When someone passes away due to negligent or reckless actions by those who are supposed to be responsible for their well being in some way, a wrongful death case may be the result. The field of wrongful death in the state of Florida is a rather diverse one today and your wrongful death attorney in Cape Coral, FL is the ideal individual to help you understand more about how such cases work. The following is meant to be a good general outline of the wrongful death laws in Florida and how they might affect your case.
Understanding the Florida Wrongful Death Act
The Florida Wrongful Death Act is a state law that was enacted to help specifically define wrongful death in the state of Florida. The Florida Wrongful Death Act contains specific guidelines about the way that wrongful death cases can be pursued and clearly defines the rights of people who have lost a loved one and wish to pursue litigation.
Wrongful Death Litigation in Florida and the Relation to Personal Injury Litigation
Wrongful death litigation is an action that is initiated by a person or people who survived a person who was a victim of wrongful death. To bring a wrongful death case in Florida, the victim must be legally dead; in essence such litigation may not be filed even if a victim has been declared brain dead until a death certificate exists. When a victim is still alive, even if gravely ill, the case would fall under the domain of personal injury law or medical malpractice law depending upon the way in which he or she was injured. If a person has filed a personal injury case but later dies from those injuries while the case is still in litigation, a wrongful death attorney in Cape Coral, FL can help the survivors of the person who filed the personal injury case to file a wrongful death case instead. All of the damages that were included in the personal injury case can be incorporated into the wrongful death case.
The State Statute Regarding Time to File Wrongful Death Claims in Cape Coral, Florida
At this time the state of Florida does place a two year statute of limitations on civil cases of wrongful death if it involves medical malpractice. Although there is a two year time limit on filing a medical malpractice wrongful death claim, generally speaking your wrongful death attorney in Cape Coral, FL (at http://www.westandforjustice.com and otherwise) will usually tell you that starting a case sooner rather than later would be best. The reasons for this generally include the fact that gathering evidence and conducting interviews of people related to the case is considerably easier when the scene of the death is still accessible and the people related to the case still live and work in the area. Additionally, some people feel that it gives a case additional credence if it is launched fairly quickly as opposed to waiting two years after the fact.
For other personal injuries that resulted in death but which do not involve medical malpractice the statute of limitations extends to four years from the date of death. One of the most common examples of this would be car accidents that resulted in death. Ask your wrongful death attorney in Cape Coral, FL exactly which statute of limitations applies to your particular situation and make every effort to get your case filed well ahead of the time limit. If you wait too long you could possibly relinquish all rights to compensation in your wrongful death claim.
Eligibility for Launching a Wrongful Death Case in Cape Coral, Florida
"Survivors" as defined by Florida law are eligible to launch a wrongful death claim in a Florida court of law. According to the Florida Wrongful Death Act, this includes the following people.
-Children if under 25
-Children over 25 if they depended on the victim for support
-Any blood relative if they can prove they depended at least in part on the victim for support
-Other relatives that are not blood relatives if support guidelines are met. In essence, adopted relatives as long as the adoption is a legal one.