Wrongful Death FAQs

(904) 201-9656

Losing a loved one, especially when it's the result of someone else's negligence, is an experience none of us want to endure. To make matters worse, wrongful death cases can also lead to catastrophic financial consequences. On behalf of the deceased individual's estate, a court-appointed "personal representative" (usually a family member) may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. Though these claims are never what a person wants to do, they are often necessary.

At Travieso Law Firm, our wrongful death attorney in Northeast Florida understands what you are going through and will persevere to obtain the best possible legal outcome. Contact us today at (904) 201-9656 to schedule a free consultation. In the meantime, here's an overview of what a wrongful death claim in Florida may involve.

What Constitutes a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

When someone dies as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another person, the family of the deceased person may file a wrongful death claim against the person at fault. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil lawsuit brought against an individual, company, or government agency.

In a wrongful death claim, a plaintiff can seek compensation for things like: 

  • lost income
  • medical expenses prior to the death
  • funeral and burial expenses
  • pain and suffering
  • lost companionship
  • lost prospect of inheritance. 

To pursue a wrongful death claim in Florida, a plaintiff generally needs to show that:

  1. The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased person (also referred to as the decedent).
  2. The defendant breached the duty of care (either negligently or intentionally).
  3. The breach caused the decedent's wrongful death.
  4. The plaintiff suffered losses as a result.

After establishing these elements, it then turns on the question of who can file the wrongful death claim in Florida.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?

Wrongful death lawsuits are usually brought by a "personal representative" of the decedent's estate on behalf of or with survivors who suffered financially as a result of the death. In Florida, there are strict laws that designate who can lawfully pursue a wrongful death case, so it is important to speak with a licensed Florida lawyer to find out more.

What Are Common Causes of Wrongful Death Claims in Northeast Florida?

Wrongful death claims often arise in the context of the following.

  • Medical malpractice, when a practitioner fails to provide an acceptable level of care that leads to a misdiagnosis, surgical mistake, prescription error, birth injury, or any other harm
  • Car accidents
  • Trucking accidents 
  • Defective products, e.g., a defective medication causes someone's death
  • Airplane accidents, where the airline, plane manufacturer, or pilot may be named as defendants
  • Workplace accidents or construction accidents, including deaths caused by falls, falling objects, improper training, or exposure to toxic substances
  • Premise liability accidents, e.g., a slip and fall or another accident occurring on someone else's property
  • Negligent security incidents

What Are Common Defenses to Wrongful Death Claims in Florida?

The defenses available to a defendant in a wrongful death claim and their application vary widely depending on the factual circumstances of each case. If you are the plaintiff, it is important to know what potential defenses exist so that you can be prepared to argue against them. 

Some common defenses include:

  • Expiration of the statute of limitations, where the plaintiff has filed their claim beyond the deadline and is now ineligible to recover
  • Comparative or contributory negligence, where the defendant alleges the decedent's negligence contributed to their death
  • Assumption of risk, where the decedent knew about the risk associated with an activity or signed a waiver or release accepting it
  • Self-defense, where the defendant says they used reasonable force against the decedent to protect themself from the decedent causing serious harm to them

It is important to remember that just because a defense is invoked, it does not mean you can't overcome it. When an affirmative defense is invoked, the defendant has the burden of proving it. 

The standard of proof in a wrongful death action is the civil standard of a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, it is more likely than not that the defendant's actions resulted in the wrongful death.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Northeast Florida Today

If you lost a loved one and believe you may have a wrongful death claim but are unsure, our wrongful death attorney can help you understand what your legal options are. Time is of the essence, though. In Florida, plaintiffs generally have two years from the date of death to pursue a claim. To know how long you have to file a claim, contact Travieso Law Firm today by filling out the online form or calling us at (904) 201-9656. We will schedule a free consultation with our wrongful death attorney so that you can get the legal advice and representation you need.

Integrity. Service. Compassion.

The Travieso Law Firm was created to provide outstanding legal advocacy with an extraordinary level of personalized service because: It’s Not Business. It's Personal. Call Robert today at 904-201-9656.

Contact Robert Today

The Travieso Law Firm is committed to advocating on your behalf and answering any questions you may have about your case involving medical malpractice, wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury, or nursing home negligence in Florida.

Robert offers free consultations and will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact him today to schedule an appointment.

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