Naples Ft. Myers Wrongful Death Attorney
When a loved one dies because of the negligence of another, your restitution depends on a timely, professional presentation of your case to the court. Although the legal aspect of this tragedy is only one of your responsibilities, it must be handled as a priority to ensure that you have the time and financial resources to help heal your family.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about wrongful death and what your next move is.
What is wrongful death in the state of Florida?
Wrongful death in Florida is addressed in Florida Statute 768.19. Under the statute, there are three elements to every wrongful death case.
- There must be conduct that can be defined as negligence, a default, a wrongful act or a breach of contract.
- The conduct referred to must cause the death of the decedent.
- If the decedent were not killed by the conduct referred to, (s)he must have been entitled to recover damages for injury under Florida law.
Wrongful death cases can occur because of automobile accidents, a workplace hazard, purposeful criminal activity, defective products or medical malpractice.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
In the state of Florida, only a personal representative of the deceased may move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit. A personal representative is usually determined by a will or plan of estate. In the absence of either of these, the court will appoint the representative.
In most cases, the personal representative will be an immediate family member of the deceased. Children, parents, blood relative dependent and spouses will usually take priority as a personal representative. Children to the deceased that are born out of wedlock may also be considered.
If the only personal representatives of the deceased are minor children, the court may appoint a guardian to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of those children.
Is there a time limit to file a wrongful death suit?
The time limit, referred to by the court as the “statute of limitations” for a wrongful death lawsuit is four years. Time is of the essence in these cases, and it is always advised that you seek experienced legal assistance as soon as possible when a wrongful death is involved.
Should a personal representative of the decedent fail to file a wrongful death lawsuit within the statatue of limitations, any legal rights that may have been a part of such a suit are extinguished. No lawsuit may ever be filed. Only in a very specific case will the court allow any wrongful death statute of limitations extension or reopening.
What damages may be recovered for a wrongful death in the state of Florida?
The family members who survive the deceased may recover damages based on the value of the services the deceased provided to them. This value includes more than hard monetary benefits. The court will also consider loss of companionship, emotional and mental trauma, and the expenses incurred because of the funeral and other costs of death.
Family members may also receive lost wages and the value of company benefits that were accumulated by the deceased. The potential for future earnings of the deceased is also considered, and the potential value of the estate that the deceased could have acquired is considered as well.
Punitive damages may also be awarded if it can be proven that there was reckless, intentionally malicious conduct.
Verderamo Law is here to ensure that your legal rights are upheld and your case is presented professionally and genuinely before the court. Do not let a wrongful death affect you any more. Get the help that you need to place responsibility squarely where it belongs so that you can begin the healing process.
Contact Wrongful Death Lawyers in Naples & Ft. Myers, Florida
If you would like to personally meet with an experienced personal injury lawyer for a FREE and confidential consultation, please call (239) 775-1004.
Verderamo Law is committed to providing legal representation primarily in the fields of criminal law and personal injury law. While our offices are situated in Naples and Ft. Myers, Florida, we proudly represent clients throughout Collier and Lee Counties and their surrounding areas, including, but not limited to, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Golden Gate, Immokalee, Lehigh, and Marco Island. Verderamo Law is located at 2662 Airport Pulling Rd S Naples, FL 34112. For more information, call (239) 775-1004. Naples car accident attorneys Naples Florida residents can contact 24 hours a day, seven days a week.