What Is Wrongful Death?
A person can file a wrongful death when his or her loved one died because another person or organization was negligent, reckless, or unreasonable. Wrongful deaths can occur in the workplace, in Car Accidents, in slips and falls, or endless other scenarios. If you need more information or are unsure if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, contact Bulluck Law Group. We can help you determine whether it was a wrongful death.
Who Is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The question of who has the right to file the claim is more complicated in wrongful death cases than other Personal Injury cases. In most personal injury cases, the injured party files the claim. For obvious reasons, the victim is unable to file in wrongful death cases. Florida law allows only certain people to file a claim. A variety of people can file, but the first group to have the right to file a claim is the surviving spouse or children. If there is no surviving spouse or child, the court gives other direct family members or the personal representative of the deceased’s estate the right to file.
Once the eligible person has filed a wrongful death claim, the case proceeds in a way that is like most other personal injury cases. The person the family filed the claim against is notified, both attorneys meet to work on a settlement, and if they are unable to settle, the case goes to court.
What Damages Could I Receive in a Wrongful Death Claim?
Because of the nature of a wrongful death claim, the court awards damages that focus on helping the family recover, as opposed to helping the victim recover. The court could award you damages for many different things. Medical expenses for the deceased prior to his or her death and after his or her death are standard in these cases. Expenses after the victim’s death include the cost of the funeral and burial, as well as the loss of future earnings.
The court could also order the defendant to compensate the family for emotional damage. Emotional damage would encompass any loss of care, companionship, comfort, and love that the family lost when the loved one died.
Punitive damages are a type of compensation the court only assigns in certain situations. While other forms of compensation focus on supporting the family, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant. In most personal injury cases, the defendant is guilty of being negligent, reckless, or carelessness. The defendant in most personal injury cases did not mean to injure the victim, but their negligence created the situation.
If the defendant’s actions were willful, the courts generally look at the case differently. The court awards punitive damages when it believes the defendant intentionally injured the victim. If the defendant made a willful decision that led to the victim’s death, the court could assign him or her punitive damages along with the other wrongful death damages. The court can also assign punitive damages against companies and organizations. The court orders defendants to pay punitive damages in hopes that they will change their behavior and as a deterrent for them and others who may act similarly.
Is a Wrongful Death Settlement Taxable?
Like many other personal injury cases, the settlement that the court awards you in a wrongful death case is not taxable. The only damages the government can tax are punitive damages that the defendant is ordered to give you.
How Long Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?
The length of a wrongful death lawsuit is dependent on the attorney you have and various other parts in the process. There are many steps in a wrongful death case, some of which take extended periods of time to accomplish. Gathering evidence and statements, for example, can take months for attorneys to do.
Before going to court, your attorney and the defendant’s attorney will meet. They will try to find a compromise and settle your wrongful death claim to prevent you and the defendant from going to court. If the attorneys can reach an agreement, the case will essentially be complete. If the settlement is unsuccessful, you will need to take your claim to court if you want to continue pursuing the case. Once the court is involved in your claim, your wrongful death lawsuit could last substantially longer.
At Bulluck Law Group, we understand how difficult wrongful death lawsuits can be for the whole family. We will do everything we can to finish your case as soon as possible, so you and your family can begin moving on from your loved one’s death.
Is Filing a Claim Against a Hospital for Wrongful Death an Option?
Sometimes, often due to Medical Malpractice, a hospital is responsible for a loved one’s untimely and wrongful death. If a doctor, nurse, other medical professional, or the hospital is responsible, you need to hold them accountable – both in honor of your loved one and to prevent such tragic circumstances from recurring. You have the option to file a claim against a specific person or the whole hospital. Bulluck Law Group can help you determine whether you have a wrongful death claim against a hospital or medical professional.
What Is the Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death Claim?
The statute of limitations is the time that you have between the incident and filing before you can no longer make a claim against the guilty party. Generally, the statute of limitations in a wrongful death claim is two years, however, there are some exceptions. Contact Bulluck Law Group to discuss your case and the statute of limitations for Florida wrongful death cases. Be sure to file a claim as soon as you can so that you do not lose the right to file.
If your loved one has died because of another person or organization’s negligence, no amount of money could bring them back, but fair compensation after their death can mean you have time to grieve and can potentially avoid such an early death happening to another. Bulluck Law Group has the experience and commitment to represent you effectively. We will not charge you anything unless we can win your case, so you do not need to worry about attorney fees and expenses while you are trying to recover from the tragedy of your loved one’s untimely death. Contact Bulluck Law Group for advice on next steps and skilled representation for your case.