Experiencing the loss of a loved one can be devastating for surviving family members and friends, especially when the death could have been prevented. When a fatality is caused by the negligence of another individual or entity, it is considered a wrongful death and surviving family members may be able to hold the at-fault party liable for certain damages. These damages may include medical bills, loss of future income, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of consortium.
However, it is important to learn your legal rights from a qualified attorney before settling for a low-ball offer from the insurance company. Having a licensed attorney can help protect your rights to seek the full and fair amount of compensation you may legally deserve. For example, according to the Florida Statute of Limitations, surviving family members only have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death claim to seek legal compensation. The details of your particular situation will determine the amount of time you have to file a claim.
If you or someone you know lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident in Miami, contact the law firm of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today to schedule a no-cost, initial consultation (by appointment only). Our compassionate attorneys have more than four decades of combined legal experience while recovering more than $100 million combined in successful verdicts and settlements for our past clients.
Read on to learn more about the statute of limitations in a Florida wrongful death case and why it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you could lose your eligibility to recover the funds you may need for medical expenses, loss of future wages, property damage, and funeral and burial costs.
Florida Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is basically a time limit to file a claim against another party for damages sustained in an accident. Damages could be personal injury, physical pain and psychological/emotional suffering, wrongful death, and/or property damage. The statute of limitations is designed to prevent people from bringing up old claims from the past, which may be more difficult to investigate and prove.
Keep in mind that the statutes of limitations vary from state-to-state, and the number of years you have to file a claim may differ, depending on the circumstances related to your claim. This is why it is important to speak to a licensed lawyer who has experience working with claims such as yours.
The Florida Statute of Limitations is usually four years from the date of the accident in cases involving personal injury. However, if the injury leads to a death, surviving family members only have two years from the date of the fatality to file a valid wrongful death claim and seek financial compensation.
For instance, if your loved one passed away on October 1, 2019, you must file a wrongful death claim no later than October 1, 2021. Once the two year period passes, the at-fault party can no longer be punished by the courts and you may be disqualified from the opportunity to pursue compensation.
While certain details of your situation may allow you to file a claim beyond the two-year period, it could be possible that your claim may be due even sooner. Although these situations are rare, you can never be too sure without seeking the help from a qualified legal professional. Having an accomplished lawyer on your side is highly recommended for a wrongful death case so you know exactly when your claim is due and how much compensation you should legally deserve.
When Can the Statute of Limitations Be Extended?
While most wrongful death cases are considered civil cases, which are usually the result of negligence, such as driving recklessly or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, there are certain situations which may require a lengthy criminal investigation.
In these rare situations the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Florida may need to be extended. For example, if your claim involves a government entity, medical malpractice, and/or a homicide or murder situation, the statutory limitation may be extended.
However, the sooner you file your claim, the better. Filing your claim early ensures your rights to pursue compensation are protected. It also gives your attorney more time to perform a thorough investigation into the details of your wrongful death claim and help you build a robust case.
Call an Attorney You Can Trust
When a loved one is killed in a wrongful death accident, surviving family members are often left with hefty medical bills, loss of future wages, emotional suffering, property damage, and funeral and burial costs. Insurance companies usually try to contact families and offer a quick settlement that may be significantly less than what they deserve. This is why you need to call an experienced attorney that you can trust.
The reputable attorneys at the law firm of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers understand the struggles grieving family members face when a loved one dies prematurely, especially when the death was caused by another’s negligence. This is why we are prepared to listen to the details of your wrongful death claim in a complimentary, first-time evaluation.
Our dedicated attorneys aim to ensure justice is served by helping surviving family members pursue the fair amount of compensation they legally deserve. Our firm has handled more than 6,000 cases combined, including cases involving wrongful deaths caused by negligence. We have over 600 five-star reviews, so you can see for yourself how diligently we work for our clients.
There is no obligation required and your information is always kept completely confidential. We aim to protect the rights of Floridians by helping them hold negligent parties liable for damages incurred in a wrongful death situation.
Call our firm any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or fill out a free online form so that one of our legal professionals can contact you shortly after. We have an online chat option available 24/7 for your convenience as well. If you prefer to meet in person, we can even come to you.
Call Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today at (561) 800-8000 and learn your rights to seek legal compensation.