Wrongful deaths are the most tragic event that a family can suffer. Losing a loved one is always challenging, but knowing that it was caused by someone else’s negligence makes it that much more difficult to accept. And you may be wondering is wrongful death a personal injury?
Handling a wrongful death case while you’re grieving isn’t fair. Bring in a professional who can help you recover damages and protect your rights in court. They’ll ease your stress and allow you to focus on mourning your family member in peace.
If you have suffered the tragic loss of a close relative, the wrongful death lawyers at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can help you determine if you have a case.
Call us today at (561) 655-1990 for more information.
Is wrongful death considered a personal injury?
According to Florida Statute 768, wrongful death is a form of personal injury. This statute deals with various types of negligence and classifies both wrongful death and personal injury as a form of injury induced by negligence that can be awarded financial compensation.
Personal injuries are any type of bodily harm that an individual suffers due to the negligence of someone who owed them a duty of care. This includes:
- Broken arm from a car crash
- Bruised tailbone and lacerations from a slip and fall
- Burns from a faulty product
- Additional surgery due to medical malpractice
Wrongful death cases require a personal injury so severe that it resulted in death. Taking the above examples:
- Car crash that led to a fatality
- Slip and fall that resulted in a coma and eventual brain death
- Choking and perishing due to a defective product
- Death due to medical malpractice
Wrongful death cases also differ in who can collect the damages, since the deceased is unable to do so after their death.
When is a wrongful death claim applicable?
A person may file a wrongful death suit if the following points are proven:
- The liable party had a duty of care, or a reasonable expectation to avoid harming others
- The liable party breached this duty, choosing to act in a way that could bring about harm
- This negligence directly caused the injuries of the deceased
- The deceased perished due to these injuries
It may sound obvious, but it is important to prove that these injuries directly caused the death of your loved one. Without this proof, your claim would be reduced to a personal injury case, which only the deceased could file.
To prove fault and negligence in this way, you and your lawyer will need to work together to collect evidence. By examining the case and determining fault through evidence and expert witnesses, you will increase your chances of being awarded damages.
An expert wrongful death attorney will have access to medical experts and witnesses who can testify on your behalf at no additional cost to you.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
In Florida, only family members may file a wrongful death claim and collect benefits. This is limited to direct family members, such as:
- Spouses and children
- If none of the above are living, the deceased’s siblings
Only if the deceased has no family then living, or if they are then living but forgo filing a wrongful death claim, then the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim via a representative named in the deceased’s Will.
If you are unsure who can file a legal claim for your loved one’s death, we can help. Contact our law offices at (561) 655-1990 for a free consultation.
Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Statutes of limitations are the period during which you can file your lawsuit. In Florida, wrongful death lawsuits have a statute of limitations of two years from the date of the individual’s death.
If you do not file your claim within this time, you are forgoing the collection of damages that rightfully belong to you.
We know that this feels like a short window of time while you are mourning the passing of your loved one. Enlist the help of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath to ensure you get the compensation you’re owed. Don’t let the defendant get away with their negligence. Teach them a lesson by forcing them to confront the consequences of their actions.
Wrongful Death Damages
Wrongful death cases can qualify for three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive. These damages are intended to help a family recover after the loss of a loved one. The courts know that you shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for medical bills caused by someone else’s negligence.
Our wrongful death lawyers have assisted citizens of Florida with recovering damages for decades. We have ensured our clients were compensated for:
- Medical bills of the deceased
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of the deceased’s wages to the household
- Loss of the deceased’s contribution to the household emotionally
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Lost earnings while caring for the deceased
- Pain and suffering of the deceased and/or their family
- Punitive damages, if the defendant was intentionally reckless with their behavior
You have a 300% higher chance of being awarded these damages and more if you hire a lawyer to handle your case. Individuals who attempt to represent themselves in wrongful death cases are too overwhelmed emotionally to handle a complicated legal process. They end up letting things slip through the cracks. The other party’s insurance company often forces them into a settlement for far less than they deserve.
Don’t let that happen to you.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
Our decades of experience supporting Floridians like you have made us experts in our field. We won’t be intimidated by insurance companies, scared off by large amounts of paperwork or evidence, or bullied into admitting defeat too soon.
Contact us today to hire an expert lawyer who can get you the best results.