If you've lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence or misconduct, you may be wondering what options you have to try to get restitution for the harm that's been caused. When someone dies as a result of someone else's accidental or intentional actions, it could be considered a wrongful death. Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Miami? Let's take a closer look at the details.
Wrongful death refers to a death that occurs because of the negligent actions or misconduct of someone else. These actions can be accidental or intentional. The main point of the lawsuit is to provide justice for the family or the estate of the deceased.
Family members of people who die under such circumstances are often facing not only immense grief but also the financial burden of this sudden and unexpected loss. Often, the monetary compensation recovered in a lawsuit is used to help offset the costs of funeral services, end-of-life care, and medical treatments. It may also help provide for the deceased person's minor children or spouse in their untimely absence.
A wrongful death lawsuit can apply to a wide range of negligent acts or misconduct. Some common instances that may result in a wrongful death lawsuit are the following:
There may be a criminal trial associated with the acts that led to a wrongful death. If the deceased was killed during a drunk driving accident, for instance, the intoxicated driver will likely face criminal charges. Likewise, a criminal trial will likely take place following a homicide.
It's important to understand that a wrongful death lawsuit is separate from these criminal proceedings. In fact, it's a completely different kind of law. Rather than being handled as a criminal procedure, a wrongful death lawsuit is considered part of a civil procedure.
One big difference between criminal and civil procedures is who brings the charges. In the case of a criminal act like a DUI accident or a homicide, the defendant will likely face criminal charges brought by the state. For a civil wrongful death lawsuit, someone else will have to bring charges against the defendant.
A defendant could be found not guilty in the criminal trial and still be found responsible in a civil procedure since the burden of proof is different for these types of cases.
Since a civil wrongful death lawsuit must be brought by someone else, you may be wondering who is eligible to start such a case. In some states, any family member can file a wrongful death lawsuit, but that's not true of Florida. In Florida, only the executor of the estate is given the power to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
As Florida Statute §768.20 explains, the personal representative of the victim’s estate may bring the suit in order to recover damages on behalf of surviving family members and the estate at large.
The following types of surviving family members will be considered as beneficiaries:
In addition, children under the age of 25 are considered minors for the sake of a wrongful death suit. These beneficiaries are eligible for a higher rate of benefits since it is assumed they had a greater dependency on the deceased's financial support.
Wrongful death lawsuits are a type of personal injury claim, and these have a two-year statute of limitations in the state of Florida. This means that you have two years from the date of the person's death to file.
However, it is often advantageous to file as early as possible since it can be difficult to gather the best and most accurate evidence as time goes on. Being able to conduct interviews, maintain records, and get the clearest picture of the incident leading up to the wrongful death will lead to a stronger case.
It's impossible to put a price on the value of an individual's life, and the calculations used to determine the amount awarded in a successful wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated. There most obvious and direct costs are those that the estate or a surviving family member paid for funeral services and medical care.
More challenging to determine is the amount that the estate lost because of the deceased person's shortened lifespan. If the individual had remained living, they likely would have continued to contribute to the estate through wages and investments. Wrongful death lawsuits will often attempt to estimate this missing financial contribution based on the past amounts and expected lifespan.
In special circumstances, such as gross negligence or intentional harm, punitive damages may also be awarded.
Navigating a wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated and time-consuming, but having an experienced wrongful death attorney help you with the case can make it much more manageable. We understand that navigating Florida’s legal processes while you are grieving is immensely difficult, and we want to relieve you of the burden. Call us today to speak with a compassionate lawyer with a free consultation. We collect no fees until we win your case.
Met with Robert after I had a car accident in Pembroke Pines. Very nice man. Nice staff who answered my questions and got a good settlement.
Great lawyers, great attention to detail, great trial strategies. I am a trial consultant who has worked with the top attorneys in the United States. NKP are the best of the best.
Amy Singer, Ph.D, Trial Consultant
Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA handled my case against Uber for me and got me a great settlement after I was involved in an accident. They handled all of the negotiations with my doctors and with the other lawyers to get me the best deal possible. I definitely recommend their services!
Daniella Di Prizio
Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA handles a variety of personal-injury cases. We understand that you are concerned about getting healthy, getting back to work, paying your bills and of course, being fully compensated for your loss. Contact us to start the path to wholeness from your injury today.Get Consultation
All Consultations Are Free of Charge
While we are proud to call Miami and Aventura home, we are also more than happy to help injured people living anywhere in the Sunshine State. In fact, we’ve even been known to travel all around the country just to meet our clients’ needs.
We are here to help the residents of:
After losing a loved one, knowing who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida will help you on your path to justice and the recovery of damages.
March 5, 2022
Consider these helpful tips for avoiding a wreck due to the five most common car accident causes—Keep yourself and your passengers safe on the road.
February 25, 2022
A motorcycle accident can result in massive medical expenditures, lost wages, and other consequences. Following these motorcycle safety tips will help keep you safe.
January 2, 2022
No snow, nice weather and great people make the Sunshine State one of the best places to live, work and retire in our country. Unfortunately, statistics show that Florida also has a rate of motor vehicle accidents that is much higher than other states.
December 15, 2021
Insurance Uses Surveillance in Personal Injury Cases to Discredit Victims. A Dedicated Personal Injury Attorney Will Fight for the Compensation You Deserve.
December 15, 2021
Florida is, without a doubt, one of the most popular vacation spots in the United States. Unfortunately, just because you are taking time off doesn’t mean accidents will do the same.
November 7, 2021