Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Losing a loved one prematurely can often have devastating effects on surviving family relatives and friends. While Florida law allows for surviving family members to seek financial compensation in the event of a wrongful death, they must meet certain requirements to file a valid claim.

If your Boynton Beach wrongful death claim is viable, surviving family members could recover funds for loss of emotional support, funeral and burial expenses, medical bills related to the accident, loss of future wages, and property damage. Having a reputable lawyer on your side could help determine whether you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim and seek financial support you may need. 

At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our team of legal professionals is prepared to help you seek the funds you may deserve for your wrongful death claim. We offer free, initial consultations to discuss whether you may legally deserve financial compensation. There is no obligation needed and your information is kept confidential, so there are no risks involved. 

Below, we discuss who may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim in the state of Florida, along with certain requirements that must be met to seek monetary compensation. If you have any questions regarding your wrongful death claim, contact our firm any time. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or you can chat with an online representative. 

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida

If you need to file a wrongful death claim in Florida, you must meet certain requirements to pursue funds for your damages. According to Florida law, surviving family members who may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim may include the surviving spouse, children, parents of the deceased, or another person appointed as head of the estate. However, if no such person exists, the law may not recognize the losses.

According to Florida Statute 768.18, the spouse and any children under the age of 25 always have the first right to file a wrongful death claim. Regardless of the relationship to the deceased or damages sustained, Florida law does not recognize these losses for children over the age of 25. However, if there is no spouse or other children under the age of 25, the adult child will be allowed to pursue these damages by filing a wrongful death claim. 

Once the head of the estate is determined, only one person can file a wrongful death claim in regards to the incident. In other words, once a wrongful death claim is filed, another surviving family member cannot file another claim for the same death. This is why it is important to discuss your legal options with a licensed attorney from our firm before settling your claim with the insurance companies involved.

The experienced attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers are accustomed to negotiating with insurance adjusters. We always aim to help you seek the full and fair amount of financial compensation that you may legally deserve. If you have a valid wrongful death claim, we can help build a strong case in your favor and accurately calculate your damages, so you are not left with unexpected, out-of-pocket expenses. 

Types of Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim

While there are multiple ways you can recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, they are generally broken down into two main categories, and in rare instances there may be a third option, depending on the details of the situation. 

Any financial losses that have a definitive monetary value to them, are categorized as economic losses. For example:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical bills leading up to the death
  • Loss of future income and benefits
  • Property damage. 

In addition, eligible surviving family members may be able to pursue non-economic losses, which do not have a definitive monetary value. Some examples may include:

  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of emotional support
  • Loss of protection
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. 

Keep in mind that children may not be allowed to seek non-economic damages in wrongful death cases involving medical malpractice.

In rare instances, you may be able to seek additional compensation by pursuing punitive damages in a wrongful death claim. However, these damages are only granted in cases involving extremely egregious behavior. For example, a drunk driver who was driving over the speed limit with a suspended license. Punitive damages involve hefty penalties and possible jail time for the at-fault party. These damages are designed to provide additional financial assistance to the victims’ family and to keep others from repeating the egregious act. 

How Soon Do I Need to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

While recovering from the loss of a loved one may take some time to recover from, it is important to understand that you only have a limited period to file a valid wrongful death claim. Every wrongful claim has a due date and if you file your claim beyond that date, it could be barred by the court. This means you will not be allowed to seek financial compensation for the loss of your loved one.

While other states may differ, Florida law usually allows for two years from the date of the death to file a valid wrongful death claim, in what is known as the statute of limitations. However, there may be instances where this date could differ, depending on the details of the incident. 

For example, if the only surviving family members are children under the age of 18, the statute of limitations could be paused until the children are of legal age to file the claim. 

If your wrongful death claim is against a government official or agency, the statute of limitations may be much less than the two-year period. In this case, you may need to file your wrongful death claim much sooner if the government is somehow involved in the loss of your loved one. 

This is another prime example of how you may benefit from the services of a licensed lawyer from our firm. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our experienced attorneys can help you determine the correct statute of limitations for your wrongful death claim, so you won’t miss out on your chance to seek legal compensation. 

Seek Justice by Contacting an Attorney Today

Overcoming the unexpected loss of a loved one can often seem impossible for many surviving family members and friends. It can be even more cumbersome when you depend on the deceased person for financial and emotional support. However, it is important that you understand your legal rights to seek justice and hold the at-fault party liable for their negligence. 

Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers offers cost-free, initial consultations to discuss whether you may be legally eligible to file a wrongful death claim. You will not be obligated to hire us for legal representation and all your information is kept private. 

Our accomplished attorneys have more than four decades of combined legal experience, which includes cases involving wrongful death. We have handled more than 6,000 cases combined, while recovering over $100 million combined in successful verdicts and settlements, on behalf of our past clients.

Avoid the complexities of dealing with the legal process and insurance laws by hiring a knowledgeable lawyer from our firm today. Our phone lines are available 24/7, or you can chat with an online representative. You can also fill out a free online form and one of our legal professionals will kindly reach out to you. If you cannot make it to our office, we can travel to you, by appointment. However, if you prefer to keep your distance, you can have the process started from the comfort and safety of your own home by filling out a free case evaluation form or by calling us today at (561) 800-8000.

Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers never settle for less when we fight for the rights of our clients.

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