Who Can File a Wrongful Death Case in the State of Florida?
By Saunders Law Group on May 18, 2017
The loss of a loved one is a difficult event. When a loved one's death was the fault of someone else, the emotional toll of the tragedy can be immense. That's why it's so important to speak with an wrongful death attorney in Bartow about your case. A little peace of mind and perspective can go a long way.
The team at our law firm would like to consider who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim. This will help you understand your options if you do lose a loved one under tragic circumstances.
About Wrongful Death Lawsuits
A wrongful death claim is a type of lawsuit that is brought about in order to seek damages from the party or parties who are responsible for a person's death as a result of negligence. These lawsuit are similar in nature to injury cases in that monetary rewards are sought from the defendant by the plaintiff.
Wrongful death lawsuits often seek compensatory damages (to cover material and financial losses) and punitive damages (to punish the negligent party/parties). However, only certain parties can seek these kinds of lawsuits.
People Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Case
There are two categories of claimants in a wrongful death case: a personal representative of the estate and the survivors of the deceased.
A "personal representative of the estate" refers to someone whom the deceased specified in a will or estate plan to handle affairs in the event of death. This personal representative of the estate brings the wrongful death lawsuit about on the behalf of all beneficiaries of the estate.
The "survivors of the deceased" refers to various people who were at least partially dependent on the deceased for support and services. This covers a wide array of spouses, blood relatives, and family relations by adoption. Some examples of this category include:
- Other blood relatives
Why These Restrictions Are in Place
Though these categories might seem a tad restrictive, these laws are in place to ensure the legal system is not abused. Only those who were linked to the deceased or selected by the deceased to represent the estate can seek damages and benefit from any monetary amount that is rewarded.
The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases
There is a statute of limitations in place for many kinds of civil and criminal claims. This means that there is a set deadline for filing a legal claim. After this deadline has passes, a lawsuit cannot be brought about.
For wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations is two years, starting from the date of a loved one's death/
Are There Exceptions to the Above Rules?
Yes, but they are very rare and narrow.
It is always ideal to file a wrongful death claim as soon as possible rather than risk missing a chance to file a legal claim.
How a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
Wrongful death lawsuits can be extremely exhausting, particularly at such a difficult time for the family and friends of the deceased. Working with an experienced attorney means you can have peace of mind during the legal process. Your lawyer will handle the laws and the complicated facets of the legal system, while you can focus on mourning, grieving, and moving forward.
Speak with an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer
For more information about your legal rights and options, be sure to contact our team of personal injury attorneys today. We look forward to your visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.
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