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Wrongful death lawsuit: Understanding your options

A wrongful death lawsuit can be challenging not only because it’s a complex issue but also because of the mental anguish it can cause. In Florida, wrongful death is a civil action used to recover monetary damages from the person or organization believed to be legally responsible for a death.

What Is A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Attorneys and clients discussing a wrongful death lawsuit.Florida Statute 768.19 defines wrongful death as a death resulting from personal or professional negligence in incidents such as a car accident, medical malpractice, a defective product, or a crime like manslaughter. If someone has died due to a felony crime, you can file a civil lawsuit. You can also file wrongful death cases against a party without there being any other charges pending against them.

When Can The Lawsuit Be Brought

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is a two-year period after a person’s death. The only exceptions are murder or manslaughter, which carry no statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

When someone dies, and the family believes it is the result of negligence, they may want to file the lawsuit themselves. In Florida, the civil case must be filed by the estate of the person who has died, specifically the legally appointed executor of the estate. (The executor of an estate is often a family member appointed by the decedent in their will.) The executor can name all impacted family members so they can receive a portion of the damages awarded upon winning.

Who Receives Damages

If you win a wrongful death lawsuit, the people identified in the civil action will receive damages. Those damages are calculated based on the initial amount outlined in the claim. You can calculate damages based on several factors, including loss of support, mental pain, and funeral costs. Damages can also be paid to the estate for expenses like funeral costs if those were paid for directly by the estate. The best way to determine how much money you should seek is to consult an attorney.

At Kagan Law, we are experts in personal injury law and can help you understand your options after a wrongful death in your family. Contact us or call (239) 466-1161 for a free consultation.

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