If your loved one has died because of negligence, you as a family member may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against those responsible for your loss.
A Winter Haven wrongful death attorney at Rivas Law Group can discuss your rights and help you pursue justice for your loved one.
Wrongful deaths can occur in many ways, including:
- Automobile accidents
- Premises liability
- Workplace accidents
- Fires and flooding
- Dog bites
- Theme park accidents
- Gunshot wounds
- Defective products
- Medical and surgical errors
- Prescription errors
The cap for compensation in Florida lies around $1 million in medical cases and $1.5 million in non-medical cases. Punitive sanctions to prevent repeated negligent behavior, however, are not limited.
Automobile accidents are one of the most common wrongful death cases.
- In 2010 and 2011, 2,500 fatal car accidents occurred on Florida state roads and freeways. On a national level, the numbers of wrongful death cases are significantly higher.
- In 2013, approximately 98, 000 people died as a result of a medical misdiagnosis or surgical error.
- 7,000 deaths were caused by medication errors.
- There were more than 30,000 traffic deaths, 40% of which were caused by intoxicated drivers.
- 20,000 deaths were caused by slip-and-fall accidents.
- There were 6,000 fatal workplace injuries.
- 3,200 fatalities were caused by driver distraction.
The amount of compensation you are entitled to depends on the state that the wrongful death of your loved one occurred in. In Florida, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by a personal representative on behalf of all individuals listed in the estate or directly affected by the person’s death.
Florida Statutes section 678.18 defines wrongful death and outlines the judicial procedure. In most cases in Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years; however, it’s important to discuss your case with a Winter Haven wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to get the process started.
There are several requirements that must be met in order in a Wrongful Death lawsuit:
- A person’s death was caused by another party.
- The death was caused by the defendant’s negligence.
- You or other survivors are eligible for compensation.
- The person’s death caused a financial loss.
In order to prove that the defendant’s negligent behavior caused a person’s death, witness statements and case evidence will be gathered. One example of an eligible wrongful death claim may be a lack of maintenance on a theme park ride which resulted in an accident with fatal injuries. Another example would be a lack of hygiene during surgery which resulted in a deadly infection.
How To Seek Lawful Compensation In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In Florida, the court assesses the following when evaluating lawful compensation:
- Loss of guidance and protection for the loss of a parent
- Loss of support of the deceased spouse
- Emotional and mental devastation caused by the loss of a child
- Potential future value of the estate
- Lost income and potential earnings
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Cases
What is Negligence?
Negligence falls under two general categories:
1. An individual causes damage or injury by failing to behave with the level of care that an ordinary person would demonstrate in the same circumstances.
2. An individual not acting when the situation calls for a duty to act.
Negligence must be proven in court, and because everyone reacts differently in different situations, it can be difficult to determine what an “ordinary” person would have done.
What is the Statute of Limitations on a Wrongful Death Suit?
In most cases, you have two years to file a wrongful death claim in Florida. There is an exception for deaths in homicide or manslaughter cases. In those instances, there may not be a statute of limitations at all.
How Long Does it Take to Resolve a Wrongful Death Suit?
Reaching a settlement agreement or a jury verdict in a wrongful death suit can take months, and sometimes years. Each case is different, but there are often several stages. Filing the lawsuit is generally the first stage, after which you will wait for an initial offer from the insurance company- usually a lowball offer to entice you to not pursue further action. Next is a discovery phase, which gives both sides time to investigate the claims and gather evidence. Preparation for the trial– if one is needed- can also take months.
Wrongful Death Attorney Tania Rivas Can Help You Get the Justice You Deserve. Call Today for a Free Case Evaluation
If you have lost a loved one due to another party’s negligent behavior, contact an experienced Winter Haven accident attorney at Rivas Law Group today and get help honoring your loved one and seeking justice for their death.