St. Petersburg Fatal Accidents
If your loved one lost their life due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a special kind of lawsuit, called a wrongful death suit, against the responsible party. This specialized civil action provides a victim’s family compensation for both economic and emotional losses. While nothing will ever erase the pain of losing a loved one too soon, these claims can serve as an essential aspect of a grieving family’s recovery.
What Is Wrongful Death?
You may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim if your loved one died as the result of someone else’s legal fault. Each state has its own rules for wrongful death claims, from who can file a claim to the statute of limitations.
A wrongful death claim may apply to any type of fatal accident, from a dangerous medication to a car crash. In addition, anyone may be liable for a fatal accident – businesses, individuals, and even the government.
Reasons for Pursuing a Fatal Accident Claim
Some individuals may wonder why they should pursue a wrongful death claim. A fatal accident claim provides families with the following types of compensation:
- Economic damages provide reimbursement to families for expenses related to the accident. These may include money to pay for the medical bills from the final illness or injury, loss in the family’s earning capacity, and the final expenses of the funeral and burial.
- General damages provide recompense for immaterial losses such as mental anguish, loss of partnership or consortium, or suffering.
- In some cases, a judge may award punitive damages to the plaintiff. The courts reserve these for cases of gross negligence and to punish the wrongdoer for their actions. Punitive damages may also “make an example” of the defendant.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The law only provides this type of recourse to certain members of a deceased’s network of family. In Florida, the following individuals may file a fatal accident claim:
- Relatives by blood or adopted siblings. In the eyes of Florida law, these siblings or blood relatives must be partially or wholly dependent on the deceased for financial support.
- A deceased person’s spouse, children, or parents.
If a child has unmarried parents, the child may only pursue a wrongful death claim if the mother dies. If the child’s father dies, he or she may only file a wrongful death claim if the father officially recognized the child as his own.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Florida
Each state sets unique time limits for filing a suit, which are called “statute of limitations.” In Florida, the surviving members of a deceased person have two years to file a lawsuit. In certain situations, however, you may be able to postpone the deadline. To learn more about these special deadlines, talk to a wrongful death attorney.
Finding a Fatal Accident Attorney in St. Petersburg
At Williams Law, P.A., we know nothing can replace a loved one’s presence. A wrongful death settlement will, however, provide your family with financial security and the tools to move forward with your lives. It will provide peace of mind knowing you can financially take care of your loved one’s final expenses and may address the uncertainty of losing an income stream.
We know the decision to file a wrongful death action is a difficult one, but we also believe in holding people accountable for their actions. Don’t pay the price for someone else’s negligence, and don’t let the same thing happen to someone else. Contact us for a free and confidential review of your case and legal options.