Wrongful death claims arise in a variety of ways in the state of Florida. However, the term “wrongful death” has a specific meaning under Florida law. Here, we want to discuss what state law says about wrongful death claims as well as some of the most common ways that these claims arise throughout the state.
What Florida’s Wrongful Death Law Says
Wrongful death has a very particular meaning under state law. When we examine Fla. Stat. § 768.19, we can see that a wrongful death happens when another individual or entity causes a death by a “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty.” However, the actual statutory definition is not very specific about the types of cases that can lead to these claims arising.
Common Ways Wrongful Death Claims Arise in Florida
Every possible wrongful death claim must be examined thoroughly in order to determine whether the elements of a claim are present. In general, the most common types of wrongful death claims arise due to the following types of incidents:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck crashes
- Pedestrian or bicycle accidents
- Cruise ship incidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Defective product incidents
- Premises liability incidents
- Nursing home abuse and neglect cases
- Boating accidents
- Medical mistakes
- Intentional acts of violence
This is certainly not a complete list of the ways that wrongful death claims arise in Florida. If you have any questions about whether your particular situation rises to the level of wrongful death, arrange a free consultation with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can help you through this.
We do want to add a word of caution about the time limits involved in these cases. Under Florida law, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate must file the claim against the alleged negligent party within two years from the date of the deceased’s death. If a case is not filed before this deadline passes, the right to file the claim will likely be lost. There are some exceptions to this two-year statute of limitations pertaining to if the death occurred as a result of murder or manslaughter.
Family members of the deceased and the state of the deceased may be able to recover compensation if the claim against another party is successful. The family of the deceased will likely be able to recover compensation for a:
- Loss of services and support the deceased would have provided the family
- Loss of the deceased’s protection, companionship, and love
- Loss of a parent’s guidance, instruction, and companionship
- Funeral, burial, and cremation expenses
- Mental pain and suffering damages
The estate of a deceased individual may be able to recover certain types of damages as well, including lost wages and benefits or other types of earnings from the date of the injury to the date of death if there was a delay. Additionally, the value of earnings and benefits to the deceased would reasonably have been expected to have saved and left in their estate may also be recoverable.
Do You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer?
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another individual or entity in Florida, we encourage you to contact a lawyer immediately. An experienced West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyer will be able to help examine the facts of your particular case and help you determine what steps to take next. Wrongful death claims are challenging, and they are emotional. Losing a loved one is so hard, and we understand that a wrongful death claim will not change the pain of the loss. However, filing a wrongful death claim against an alleged negligent party is the first step towards receiving closure and compensation for your loss.