If someone else’s negligence causes an accident that ended the life of your loved one, you may have a wrongful death claim against that person. While taking legal action may not be a priority for those who have lost a loved one, it is important for survivors of the decedent to consider retaining a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. In addition to the significant emotional trauma of having a loved one pass away, families may also face considerable financial difficulties without the support of the deceased. The compensation provided by a wrongful death lawsuit can help ease this financial burden. The wrongful death attorneys at Michael E. Fenimore, P.A. have a long history of recovering compensation that recognizes the value of the deceased and helps the surviving family recover from their loss.
A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit brought by the surviving family members and/or loved ones of someone who was killed as a result of careless or negligent behavior or an intentional act of someone else. This lawsuit is brought against the person, persons or entity responsible for the death.
Florida law allows the family members of the decedent to file a wrongful death suit seeking monetary damages. The wrongful death suit is designed to provide compensation for relatives who depended upon the deceased for financial and emotional support.
Elements Of A Wrongful Death Case
Wrongful death occurs when negligence, recklessness, or deliberate behavior results in a fatality. Negligence refers to the failure of an individual to behave how a reasonably prudent person would have acted under similar circumstances.
To bring a wrongful death lawsuit, you must establish the following elements or your case may be dismissed:
1) Conduct that amounts to a wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty;
2) The conduct upon which the lawsuit is based must have caused the death of the decedent (so if someone ran someone over with a car, but they died a week later from being hit in the head with a hammer, then the survivors would not have an action against the driver of the car, unless being run over with the car somehow weakened the person and made them more prone to death from the impact of the hammer);
3) The conduct that is the basis of the lawsuit would have entitled the person injured to file a lawsuit and recover damages if they had not died.
Some of the most common causes of wrongful death include:
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Suit?
Florida law permits the survivors of the deceased to seek compensation for lost support or services after the death of their loved ones. These survivors include spouses, children or parents, as well as any other relatives that were dependent on the deceased for financial or emotional support. There is a statute of limitations (or time limit) in Florida for filing wrongful death lawsuits. Failure to file suit within this time limit can prohibit potential claimants from ever seeking compensation for their losses.
At Michael E. Fenimore, P.A., our attorneys understand the difficulties a family faces after a wrongful death and are dedicated to seeking compensation for these individuals that is fair and equitable. To learn more about your legal options following an unexpected death, contact us today by filling out our free, no-obligation case review form.