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Pursing compensation in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit

On Behalf of Scott Marshall Injury Attorneys | June 23, 2023 | Wrongful Death

Every driver in Florida has an obligation to carry liability insurance and also some no-fault coverage in case they get hurt in a crash. Therefore, when major collisions occur, people tend to assume that insurance will fully cover their expenses.

Those involved in minor collisions and those fortunate enough to have access to sizable insurance policies may be able to offset their crash-related losses with the coverage available from the driver at fault for a wreck. However, many times, the worst crashes result in expenses that go beyond what insurance can cover. For example, fatal collisions often mean not just medical and funeral costs for surviving family members to cover but also a loss of wages and of someone’s support and affection.

Car insurance will almost always fall short of the full financial impact of someone’s untimely death. Thankfully, it is possible to pursue more thorough compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the Florida civil courts.

Establishing proof of fault

To have grounds for a wrongful death claim, those filing a lawsuit need evidence connecting the other party to their loved one’s death. Typically, either negligence or wrongful behavior is necessary for a successful lawsuit. If someone drove while drunk or otherwise violated Florida State statutes, especially if the prosecutor brings charges, there may be sufficient evidence to convince the courts that misconduct caused someone’s death. Claims of negligence are also possible if a reasonable person would agree that an individual or business did something that was obviously unsafe.

Establishing the financial impact of the death

In addition to showing that the party named as the defendant directly contributed to someone’s untimely passing, the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit also needs to show that there are direct economic consequences associated with someone’s death. Billing statements showing medical expenses and funeral costs, as well as records of someone’s prior income, can be a good starting point.

Generally speaking, initiating the legal process shortly after someone passes is of the utmost importance, as Florida imposes a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits. Many cases will settle outside of court, but some will actually go to trial and require the presentation of evidence. It can take many months or sometimes even more than a year to go from initially filing a wrongful death lawsuit to having a judge rule on the claim.

Understanding the process involved in a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida may help people more effectively make use of the civil courts after losing a loved one.