Wrongful Death Lawyers Lakeland & Sebring, FL

How long do I have to file a wrongful death case?

Under Florida law, a case must be commenced within two years of the date of death, except for medical malpractice cases and intentional violence cases. So, for example, if car crash injuries lead to a person’s death, the time period for filing a claim begins to run as of the date of death, not on the date of the accident.

In medical malpractice cases leading to death, the delayed discovery doctrine tolls the statute of limitations until the claimant either knows or should know that the last element of the cause of action occurred. The key difference allows for latent conditions caused by medical negligence that lead to death to be subject to wrongful death claims for a longer period of time.

How much is a wrongful death claim worth?

It is hardly possible to put a price on a person’s life, but our system of law provides guidance for determining how much compensation is due in a wrongful death claim. Compensation can include definite expenses, such as medical and burial expenses, and indefinite damages, such as pain and suffering and punitive damages. Some facts about your deceased loved one can help a judge or jury determine a fair amount of compensation, such as:

  • Age and life expectancy
  • Health and intelligence
  • Earning capacity
  • Medical and funeral expenses
  • Family members’ needs
  • Interest on losses incurred since the date of death

A judge or jury can also award an additional amount of money for punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future. Attorney’s fees can also be added to the final compensation award.

Who is responsible for wrongful death damages?

Sorting out who is responsible for damages in a wrongful death action requires close scrutiny of the facts of the case, the circumstances surrounding an accident and the actual cause of death. In trucking accidents, products liability claims and premises liability cases, the identity of the true responsible party may not be discovered until close to or in the midst of trial.

For example, the driver of a tractor-trailer may bear little responsibility for an accident if the vehicle was not properly maintained by the company mechanics or if the equipment was poorly designed by the manufacturer. Another example is a traffic fatality caused by a high-speed collision among multiple vehicles. Accident reconstructionists must be employed to reconstruct the accident and determine its root cause.

Your case can be dismissed if you haven’t sued the right party. For this reason, it is critical to rely on experienced personal injury attorneys who leave no stone unturned in protecting your right to damages.

Call Lakeland and Sebring wrongful death lawyers for a free consultation

Sessums Law Group, P.A. seeks full and fair compensation for families of victims whose loved ones died due to the negligence of others. We offer complimentary case evaluations in wrongful death cases in our Lakeland and Sebring offices and legal services in personal injury cases are provided on a contingency fee basis. Call our Lakeland office at 877-826-5630, our Sebring office at 863-658-4796 or contact us online to arrange a meeting. At Sessums Law Group, P.A., we stand for you!