When a loved one dies in a car crash or some other sudden unexpected event, it is devastating. Not only are you immediately thrust into a period of mourning, but you are faced with making a series of unexpected financial decisions within a short period of time to protect your family’s financial future.
At a time as trying as this, it is important to seek out the assistance of a Pasco County wrongful death attorney who can help deal with the loss you are facing and aid you in continuing onto your path of healing.
The death of a loved one can result in a loss of all means of support from the main income provider. While no amount of money will ever take the place of a loved one that has passed, it can be effective in helping families recover medical expenses, future lost wages that your loved one would have earned, funeral costs, as well as those associated with pain and suffering.
A surviving family member or estate, or an injury attorney on their behalf, is allowed to pursue a civil lawsuit to obtain a legal remedy in any situation where the death of a person is found to have been caused by a wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract. En Español.
Types of Wrongful Death Claims
You have heard many heartbreaking stories on TV. Among these, there have been instances where charter buses have been split in two by a highway railing, killing those on board. There have been plane crashes, deaths caused by boating accidents, and elderly persons that have been neglected in nursing homes and left to die.
There are also situations where a car passenger or bystander lose their life thanks to the negligent operation of a vehicle. Each of these situations describes one of many examples of claims that, in consulting with a Pasco County Wrongful Death Lawyer, may qualify for wrongful death suit in Florida.
Eligibility to File a Wrongful Death Case
In order to be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased loved one, a person wishing to file the suit has to fit into a few select categories in Florida. The individual must either be part of the decedent’s nuclear family (i.e. spouse, child, parent) or be a related by blood or adoption and significantly rely on the decedent for support.
The law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This limits the amount of time a client has to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. In Pasco County, Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit is four years from the date of death. While there are some exceptions to the rule, generally, claims not filed within that time frame cannot be used to ask for damages in the future.
Proving negligence and fault in situations that result in an individual’s death is not easily done. It requires conducting a thorough analysis of the facts of the case, conducting a re-creation of the events that led up to the death, launching a thorough investigation of the other party involved and his or her insurance and assets, running life expectancy models based on the victim’s age and lifestyle, in addition shoring up many other details.
Wrongful Death Damages
As referenced earlier, the death of a family member can leave surviving family members drowning in bills ranging. These may be medical bills or even funeral costs. If the decedent was the main breadwinner in the client’s home, it might greatly impact a surviving family member’s ability to stay on top of household finances.
This is why it is particularly important to make note of all these costs. Documenting these expenses requires keeping copies of all bills, receipts, invoices and records related to the loved one’s passing. In addition to the aforementioned laws, some of the many additional recoverable damages under Florida Statute 768.21 include:
- Compensation for loss of guidance or companionship
- Mental anguish associated with the loss of the loved one
The Benefits of Working With An Attorney
Because cases of this sort require careful attention to detail to prove, it is important that you review the details of your case with a wrongful death attorney in Pasco County, Florida experienced in handling these type cases in order to ensure the best results.
Many wrongful death attorneys offer free consultations and take on these type cases on a commission-only basis meaning they only get paid once they recover damages for you. When following these steps after the death of a loved one, it greatly impacts the speed with which you’re able to get bills paid and begin to bring closure to your loved one’s case.