The loss of a loved one is always devastating, but it can be especially difficult when the death was caused by someone else’s negligence. If you’ve lost a loved one due to someone else’s carelessness, you may be wondering what your legal options are.
Here’s what you need to know about wrongful death lawsuits in Florida.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death in Florida?
According to Florida law, a wrongful death occurs when someone’s death is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, or default of another person. In order for a wrongful death claim to be successful, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions (or lack thereof) directly led to the victim’s death.
Here are some examples of situations that could give rise to a wrongful death claim in Florida:
-Criminal act (such as assault)
-Dangerous property conditions
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
In Florida, a personal representative of the victim’s estate is typically the one who files a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person’s survivors. The personal representative is usually either designated in the victim’s will or appointed after death if the victim didn’t have a will.
Factors That Can Affect The Timeline of Wrongful Death Settlements
The amount of time it takes to reach wrongful death settlements in Florida will vary. Each case is different and there’s a number of factors that can affect the timeline. Most cases can take anywhere from 9 months to 4 years, on average.
Some of the factors that can affect the timeline for wrongful death settlements include:
Multiple Responsible Parties
If there’s more than one person or entity that can be held liable for the wrongful death, it may take longer to reach wrongful death settlements.
Compensation Can’t Be Agreed Upon
If the deceased person’s survivors and the liable party can’t agree on a fair amount of compensation, the case will be stretched out.
The Case Goes to Trial
If the wrongful death case goes to trial, it will take much longer to reach a settlement than if the case is settled out of court.
Delays with Insurance Companies
If the liable party has insurance, there may be delays while the insurance company investigates the claim and decides how much (if anything) they’re willing to pay. Insurance companies acting in bad faith can cause significant delays.
Difficulty in Proving Fault
If it’s difficult to prove that a defendant is at fault for the wrongful death, it may take more time to reach wrongful death settlements. Especially if cases involve medical malpractice where causation can be difficult to establish.
Complexity of the Case
The more complex the wrongful death case is, the longer it will take to reach a settlement. This is because there will be more investigation and discovery involved.
How Erjavac Injury Law Can Help Your Case
If you’ve lost a loved one due to a wrongful death, you need an experienced wrongful death attorney on your side. Working with Erjavac Injury Law can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
The wrongful death attorneys at Erjavac Injury Law have years of experience handling these types of cases in Florida. We will work diligently to get you the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.