Frequently Asked Questions:
Florida Wrongful Death and Fatal Accidents
A: If someone you love has been killed in Florida as the result of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation in a wrongful death claim. However, there are specific rules on who is eligible to make a wrongful death claim in Florida. If you have questions on whether or not you can make a claim, you can get the professional advice of a wrongful death attorney.
Under Florida law, the only person who can make a wrongful death claim is the deceased’s personal representative. This representative must make the claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate, and on behalf of each individual survivor. In this case, survivors may include:
- the deceased’s spouse,
- the deceased’s children;
- the deceased’s parents;
- the deceased’s blood relatives; and
- in some cases, their adoptive relatives.
Under Florida statutes, survivorship is to be determined at the time of the deceased’s death. Furthermore, statutes specify what type of damages each type of survivor may recover. In a Florida wrongful death claim, damages may include the deceased’s medical expenses, their funeral and burial costs, and specific losses that were suffered by the survivors.
If you want to file a wrongful death claim, or to know more about who can act as a deceased’s personal representative, you should get the help of an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Recovering from your loss after an accident should be your main priority, not dealing with insurance adjusters and complicated legal paperwork. Before accepting a settlement offer, order a FREE copy of my consumer guide, Survivor’s Guide to Florida Wrongful Death Claims, or contact the Law Offices of James. W. Dodson to set up a FREE consultation with a Florida wrongful death attorney about your case at 1-888-340-0840.
A: Contrary to popular belief, a Florida wrongful death claim is not automatically brought forth by the surviving spouse or immediate family. Florida legislature requires that a wrongful death claim be filed by a “personal representative” as appointed by the Probate Court.
The personal representative has legal responsibility to bring any action to court on behalf of the deceased’s estate and their surviving relatives. This includes a Florida wrongful death claim when the deceased was killed due to the negligence of another party. The personal representative may be any of the following:
- the surviving spouse of the deceased;
- an immediate surviving family member;
- the deceased’s attorney or executor of their will; or
- a representative of a bank or savings and loan association.
The requirements for who may serve as a personal representative are not very strict; any mentally and physically competent adult in Florida may serve as long as they are not a convicted felon and are able to fulfill the duties required. The Probate court may have a list of individuals in order of preference when determining who will serve as the personal representative.
The sudden and unexpected death of a loved one can leave family members feeling confused and helpless. In addition to the immense grief that accompanies such a loss, legal and financial issues quickly arise that must be addressed. During this difficult time, you need legal representation that will work for the justice you and your family deserve.
You can begin the process by ordering a FREE copy of our consumer guide, Survivor’s Guide to Florida Wrongful Death Claims. You can also contact the Law Offices of James W. Dodson directly to set up a FREE consultation with a compassionate and experienced Clearwater wrongful death attorney who can explain your legal options and help you through every step of filing and defending a Florida wrongful death claim at 1-888-340-0840.
A: If your loved one was killed in a Florida car accident involving a vehicle, whether they were a driver, passenger, pedestrian, or bicyclist, they are entitled to $5,000 in Florida no-fault death benefits. Which insurance company pays this amount is dependent on the coverage of the individuals involved. These benefits are generally paid directly to the family of the deceased to help with funeral expenses.
If the deceased owned their own vehicle and carried no-fault (PIP) coverage then their own insurance company would pay the no-fault death benefits following a fatal Florida car accident. The no-fault death benefits carry over whether the victim was the driver, a passenger in another car, or a pedestrian/bicyclist. The no-fault death benefits are not tied to the vehicle, but rather the insured person themselves.
If the deceased did not carry no-fault coverage then the insurance company of the driver of the car that caused the Florida car accident would pay the no-fault death benefits. When a car accident occurs in the deceased’s own car their own insurance company pays the no-fault death benefits, whether the accident was caused by another negligent driver or if it was a single-car accident.
When no-fault death benefits are paid for a Florida car accident, they generally go directly to the family of the deceased. This is to allow for help in funeral expenses and other immediate financial stresses. Most insurance companies will require a copy of the death certificate and proof that the death was caused by a car accident.
It is important to understand how the insurance companies impact your wrongful death claim when you have lost a loved one in a car accident. Before accepting a settlement offer, order a FREE copy of my consumer guide, Survivor’s Guide to Florida Wrongful Death Claims or contact the Law Offices of James. W. Dodson to schedule a FREE consultation with a Clearwater wrongful death attorney about your case at 1-888-340-0840.
A: If someone you love has been killed in an accident in Florida and that accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, there is a specified amount of time in which you can file a wrongful death claim. According to the Florida statute of limitations, you will generally have 2 years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim in Florida.
If you have questions about Florida’s statute of limitations regarding wrongful death, you can get the professional advice of a wrongful death lawyer.
In addition to this 2-year statute of limitations, there may be specific notice requirements that apply to claims against government entities. These requirements may need to be fulfilled before a lawsuit can be filed.
If your wrongful death claim is due to medical malpractice, there is a time period in which the wrongful death must be investigated. Furthermore, in a claim due to medical malpractice, a notice of intent to file a claim must be sent to potential defendants before a lawsuit can be filed.
A failure to meet these state requirements may prevent you from recovering damages in a wrongful death claim. To meet these requirements, you can get the help of a wrongful death lawyer.
If you want to learn more about the Florida wrongful death claims process, start by requesting a free copy of our legal guide, Survivor’s Guide to Florida Wrongful Death Claims. Or, if you prefer to speak to us right away, contact us today for a no cost evaluation of your case at 1-888-340-0840. Don’t wait to call. Florida has limits and deadlines on when you can bring a claim. Don’t let your claim be turned down or refused…call today!