An accident that results in a wrongful death is disheartening—to say the absolute least. An accident by itself is bad enough, but losing a loved one on top of it is devastating. Most victims’ families don’t think about taking legal action after an accident that has resulted in a death.
But the truth is, depending on the accident, how it happened, and who was involved, your family may be able to recoup some losses by working with a West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney.
Wrongful death claims in the state of Florida can be complex. In fact, there are many misunderstood facts about wrongful death claims that can make matters even more confusing. Read on to learn more about the most common misunderstood facts about wrongful death claims.
What Are Survivor Rights vs. Survival Action?
First off, let’s talk about survivor rights and how they work in Florida. The most commonly used example is a married couple. If one partner dies in an accident, then the surviving spouse immediately inherits and gains access to the spouse’s estate (unless otherwise specified, agreed to, or noted in a pre-existing will).
On the other hand, survival action is a little bit different. Survival action is the legal action that the deceased victim could have taken had he or she survived. A spouse, guardian or other family member could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased victim as a part of survival action.
Now, going back to survivor rights, a loved one or other family member who takes legal action as a part of survival action on behalf of the deceased victim may also be able to recoup financial damages as well as pain and suffering in the form of a settlement as a result of a successful lawsuit.
Read more about the laws in Florida surrounding survivor rights here.
What Are the Common Types of Accidents?
The following types of accidents commonly—and unfortunately—can become wrongful death claims should a victim(s) pass away from substantial injuries, shock or the impact of an accident.
- Vehicle Accidents – This is the most common type of accident that unfortunately results in a wrongful death claim. Today, most vehicle accidents are caused by distracted driving or drunk driving.
- Pedestrian Accidents – More common that you might think. Since Florida is home to gorgeous weather, the warm sun, and many “walking” cities, more pedestrian accidents—and deaths—can occur.
- Medical Malpractice – More than a breach in the medical standard, “duty of care”. This area can involve surgical errors, prescription and medication errors, and even emergency room (ER) errors—just to name a few
- Premises Accidents – It might sound silly, but slip and fall accidents can lead to devastating injuries and even turn deadly…
- Workplace Accidents – Many work injuries and workplace accidents are resolved by workers’ compensation laws, sometimes workplace injuries turn deadly as a result from common accidents, such as as electrocution, construction-related accidents, burn injuries—just to name a few.
Who is Entitled to Damages?
It can be difficult to determine who can collect damages after filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In most cases, the person(s) who are able to recoup losses and damages includes:
Of course, the relationship of the surviving person(s) to the decedent can vary from case to case. For example, a deceased victim may not be married or have children but may have surviving siblings or parents. Unfortunately, this situation is common with accidents that involve young adults or teenagers.
What Does the Wrongful Death Statute in Florida ACTUALLY Mean?
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Florida is two years. This means that a spouse or surviving family member, for example, has two years to file a wrongful death claim with the Court.
Interpreting legal jargon can be difficult and overwhelming, especially if you are overwhelmed with grief after losing a loved one in an accident. Working with an experienced and skilled West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyer can help work with you through your case, interpret the laws, and translate how they relate and apply in your case.
Check out this site to read more about the Wrongful Death Act in Florida.
Do I Really Need a Wrongful Death Attorney?
The short answer here? No, you don’t need an attorney. However, having a wrongful death attorney West Palm Beach on your side to guide you through the legal process can be very beneficial.
An experienced and skilled attorney is familiar with the ins and outs of wrongful death claims, and will likely be able to formulate a proper approach to your claim that likely results in a successful settlement.
Read more about working with a West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney here.
A West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Attorney Will Fight for the Best Possible Results
A caring and compassionate legal team is what you need to help you and your family see through this challenging time. Take care of your family while a Florida wrongful death attorney takes care of your claim.
Visit here to learn more about how a reputable and experienced West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyer can help you and your family.