St. Petersburg Wrongful Death Lawyer
Any unexpected death is painful to those who are left behind, but deaths resulting from another person’s negligence are especially tragic. While seeking compensation for their loss may be the last thing on a grieving person’s mind, the reality is that many families who suffer this type of tragic loss are forced to struggle with mounting medical debt incurred during the victim’s final days, funeral and burial costs, as well as household expenses. These burdens can be crippling for a family in mourning, especially if the deceased was a significant financial contributor to the household.
For these reasons, those who lose loved ones in accidents caused by another person’s carelessness, should consider filing a wrongful death claim, which can help them pay off these bills and focus on the grieving process. Unfortunately, filing a wrongful death claim can be difficult, as only certain family members are allowed to actually file suit on a decedent’s behalf, so if you believe that you may have standing to file a wrongful death claim, it is critical to speak with a dedicated and compassionate St. Petersburg wrongful death lawyer who can ensure that your claim is not dismissed for a failure to comply with Florida law.
What are Wrongful Death Claims?
Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits that can be brought in court by a victim’s family members in an effort to hold a negligent party accountable for causing the death of a relative. However, these claims can only be filed when someone’s death is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract of another person or entity. Essentially, if a person could have filed a personal injury claim against the at-fault party if he or she had survived, then that individual’s family members can file a wrongful death claim on that person’s behalf.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Florida, only certain relatives have standing to file a claim on a deceased loved one’s behalf, including:
- The decedent’s spouse;
- The decedent’s children;
- The decedent’s parents; and
- Any blood relatives or adoptive siblings if they were either partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for financial support and services.
Family members who don’t fall under any of these categories are not permitted to file wrongful death claims in Florida.
Those who file wrongful death claims on behalf of deceased loved ones could be eligible to recover monetary damages that compensate them for:
- The loss of their loved one’s support and services;
- The loss of their loved one’s companionship, protection, and guidance;
- Medical or funeral expenses incurred as a result of the decedent’s injuries or illness;
- Lost wages and benefits that the deceased could have expected to make if he or she had survived; and
- Pain and suffering experienced as a result of the loss of a child.
Although recovering monetary damages could never truly compensate someone for the loss of a loved one, it can play an important role in helping the bereaved pay off their debts and focus on recovery.
Contact a St. Petersburg Wrongful Death Lawyer for Help
If you recently lost a loved one in an accident that wasn’t his or her fault, please contact one of the dedicated St. Petersburg wrongful death lawyers at Masterson, Hoag & Smith, P.A. for legal assistance by calling 727-325-2696 or sending us an online message.