Losing someone you love is never easy, especially when their passing is premature or unexpected. If your loved one’s death was due to the careless or reckless behavior of someone else, you might wish to speak with a Pinellas County wrongful death lawyer about your legal options.
While seeking financial compensation may seem inadequate after such a tragedy, a successful claim might be able to help ease your financial burden after the loss of your loved one. By seeking the services of a compassionate personal injury attorney, you could focus on your family’s healing with the knowledge that a dedicated legal professional is helping to manage your legal affairs.
How Wrongful Death Cases Are Unique
Wrongful death cases are lawsuits with the intent of holding negligent parties accountable for their actions, as well as compensating the estate of the decedent. Outlined in Florida Statutes §768.16-26, this system comes in the form of a series of statutes that make up the Wrongful Death Act.
These statutes provide for a specific type of lawsuit a decedent’s loved ones might pursue after a fatal accident. The specifics of these statues might be difficult to grasp without a firm knowledge of the law, however, so the aid of a seasoned Pinellas County wrongful death attorney might prove beneficial.
Who Can Pursue Wrongful Death Claims?
In lawsuits claiming wrongful death, it is the personal representative of the decedent’s estate who usually acts as the plaintiff, rather than the decedent’s loved ones. This personal representative is often the executor of the decedent’s estate and might either be appointed in the deceased person’s will if they had one at the time of the accident or by the court if not.
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
The decedent’s personal representative may pursue many of the same kinds of legal damages the decedent would have been able to recover themselves had they be able to file an injury claim. This includes compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Professional repercussions, such as lost wages or decreased earning capacity for a family as a whole
- Loss of consortium suffered by the decedent’s spouse or children
- Funeral expenses
According to Fla. Stat. §768.21, a successful claim would grant recovery to the decedent’s spouse, children, and estate. The specifics of how reimbursement would be distributed are based on either the will of the decedent or on probate law.
The Statute of Limitations in Pinellas County
An important aspect of Florida law regarding untimely death law is the timeline by which a claim must be pursued. According to Fla. Stat. §95.11(4)(d), a wrongful death claim must usually be filed within two years of the date of death, which is a shorter time period than other injury claims.
If a plaintiff misses this deadline, they run the risk of their case being dismissed. While exceptions to this limitation do exist in certain cases, it is generally best to have a proactive wrongful death lawyer work to ensure that a claim satisfies the statute of limitations in Pinellas County.
How a Pinellas County Wrongful Death Attorney Might Help
If a loved one has been involved in a tragedy, the resounding impact on you and your family’s life is incalculable. While no amount of compensation could fully make up for your loss, a successful civil claim might be able to help you financially during this difficult time.
A Pinellas County wrongful death lawyer could take the burden of filing a claim off your shoulders and work tirelessly on your behalf to build a persuasive claim and pursue the compensation you deserve. Whenever you feel ready, consider contacting an attorney to discuss your options.