No matter the circumstances, the loss of a loved one can be devastating. However, this is often only intensified if their death was sudden or unexpected. If your loved one’s death occurred due to a person, business, or other entity’s negligent actions, a St. Johns County wrongful death lawyer might be able to help.
Whether the at-fault party’s actions were careless, reckless, or malicious, you may wish to hold them accountable for the harm they have caused. By working with a seasoned attorney, you could have help in determining the validity of a claim, as well as a guide through each step of the ensuing legal process.
How is Wrongful Death Defined?
Florida Statutes Annotated § 768.19 describes a wrongful death action as any case where the deceased would have been entitled to recover damages in an injury claim—had they survived—against a negligent defendant. Therefore, these claims may arise from any number of accidents and circumstances, including:
- Motorcycle wrecks
- 18-wheeler and tractor-trailer crashes
- Trip and fall incidents
- The handling of defective products
- Dog attacks
- Mistakes made by medical professionals
- Car collisions
- Unsafe medication
Simply put, negligence is a person’s failure to act reasonably in a given situation. Therefore, if negligence was the root cause of these or other incidents, a decedent’s surviving family members may be able to pursue a claim based on wrongful death.
Who May File a Claim for Untimely Death in St. Johns County?
In St. Johns County, a wrongful death action made be filed by the personal representative for the deceased’s estate. In a claim, damages on behalf of the defendant’s estate may be granted, as well as damages to help the surviving family members.
For example, based on their relationship to the deceased, a surviving spouse, parent, or child may be entitled to compensation for the loss of the deceased’s support, contributions, services, and companionship.
Furthermore, they may also be able to recover medical and burial expenses through a wrongful death claim. A well-versed attorney in St. Johns County could provide guidance regarding the types of damages which a plaintiff may request during a claim.
The Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Claim
After determining if there is a basis for a wrongful death action, a potential claimant should be aware of the statute of limitations in Florida. Typically, the representative of a decedent’s estate has two years from the time of death to file a lawsuit.
Once this deadline has passed, however, anyone seeking compensation on the basis of untimely death may face a dismissal. A proactive St. Johns County lawyer could help a claimant to pursue a timely claim that satisfies this statute.
Contact a St. Johns County Wrongful Death Attorney Now
After a loved one dies unexpectedly, the resulting impact is often devastating and widespread. However, if the negligent actions of another person led to your loved one’s passing, you have legal rights and might benefit from the counsel of a compassionate St. Johns County wrongful death lawyer.
By retaining an experienced and persistent attorney, you could focus on spending time with your family with the knowledge that a legal professional is by your side. Whenever you feel ready, reach out to an attorney to discuss your options during this difficult time.