Losing a loved one under any circumstances is a uniquely challenging ordeal. If you recently lost a loved one due to a person or company’s negligence, though, you may also have significant financial losses and expenses stemming from your loved one’s death.
A personal injury attorney could help you understand the steps that you may be able to take for financial recovery if such a situation comes to pass. Once retained, a compassionate Dunedin wrongful death lawyer could guide you through the legal process and stand up for the best interests of you and your family every step of the way.
Wrongful death claims can arise in a variety of contexts, including health care, defective products, animal attacks, and motor vehicle accidents. Generally, Florida law authorizes a wrongful death action if negligence leads to a person’s death. The deceased party’s personal representative, as identified by their will or appointed by the court, is the appropriate party to bring a wrongful death action.
Dunedin wrongful death attorneys may be able to recover damages on behalf of several surviving family members based on their relationship to the deceased. Under Florida Statutes §768.21, the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the decedent may be entitled to recover damages through a wrongful death action. Loss of companionship and loss of support and services may be recoverable damages, and the estate may also be able to recover for medical and burial expenses.
In order to preserve their right to recover damages, family members of the deceased must observe the applicable statute of limitations. In Florida, the estate’s personal representative must bring the wrongful death action within two years of the date of death.
The deadline set by the statute of limitations is crucial to financial recovery, because missing the deadline could render an individual unable to recover damages at all. A time-barred wrongful death claim may be dismissed, and the individuals entitled to recover damages may no longer be able to get compensation.
Various types of claims can proceed on grounds of negligence. In the context of a motor vehicle accident, for example, death which occurs due to a driver’s failure to exercise reasonable care in the operation of their vehicle could be actionable. Similarly, medical errors could give rise to a wrongful death claim if a physician or other medical professional deviated from the standard of care, thereby causing a person’s death.
A wrongful death lawyer in Dunedin could work to gather evidence, such as accident reports and medical records, in support of a wrongful death claim. There may also be witness statements or photographs which support a finding of negligence in a wrongful death claim.
Between the grieving process, evidence collection, and filing deadlines, trying to recover civil compensation after a wrongful death can be exhausting and incredibly difficult for one person to handle alone. It could be beneficial to have the guidance and advice of an experienced Dunedin wrongful death lawyer as you make decisions regarding your claim. When you are ready, reach out to schedule a confidential consultation and see what may be possible in your case.