Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?
By Saunders Law Group on March 20, 2017
Wrongful death lawsuits are legal claims filed against a person or party who is responsible for someone's death. The Saunders Law Group has helped numerous clients in and around Bartow and Lakeland with these extremely difficult and emotionally fraught cases.
Wrongful death lawsuits are brought about typically by the family or loved ones of the deceased in order to receive damages to address their loss. These damages cover material losses related to the death of the loved one, such as funerary costs, lost companionship, the loss of future wages, and emotional pain and suffering. In addition, punitive damages may be sought to punish the negligent party for their actions that resulted in the loved one's death.
Who Is Eligible to Pursue a Wrongful Death Case?
The state of Florida has specific laws on who can pursue a wrongful death case. The following people can pursue these kinds of cases:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The children of the deceased
- The parents of the deceased
- Blood relatives of the deceased
- Adoptive siblings of the deceased
In the case of the above parties, it must be shows that these individuals are partly or wholly dependent on the deceased for support or services.
A representative of the deceased's estate may also file a wrongful death lawsuit provided that they offer a list of survivors who have an interest in the case.
Why Are There Restriction in Place?
These restrictions are in place to ensure that only those with a close connection with the deceased seek a legal action. This prevents people from taking advantage of the legal system by using another person's death for financial gain. It also allows those closest and often most dependent on the deceased to have their chance at collecting damages.
The Statute of Limitations in Wrongful Death Cases
A statute of limitations refers to a set amount of time for a lawsuit to be filed. Failure to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations means that a legal action cannot be pursued.
For wrongful death cases, there is a statute of limitations of two years. This two-year period starts on the date of the loved one's death.
Are There Exceptions to Consider?
Yes, though they are often rare.
With regard to who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, certain individuals may noted as part of the estate by the deceased in a will or living will. There is also some leeway regarding the statute of limitations in Florida depending on the circumstances of the death (e.g., fatal medical mistakes).
Given the complexities related to wrongful death lawsuits and potential issues along the way, it's important to speak with a skilled attorney about your case.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
Wrongful death cases can be extremely complicated matters, and they also take a major emotional toll on the surviving loved ones. While mourning and grieving, the last thing one may wish to do is navigate the many complexities of the legal system. Working with an attorney gives you the peace of mind necessary to deal with the heavy emotions of a personal loss. Your lawyer will offer guidance and counsel in the wrongful death case while you and those close to the one you lost are are afforded an opportunity to move forward in life with dignity.
Contact Saunders Law Group
For more information about your legal options in a wrongful death lawsuit, be sure to contact our team of experienced attorneys today. The lawyers of Saunders Law Group will help you in your time of legal need.
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