Individuals who have lost a loved one can file a wrongful death claim, but it is important to know what the law says about these claims.
No one should have to lose a loved one, especially when it is due to the negligence or carelessness of another person. Under Florida law, those who lose loved ones can sometimes file a wrongful death claim, but the law also has firm rules about who can file these claims. A Boca Raton wrongful death lawyer can assist loved ones with their case and help them secure the fair amount of compensation they deserve.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
In Florida, wrongful death claims are lawsuits that are filed in civil court. Survivors can file a claim when another person’s negligence caused the death of certain family members.
Wrongful death claims are different from criminal cases involving murder, manslaughter, and homicide, although a civil claim may arise from these acts, as well. Criminal cases are intended to punish the defendant, typically with a jail sentence or high fines. Civil cases on the other hand, are meant to provide damages for loved ones who have been left behind to compensate them for their losses.
Who can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Unfortunately, not everyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. Only the representative of the court can file a wrongful death claim with the civil courts. Representatives are named in a person’s estate plan, and when a person dies without a will or plan, the court will appoint a representative. The representative will then file a wrongful death claim on behalf of certain relatives. The law recognizes certain individuals as having an interest in the lawsuit, and they are as follows:
- The spouse of the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
Any other relative that was financially dependent on the deceased, such as a sibling, may also be able to be named in the lawsuit. In the event that the representative is filing a claim on behalf of children, the law also states that children under the age of 25 are entitled to a greater amount of damages than children over the age of 25.
Damages Available in Wrongful Death Claims
Unlike survival claims, which compensate a deceased’s estate for damages they could have collected if they had survived the accident, wrongful death claims compensate those who have lost their loved ones. As such, damages in these cases can include funeral and burial expenses, loss of protection and companionship, emotional distress, and more.
Call Our Florida Wrongful Death Lawyers for Help with Your Claim
You should never have to deal with the loss of a loved one simply because someone else was negligent and caused their death. However, filing a civil claim is difficult, particularly when you are already sorting through your grief. At Ged Lawyers, LLP, our Boca Raton wrongful death lawyers are here to help. We will ensure your claim is filed properly and on time, so you secure the full amount of compensation you deserve. Call us today at (561) 995-1966 or contact us online to schedule a free case review with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.