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August 17, 2021. Category: Wrongful Death

How Do I Know If I Can Sue For The Wrongful Death Of My Loved One?

Suddenly losing a loved one under conditions that were entirely preventable can cause those left behind to experience emotional and financial hardships. Fortunately, under some circumstances, the loved ones of the deceased are able to seek compensation for their unexpected loss. A consultation with a Tampa wrongful death attorney can help surviving family members understand when a wrongful death suit is appropriate.

Questions to Consider

The Florida Wrongful Death Act was established to allow the surviving family members of the decedent to bring a lawsuit in situations where the decedent’s death was caused by another person or entity's wrongful act or negligence. In deciding whether or not a wrongful death suit is appropriate, the surviving family member should consider the following questions:

What caused the loved one’s death?

Not every accidental or unexpected death can be considered a “wrongful” death under the Florida Wrongful Death Act. A plaintiff bringing a wrongful death action must be able to prove that someone or something (such as a company or business) acted wrongfully or negligently, and that act was responsible for the death. The burden of proof rests squarely on the shoulders of the plaintiff. 

Am I the proper person to sue for wrongful death?

Florida law is specific regarding who is able to sue for a wrongful death action. The Personal Representative (PR) of the decedent’s estate is the proper person to file suit on behalf of the estate. The PR is generally established by the terms of the Will of the decedent, or in cases where there is no Will, by court appointment. Persons that were dependent on the decedent at the time of their death may also be able to file suit.

How long has it been since my family member died?

Florida law states that a suit for wrongful death must be brought within two years from the decedent’s date of death. Adhering to the two-year statute of limitations is imperative. Promptly contacting a Tampa wrongful death attorney may make all the difference in the family’s ability to recover compensation as gathering the information needed to file a suit can be time-consuming. 

If the lawsuit for wrongful death is successful, who gets the money?

Florida law states that in successful wrongful death actions, the following may recover compensation:

  • The decedent’s estate
  • The decedent’s surviving spouse
  • The decedent’s minor children, or adult children that were dependent upon the decedent for care (typically, this refers to adult children that are disabled and were cared for by the decedent prior to their death)
  • The decedent’s parents

Get Personal Attention From Our Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney

If you have lost a loved one and believe you may have a claim for wrongful death, contact the experienced attorneys at Alley, Clark & Greiwe via their contact page or by calling 1-800-840-0977. Speaking with a Tampa wrongful death attorney will help you understand how the law applies to your particular situation and if pursuing a wrongful death cause of action is advisable.

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