If your loved one was in a fatal car accident, you may be able to recover wrongful death damages. These damages can help provide financially for the family members they left behind.
In Florida, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate is usually the person who can file a wrongful death claim. This claim is made on behalf of the deceased person’s surviving family members. The court can appoint a personal representative if one is not already in place.
You may be able to receive funds to pay for medical expenses, funeral costs, emotional distress and the loss of support and services the deceased person provided to you. In addition, depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may be able to collect for damages related to the pain and suffering the victim experienced before death.
Generally, the wrongful death claim must be made within two years of the death. If the personal representative does not file within this time, they may lose the right to bring the claim.
Process to file a claim
Before filing the claim, it’s important to gather information about the accident and the death, such as accident reports, witness statements and medical records, if applicable. Then, the personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit which will include the details of the case and the damages they are requesting.
In some situations, the parties may participate in mediation where a neutral third party helps them agree on compensation and then that agreement is submitted to the judge for review. Otherwise, the parties will attend a hearing and the court will decide how much compensation the family will receive.