How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be complex and difficult. There are many different steps that must be taken in order to ensure the process is successful, and this is while you are already dealing with grief from the loss of a close family member.
A lot of people don't know where to start, which is why this article will cover all the necessary information about seeking damages through a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. To discuss your specific situation, contact our Clearwater wrongful death attorneys directly.
Understanding What Constitutes a "Wrongful Death" in Florida
First, we should define what wrongful death is in Florida. Wrongful death occurs when a person dies due to the negligence, reckless behavior, or criminal conduct of another individual. Put simply, wrongful death occurs when one person dies to the liability of another person. There is a major difference between an arbitrary accident and wrongful death.
Know Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The person who officially files a wrongful death lawsuit is the personal representative of the estate, either named in the will or appointed by the court. The beneficiaries who receive the proceeds of the lawsuit can include the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased.
Gather Evidence to Support Your Claim
In order to successfully file a wrongful death lawsuit, you'll need evidence that supports your claim. This can include eyewitness testimony, pictures of the scene where the accident or event occurred, convictions for criminal offenses, and more.
Also, your attorney might need to hire experts, such as forensic accountants, who will be able to determine what financial losses have been suffered because of this wrongdoing by another person. You need to prove the damages you are seeking as well as liability for the death.
The Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In Florida, the statute of limitation for wrongful death lawsuits is two years from the date of the death. This means if you want to file a claim against someone who has wrongfully caused your loved one's death, then it must be done within this timeframe or else your case will not go forward in court.
There can be exceptions to the statute of limitations in rare situations, and you should always have a wrongful death attorney review the necessary timeline of your wrongful death case.
Know the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Criminal Cases
Some wrongful deaths happen because of unlawful conduct, such as drunk driving or violent assaults. If the perpetrator is arrested, they can face criminal charges and might be convicted of a serious offense. This criminal case, however, will be separate from a wrongful death case.
The wrongful death case occurs in civil court, and you can use a criminal conviction as evidence of liability. An experienced attorney can help you with this process.
Speak with a Clearwater Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you suspect that a loved one has died due to wrongful death, then you should let the Clearwater wrongful death lawyers at Tragos, Sartes & Tragos evaluate your case. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team.