When someone takes someone else’s life, the suspect will have to face felony criminal charges and spend a considerable amount of time in jail. Regardless of whether there is a criminal charge associated with a wrongful death, the person who caused the death of someone else can be sued in civil court. If you’re a Florida resident, here are some crucial things you should know about wrongful death law.
Wrongful death claims overview
A wrongful death claim is a tort that occurs when a person is responsible for someone else’s death. This claim is often connected to manslaughter or murder charges and is classified as an independent legal action that seeks a financial settlement for the survivors of the victim and the victim’s estate. It is common to make wrongful death claims for pain and suffering; the value of support the victim would have provided; and loss of companionship.
Wrongful death and Florida law
According to Florida law, a wrongful death claim can be filed if a person’s death was caused by default, negligence, a wrongful act, or breach of contract or warranty. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is four years in Florida, and a personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file the claim. Representatives may include the spouse, children or parents of the victim, as well as biological relatives or adoptive siblings or children who were partially or completely dependent on the deceased for financial support.
Damages that representatives can claim include loss of guidance, companionship and instruction for minor children and pain and suffering for adult children if there is no surviving spouse. The parents of the deceased can file a pain and suffering claim, and the spouse of the victim can file for pain and suffering as well as loss of support and companionship. Settlement funds can also cover medical and funeral costs.