When the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of others unexpectedly causes an accident that results in the death of your family member, you may feel overcome by grief, anger, and sadness.
Although hiring a St. Petersburg wrongful death lawyer is unlikely to be the first thing on your mind following the death of a loved one, you may consider whether you and your family are eligible to seek compensation as a result of the accident. A wrongful death claim may allow you to both seek damages to compensate you for your losses and hold the other parties responsible for their poor conduct.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, offers comprehensive legal representation in all types of wrongful death and personal injury claims. You can reach our office for more information at (800) 593-3443.
Parties to a Wrongful Death Claim
Florida Statutes § 768.20 requires that the personal representative of the estate of the deceased victim file any wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate and the surviving family members. In some cases, the personal representative is one of those surviving family members, but in other cases, it may be another person whom the victim has chosen in their will.
Various parties also can be liable in a wrongful death claim. For instance, the negligent driver of a vehicle who caused a fatal accident could face liability. If that driver was on the job at the time of the accident, then the employer also may be a party. Depending on the situation, there may be one potentially liable party, or many.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving St.Petersburg, call (800) 593-3443
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
When negligence, recklessness, or intentionally harmful conduct causes the death of another, the immediate surviving family members of the deceased may have a claim against the responsible parties. Generally, claimants in a wrongful death claim must establish the presence of four elements, including:
- The individual or entity owed a duty of reasonable care to the deceased
- The negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inaction breached the duty of care to keep the deceased reasonably safe
- The breach in duty directly led to the fatal injuries
- Surviving family members suffered damages as a result of the wrongful death
Negligence generally refers to behavior that falls below the standard of care that a reasonable person would exhibit in the same or similar situation. Recklessness, on the other hand, is conduct that shows a complete disregard for the safety and protection of others. If any of these types of behavior or intentionally harmful behavior leads to the death of another, the actors might be liable in a wrongful death claim.
Some types of incidents that commonly lead to wrongful death claims may include motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, birth injuries, and medical malpractice. A St. Petersburg wrongful death lawyer may be able to assist surviving family members who wish to pursue wrongful death claims resulting from fatal accidents.
St.Petersburg Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me (800) 593-3443
Time Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims
When negligence or recklessness leads to death, the personal representative of the victim’s estate, on behalf of surviving family members, may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Under Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d), surviving family members of the deceased must bring their wrongful death claims within two years of the date of death.
The law provides only a few rare exceptions to this deadline or statute of limitations that governs wrongful death claims. As a result, failing to file a wrongful death claim within this timeframe may result in family members being unable to recover any compensation in connection with the loss of their loved ones.
Compensation in Wrongful Death Claims
According to Florida Statutes § 768.21, the compensation available in wrongful death claims depends in part on the nature of the relationship between the surviving family members and the deceased person. Other factors can impact the amount of compensation available, including the life expectancy of the deceased person, the value of his or her income to the family members, and the value of the services that the deceased provided family members.
All surviving family members may qualify to collect some forms of compensation, such as compensation for the loss of support and services, both currently and in the future, to family members, funeral and burial expenses, and final medical bills for the deceased.
Furthermore, surviving spouses may be able to receive an award for the value of lost companionship, protection, and emotional pain and suffering. Minor children of the deceased may be able to recover compensation for loss of parental guidance, instructions, and mental pain and suffering. If parents lose a minor child or an adult child has no surviving family members others than parents, then parents also may recover compensation for pain and suffering related to the death of their loved one.
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If someone caused the death of your loved one through their intentional, reckless, or negligent conduct, you might have the right to hold them accountable for their misconduct. They could be responsible for compensating you and other family members for the losses that you have suffered from the death of your loved.
The evaluation, investigation, and pursuit of wrongful death claims can be complex. A
St. Petersburg wrongful death lawyer may be able to assist surviving family members in seeking compensation through wrongful death claims. The attorneys of Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help you fight for justice for your lost loved one. By calling (800) 593-3443, you can learn more about your legal options.