When a family member dies in an accident due to another party’s negligence, you may experience both profound grief and an overwhelming sense of injustice. Had the at-fault party behaved in a reasonably responsible manner, your loved one would still be alive. Instead, their death has created emotional turmoil and may have had a devastating financial impact on the people they left behind. The Santa Rosa Beach wrongful death lawyers at The Bruner Law Firm understand that no amount of money will bring your loved one back, but we believe it can help you pursue the justice you deserve.
If you have lost a family member in an accident in Florida, you have the right to seek compensation via a wrongful death claim. A successful claim can give your family a greater degree of financial stability after your sudden loss.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is a cause of action available to the immediate survivors of a person who died because of another party’s carelessness or negligence. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate will file the claim on behalf of their close relatives with the aim of recovering compensation for the at-fault party’s actions.
While a person’s loved ones can use a wrongful death claim to seek justice for their loss, the civil action is separate from any criminal proceedings a prosecutor might file against the at-fault individual or company. As such, police charges do not preclude you from seeking financial compensation from the liable party’s insurance company. A criminal action punishes the defendant for legal wrongdoing, while a civil lawsuit aims to make the victims whole in compensation for their losses.
What Types of Incidents Qualify for Wrongful Death Claims in Florida?
Several circumstances that can lead to fatal injuries can form the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit, including:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Jet ski and Boat Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Construction Accidents
- Workplace Injuries
- Defective Medical Devices
If you are unsure whether your loved one’s death qualifies for a wrongful death claim, contact the experienced Santa Rosa Beach wrongful death attorneys at The Bruner Law Firm, and we will advise you.
What Compensation Can I Recover from a Wrongful Death Claim?
Florida law allows close family members to recover compensation for the following types of losses in wrongful death claims:
- Accident-related medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Future lost income your loved one would have earned
- Pain and suffering your loved one experienced before they died
- Loss of guidance, care, and companionship
- Mental distress from your loss
- Loss of support services or income your loved one provided
In cases involving particularly flagrant, intentional, or outrageous conduct, a wrongful death lawsuit may permit you to pursue punitive damages, which punish the at-fault party for their wrongdoing.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Florida law requires that the representative of the deceased’s estate file the wrongful death lawsuit. They can file on behalf of the deceased’s surviving family members, including:
- A surviving husband or wife may seek compensation for their loss of companionship and protection, as well as for psychological pain and suffering from the date of the fatal incident.
- Minor children can claim compensation for their loss of parental guidance and companionship and their pain and suffering.
- Parents who lost a child under 25 may recover compensation for their psychological pain and suffering from the date of the fatal incident.
- Parents who lost an adult child might be able to seek compensation for their pain and suffering, but only if the deceased individual has no other survivors.
Each survivor is further permitted to pursue compensation for the value of lost support and services, both current and future.
What Is the Deadline for a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
The statute of limitations generally permits a maximum of four years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. However, wrongful death claims stemming from medical malpractice have a time limit of two years unless the case involves intentional concealment or fraud.
If you have questions about the deadline for your wrongful death claim, speak to one of the experienced attorneys at The Bruner Law Firm to avoid doubt. Failing to take legal action within the required timeframe may lead to the forfeiture of your right to seek compensation. While four years might seem like a generous amount of time, the complicated nature of a wrongful death claim means the process can take far longer than you expect. As such, you should enlist the services of a knowledgeable and skilled attorney as soon as possible. Doing so will give them sufficient time to:
- Investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death
- Gather the necessary evidence
- Determine who is liable
- Calculate the value of your losses
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company
- File a formal lawsuit with the court if necessary
Why Choose The Bruner Law Firm?
The seasoned attorneys at The Bruner Law Firm have received multiple recognitions from leading attorney review groups for our superlative work. Furthermore, we have extensive experience defending parties against personal injury lawsuits. We have the skills and resources necessary to support our clients successfully and work resolutely to achieve optimal results in every case.
But don’t just take our word for it. Our many satisfied clients continue to recommend our services to their friends and families.
Contact Our Santa Rosa Beach Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for your losses. The experienced Santa Rosa Beach personal injury attorneys at The Bruner Law Firm will be proud to support you during this challenging time. Our compassionate lawyers will listen to your story, talk you through your options, and fight for your interests every step of the way. Call us today at (850) 608-8715 or contact us online for a free case consultation to learn more about how we can help you.