Florida’s Wrongful Death Laws
In the state of Florida, personal injury lawsuits have been on the rise for many years now. With each passing year it seems that more and more individuals are choosing to resolve issues through courtroom litigation, as opposed to other, less effective means of negotiations. In this past year, wrongful death lawsuits have increased far more than anyone might have expected. According to Ms. Anissa Morris, the Top Wrongful Death Lawyer Dade City has to offer, a wrongful death claim can be defined as a civil lawsuit that can be brought to litigation in the event of a wrongful act of negligence, that causes the death of another individual. As with other types of personal injury claims, in which a negligent party is at fault, the victim or injured party can obtain monetary, compensatory damages. These damages are used to in a way, make the family of the deceased party “whole” – and while they surely will not make up for the loss of life, and the emotional toll that individuals death may have had on his or her family, its really the closest thing our legal system allows for.
When it comes to any aspect of the legal system, we must look closely at the Florida statutes which govern them. According to the top wrongful death lawyer Dade City has in practice, Ms. Anissa Morris, Florida Statute section 768.19 states that when an individual’s death “is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract” of another person or some other entity, the estate of the deceased person may bring a civil lawsuit in Florida’s courts, seeking a legal remedy for that death and the losses stemming from it. This is how a wrongful death claim is defined by the law – in regular terms, it allows for the deceased person’s family to then bring a civil suit against the person or entity that may have been responsible in some way. In some high-profile murder cases, in which an individual is charged with the criminal charge of murder or manslaughter, families will often bring a wrongful death suit against the individual they deem to be responsible.
An important thing to understand about a wrongful death claim, especially in the state of Florida, is that the law requires that the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate should be the one to file the claim. In a case where the deceased individual had a will or estate plan, the personal representative will be named – however, in a case in which the deceased party did not leave any type of will or estate plan, then the courts are responsible for naming someone to be in charge of their estate. As the Top Wrongful Death Lawyer Dade City has in practice, Ms. Anissa Morris, will file the claim by the personal representative, however, the claim itself is being brought against the negligent party on behalf of the actual estate and any surviving family members. One of the most important jobs of the representative is to make their lawyer aware of any surviving family members that have an interest or some type of stake in the case itself. In order to be able to recover any of the compensatory damages within the case, family members must fall within two distinct categories.
· The spouse, children, or parents of the deceased individual.
· And, any blood relative or even an adoptive sibling, who fully, or partially, relied upon the individual for support or service. Basically, if you were related, and somewhat of a dependent.
One aspect that often causes issues according to Ms. Morris, the Top Personal Injury Lawyer Zephyrhills has to offer, is in the instance when a child of unmarried parents seeks to file a wrongful death claim for one of his parents. In this type of scenario, the child may always file a wrongful death claim in the event of his or her mother passing, however if the father passes things can get a bit tricky, again if they are unmarried. According to the top personal injury lawyer Zephyrhills, Ms. Morris, in the event the father passes on, in order for the child to be able to bring a claim, during his life, the father must have formally recognized the child as his own and the father must have been obligated to contribute to the support of the child.
Another, and possibly the most important thing one must understand about a wrongful death claim is that there is a time limit for how long an individual has to file such a claim. While it differs from state to state, in Florida the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of the death. However, in some cases, this time period can be stretched – these instances are very specific, and it is best to consult an attorney like Anissa Morris, the top personal injury lawyer Zephyrhills has to offer. In order to be safe, you should make sure that your case is filed before the two years are close – and if your situation allows for more time, an experienced attorney will be able to tell you during your first meeting. To learn more about wrongful death claims, and other personal injury issues, be sure to contact Anissa Morris today.