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September 17, 2021. Category: Wrongful Death

Most Common Defenses Used In Wrongful Death Claims

Losing a beloved family member due to the misconduct or negligence of another can be a hard pill to swallow, and no amount of monetary compensation can replace them. Even so, holding those responsible accountable for their conduct is often necessary as remaining family members are left with unpaid medical bills as well the loss of income and care the decedent provided. The best way to accomplish this is typically through a wrongful death claim; however, there are some defenses that are often used by the responsible party to mitigate or absolve their accountability in the death. A Tampa wrongful death attorney explains. 


A claim of self-defense is typically used in cases where the decedent was killed in a fight or when the defendant had reason to believe that great bodily harm or death was imminent if they had not stopped the decedent. For a self-defense claim to be successful, the defendant must be able to prove that their fears were reasonable. 

Assumption of Risk

An assumption of risk defense may be used when the decedent knew or had reason to know the danger that was involved in the activity they were undertaking and chose to follow through with it. The idea is that they are fully responsible for their own death and assumed the risk of their own volition. 

Statute of Limitations

Typically, the statute of limitations in a claim for wrongful death is two years. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and even if the two years have expired, the plaintiff may be able to move forward with their case. It is always important to seek the advice of a Tampa wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to ensure that no deadlines are missed.

Release Agreement

Before engaging in any sort of semi-dangerous activity it is customary to be asked to sign a waiver. The waiver will often include that the person engaging in the activity will not sue if they suffer any injuries. While these agreements may be a valid self-defense in cases of simple negligence, they are not viable when the actions were intentional or the result of gross negligence. 

Comparative Negligence

Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that the amount a plaintiff may recover in a lawsuit will be reduced by the amount the decedent was at fault in causing their own death. For example, if it is determined that the decedent was 30% responsible for their own death, the amount awarded to the plaintiff will be reduced by 30%.

Speak With A Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or misconduct of another, contact our firm Alley, Clark & Greiwe via our contact page or by calling 1-800-840-0977. Your first consultation with an experienced Tampa wrongful death attorney is free, and our legal counsel will listen to what happened to your loved one and explain your options moving forward.

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