When your loved one is killed because of the negligence or recklessness of another person, you might be entitled to compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court. With this kind of lawsuit, you can collect on damages for expenses that arise because of your family member’s death.
Were you affected by the untimely, preventable death of a loved one because of someone else’s actions or negligence? Here’s how a wrongful death lawsuit works.
Grounds for Filing a Lawsuit
As with other civil suits, a wrongful death lawsuit requires grounds before you can file a suit. It is not enough that your loved one was killed because of someone else’s negligent or intentional actions—you must also be able to prove that the death directly impacted you or your family financially or emotionally. Successful cases require two things:
- You must be able to prove that the actions of the other party were responsible for your loved one’s death and not by the deceased’s actions.
- You must be able to prove that the death of your loved one caused you measurable financial damage or emotional pain.
On the second point, the keyword is “measurable.” If you are not sure how to demonstrate measurable pain or financial burden, speak to an attorney.
Who Is Entitled to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In all fifty states, surviving immediate family members, such as children, parents, and spouses, can file a lawsuit for wrongful death. In Florida, dependent blood relatives, dependent adoptive siblings, children born outside of marriage of a mother, and children born outs of a marriage of a father who can prove that the father was taking care of them financially can also file a suit.
You or another family member will have to open a probate estate in order to sue on the behalf of your deceased loved one.
Types of Damages
Once you establish grounds for a lawsuit, whether because of an automobile accident, medical malpractice, or other negligence, you can sue for various types of damages. These damages include:
- Pain and suffering experienced by the survivors of the deceased.
- Damages for lost income that the deceased would have earned in a normal life expectancy.
- Expenses related to medical care and burial
- In some cases in Florida, punitive damages, meant to punish and discourage future negligent actions, may be awarded.
If you plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it is important to do so in a timely manner. The statute of limitations in Florida is two years from the date of the death.
Get the Legal Help That You Need to Pursue Your Case
If your loved one was killed because of the actions of another person, you might be entitled to compensation. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Our highly knowledgeable attorneys will guide you through the process and advise you on what steps you can take to hold the wrongful party accountable.