As the name suggests, proving a wrongful death claim requires the deceased’s personal representative to prove the death was caused by a wrongful act. That can include negligence, default, breach of contract, or a breach of warranty. Further, the claim must prove the deceased individual would have been entitled to personal injury awards if they survived the incident.
With that in mind, proving a wrongful death claim isn’t always easy. It requires a proven Florida wrongful death attorney’s knowledge, experience, and savvy in many cases. At Schrier Law Group, our attorneys have more than four decades of experience successfully recovering damages for personal injury and wrongful death claims.
We’re confident that we can help you and your family obtain the best possible outcome in your case. If you’ve recently lost a loved one due to the wrongful acts of a person or entity, your family deserves maximum compensation for their death.
Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in Florida you can trust. Continue reading to learn how to prove wrongful death in Florida.
What You Need to Prove in a Wrongful Death Claim
Generally, wrongful death claimants must prove three elements; duty of care, a breached duty of care, and causation of death. If these three elements can’t be proven, it’s unlikely that you will win a wrongful death case. Learn more about each below.
Duty of Care
Like personal injury cases, the deceased’s estate must prove the defendant owed them a duty of care. A duty of care can be defined as a legal obligation requiring individuals and entities to provide reasonable care to avoid injuring others. Examples of parties that owe others a duty of care include:
- Motor vehicle drivers
- Product manufacturers
- Healthcare providers
- Business owners
If the defendant’s actions are contrary to the duty of care, it can be considered negligence. Death resulting from their negligence can be the basis for wrongful death claims.
A Breached Duty of Care
In addition to proving the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care, the plaintiff must also prove they breached that duty. For example, if a loved one was killed in a car accident, the plaintiff must prove that the death was caused by recklessness, speeding, distracted driving, inattention, etc. That duty of care extends to many other areas like healthcare, product manufacture, law enforcement, business owners, and much more.
The Cause of Death
In addition to the section above, your Florida wrongful death attorney must prove the defendant’s negligent actions (or inaction) were a direct cause of the deceased person’s death.
Proving a breached duty of care often requires the knowledge and experience of a proven wrongful death attorney. Your attorney can investigate the facts of your case, identify critical witnesses, enlist the services of expert witnesses, and much more.
What is The Statute of Limitations For Wrongful Death Claims in Florida?
Generally, the deceased’s family must file a Florida wrongful death claim within two years of the date of death. However, there are exceptions. For example:
- Medical Malpractice – wrongful death cases must be filed within two years from the time of the incident that caused the death or within two years from when the wrongful action was discovered.
- Murder Cases – Since murder and homicide investigations can sometimes take years or months to conclude, the clock on wrongful death statute of limitations for these cases doesn’t start until law enforcement and prosecutors identify the responsible party.
- Government Agencies – Suppose a government agency or entity is to blame for your loved one’s death. In that case, the statute of limitations is extended to four years. That’s because wrongful death claims against government entities are a much more complicated process, typically requiring more time.
If you don’t file a wrongful death claim within the Florida statute of limitations, you may lose your right to pursue damages.
With that in mind, you must file your wrongful death claim on time and correctly to ensure the best possible outcome. Contact the best wrongful death attorneys in Florida at The Schrier Law Group to discuss the merits of your case today.
Contact The Schrier Law Group Today
Pursuing a wrongful death claim without a competent attorney is not recommended. It’s challenging to handle the loss of a loved one and attempt to understand Florida’s complicated wrongful death laws simultaneously.
The wrongful death lawyers at Schrier Law Group are here to help you navigate the legal process while you grieve. Contact us today for your free initial consultation with an attorney you can trust.