Key Elements Necessary to Prove a Wrongful Death in Florida
Key Elements Necessary to
Prove a Wrongful Death in Florida
When a person dies due to the negligence of another, the surviving family members may be entitled to monetary compensation for their losses. To win a wrongful death case in Florida, certain elements must be proven in court. This guide will discuss the elements you need to prove to win a wrongful death case in the State of Florida.
By the end of this guide, you should have a better understanding of the elements you need to prove in order to win a wrongful death case in the State of Florida.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal term used to describe when a person dies due to the negligence of another. This can be due to various reasons, such as medical malpractice, defective products, or motor vehicle accidents.
In Florida, wrongful death is defined as “the death of a human being caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of another.” To win a wrongful death case in Florida, certain elements must be proven in court.
What Elements Must be Proven in Court to Win a Wrongful Death Case in Florida?
To win a wrongful death case in Florida, the following elements must be proven in court:
- That the death of the deceased was caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of another;
- That the deceased would have been entitled to compensation had they lived;
- That the surviving family members have suffered monetary damages as a result of the death;
- That the wrongful act was committed by a person or entity with a duty to act with reasonable care.
By proving these elements, the family of the deceased can seek monetary compensation for their losses.
What Damages can be Sought in a Successful Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In a successful wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family members can seek damages for a variety of losses, including medical expenses, funeral, and burial costs, lost wages, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the defendant for their reckless or negligent behavior.
In addition, the family may be entitled to compensation for the loss of financial support and benefits the deceased would have provided had they lived. Finally, the family may be able to recover damages for the loss of inheritance had the deceased lived a normal life span.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases in Florida?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years from the date of death. This means that the family must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the death, or else the case will be dismissed. It is important to note that this two-year period is not extended if the deceased person was a minor.
In such cases, the two-year period begins from the date of death and not from the date of the minor’s birth. Additionally, the two-year period can be suspended in certain cases, such as when the defendant is out of state or in jail. In such cases, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the defendant is back in the state or out of jail.
The elements you need to prove to win a wrongful death case in Florida are: the death of the victim was caused by the negligence or wrongful act of the defendant, the victim’s surviving family members suffered financial damages as a result of the death, and the defendant can be held legally responsible for the death. If you can prove all of these elements, you may be able to collect damages from the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Mendes, Reins & Wilander is a personal injury litigation firm, and our areas of expertise include major and catastrophic injury, nursing care and assisted living neglect and abuse, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and automobile accidents involving cars, motorcycles, and trucks. Speak to a Florida personal injury attorney today!