When a Florida family loses a loved one due to another person’s reckless, negligent or deliberate actions, the surviving members of the family may have grounds for filing a civil lawsuit against the person deemed responsible. The civil action of filing a wrongful death lawsuit enables them to pursue financial relief. When such a lawsuit is filed, the plaintiffs must establish negligence before the civil court can determine the monetary value of the damages to be awarded to the family members.
The assumption in this type of lawsuit is that the surviving family members’ lives were directly affected by a loved one’s death. Not only has another party’s negligence caused the personal loss but also impacted the financial and emotional lives of the plaintiffs. In Florida, the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit is limited to the deceased individual’s spouse and children along with his or her parents and any other relatives who are entirely or partly dependent on the decedent.
The plaintiffs must have grounds — a reason that legally supports their claim — to file a wrongful death lawsuit. They must show that another party’s reckless, negligent or deliberate conduct caused the death, rather than the deceased person’s own actions or inaction. Furthermore, the court will need proof that the loved one’s death caused measurable damages to the plaintiffs. These could include burial and medical expenses, lost income and other financial losses along with emotional damages such as pain an suffering of the plaintiffs caused by the trauma of the loved one’s death.
There are statutes of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, and waiting too long may prevent such a filing. Many people who believe their loved ones’ deaths were caused by the negligence of other parties consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney to learn and understand their legal rights and to assess the viability of such claims. A lawyer can provide the necessary guidance and support throughout the ensuing legal procedures.
Source: thebalance.com, “How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit“, Julie Garber, Accessed on Dec. 8, 2017