There can be nothing more devastating than the loss of a loved one. The grief can be even more overwhelming if their death was caused by the negligent actions of someone else.
Under Florida law, you may be able to file a wrongful death action seeking damages for the emotional and financial losses your family has suffered. A New Port Richey wrongful death lawyer can help to build your case. Contact a compassionate personal injury attorney to discuss your options today.
Florida Wrongful Death Act
There are many situations where the person who is deemed at-fault for an accident that results in the death of someone is criminally charged. Fatal drunk driving accidents are a good example of this.
The drunk driver who survives the crash will most likely face several criminal charges, depending on the circumstances of the accident. But families of accident victims can also seek civil remedies for the death of their loved one.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act allows survivors to be compensated for the loss of their loved one. The law defines a survivor as a spouse, child, or parent. There are also cases where another relative – such as a sibling – who was dependent on the victim for some type of support may also be able to pursue a wrongful death claim in New Port Richey.
Damages Under the Law
A survivor who files a wrongful death lawsuit in New Port Richey can seek to recover the costs of all medical expenses incurred in the attempt to save the victim’s life. These expenses include ambulance transport, emergency room treatment, surgeries, and hospital stays. Funeral and burial expenses are also recoverable under a wrongful death lawsuit. Families can also file damages for the loss of financial support the victim would have provided in the future.
In addition to the financial burdens placed on families when their loved one is killed in an accident, there are also the emotional ones. Although no amount of compensation can ever make up for the loved one’s death, spouses can seek damages with the help of a New Port Richey wrongful death lawyer for the mental pain the death has caused, as well as the loss of companionship.
Florida law also allows children who are under the age of 25 to seek damages for the mental pain the loss of their parent has caused, as well the loss of parental guidance, instruction, and companionship. There are some situations – although they are not very common – where a survivor can also seek punitive damages against the at-fault party. These damages are separate from the emotional and financial ones. Instead, their purpose is to punish the person who is responsible for the victim’s death. In those rare cases where they are awarded, Florida law caps those damages at no more than three times the amount of any other funds awarded.
Statute of Limitations
There are statutes of limitations in all Florida tort law, and wrongful death actions are no exception. Survivors must file their claim within four years of the date of death.
Although there may be rare exceptions to this rule, survivors who miss the four-year mark filing their claim will lose their opportunity to bring the wrongful death lawsuit forward.
Contacting a New Port Richey Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have lost a loved one because of the negligence and fault of someone else, contact a New Port Richey wrongful death lawyer to discuss your legal options. A negligent death attorney in New Port Richey understands no amount of damages will compensate for your loss, but will aggressively fight to get you the compensation your family deserves.