death can exacerbate your grief. If you are in this unfortunate situation, you should consider talking to a compassionate accident attorney with a client-centric approach about your legal options.
While we understand that no amount of money can bring back your loved one, a successful wrongful death suit could help you and your family gain some much-needed stability. By filing a wrongful death action, you could receive compensation to address your financial losses and pain and suffering. As you take the time you need to grieve, let our Spring Hill wrongful death lawyer guide you through the legal process. We know that there is already so much to decide and consider, but it is important to know that in Florida, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When you are injured in an accident caused by a negligent party, you have the right to seek financial compensation from the responsible person. However, when the accident victim’s injuries are fatal, they are no longer able to bring a civil injury claim. Consequently, Florida Statutes §768.19 states that if a deceased accident victim would have had a valid personal injury claim, their survivors may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
When is a Fatality Considered “Wrongful”?
A person’s death is considered “wrongful” if their passing results from another party’s wrongful actions. As is the case in any personal injury claim for damages based on negligence, the other person’s wrongful actions need not be intentional for them to be held liable. Additionally, the defendant has to have owed the victim a duty of care. This could mean safely sharing the road or providing a reasonable standard of medical care (in a medical malpractice case). If you recently lost a loved one and believe the negligence may have played a factor in their death, you should speak to an experienced lawyer right away.
What Damages Can be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Nothing will fix the heartache and sadness from losing a loved one. However, the damages that can be recovered with the help of a personal injury lawyer in Hernando County can help cover the mounting costs that may occur from such an unfortunate situation. These damages may include:
- Any medical expenses that might have occurred from the accident before the passing of your loved one.
- Funeral and burial costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of income
- Loss of companionship or parental guidance
Who Can File a Fatal Accident Claim in Spring Hill?
According to Fla. Stat. § 768.20, only the decedent’s personal representative is permitted to bring a claim for damages on their behalf. Additionally, the claim must be filed for the benefit of the surviving family members and estate. The beneficiaries that could be eligible to file a wrongful death suit include:
- Adult children
- Minor children (under the age of 25)
- Other members of the family, in some instances
Appointment of Personal Representatives in Wrongful Death Cases
If the decedent did not have a will naming their estate representative, you may ask the court to appoint one. Any Florida resident who was at least eighteen years old at the time of the decedent’s passing may be appointed as a personal representative under Fla. Stat. § 733.302. However, the individual designated as the personal representative is typically the deceased’s spouse. If you are unsure whether you qualify to be a personal representative or are eligible as a beneficiary, our wrongful death attorney in Spring Hill can help determine this for you
Why is Hiring a Spring Hill Wrongful Death Attorney Important?
When a loved one passes away unexpectedly, it can have a devastating impact on your financial stability and emotional well-being. Due to the complex nature of wrongful death claims, seeking compensation on behalf of a wrongfully deceased family member can be an arduous and challenging task.
By hiring an experienced and caring wrongful death attorney, you will have not only a legal team behind you but also all of the resources that come with that. For intricate cases like a wrongful death lawsuit, this often includes hiring third-party experts, gathering evidence, accident reconstructions, and possibly going to trial if the insurance company or parties involved deny a fair settlement. Our Spring Hill personal injury attorneys will make sure that only the necessary resources are used during the case to maximize the settlement that your family deserves.
If your loved one’s passing was the result of a preventable accident, you could have the standing to bring a legal claim for damages on their behalf. Our firm works on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you do not pay us for representation unless we win your case. To learn more about the legal process, call our firm to schedule a free consultation with a Spring Hill wrongful death lawyer today.