It’s always heartbreaking when a loved one is taken away too soon. Everyone in your life is affected in some way or another. As heart-wrenching and overwhelming as this can be, it’s important to remember that legal options are available to help you get through these difficult times.
In particular, filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida may be your right choice. If successful, a wrongful death lawsuit will provide compensation that might ease any financial stress caused by the death of your loved one.
But how are personal representatives paid in wrongful death action in Florida? This article will help you understand the whole process and what kind of compensation could come from such cases. Remember that you don’t have to go through the process alone. Get in touch with Jared Spingarn in Hollywood, FL, if you want to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Jared’s team has experience dealing with this type of case and can help you through the legal process.
What is wrongful death?
This is a legal concept where one person is held accountable for the death of another person due to their negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior. This can include a variety of circumstances, such as medical malpractice, workplace negligence, motor vehicle accidents caused by recklessness, and dangerous or defective products that cause death.
When someone is wrongfully killed due to another’s fault, their surviving spouse and other family members may be entitled to monetary compensation by filing wrongful death claims that include medical or funeral expenses. Through this process, families can get the justice they yearn, for all the mental pain and suffering they experienced. They may also seek payouts to help support a deceased loved one’s family in mourning their loss while covering any applicable end-of-life expenses.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act
Florida has a very specific law when it comes to wrongful death cases. The Florida Wrongful Death Act is a set of rules and regulations that identify who may bring a suit in a probate court, who is entitled to receive the death proceeds of such an action, and what types of damages are recoverable. This act is a powerful legal tool that allows surviving family members to pursue justice in the wake of an untimely death.
If you believe someone close to you, like a family member, a relative, or a friend, has passed away due to the careless or intentional actions of another, it is imperative that you be aware and properly informed. Bringing legal action through a Florida wrongful death suit could provide both financial resources as well as emotional closure for all those who are left behind.
The Difference Between Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Criminal Cases
Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits, while criminal homicide cases are criminal proceedings. Both are serious matters and equally essential to understand due to their different motivations. A wrongful death claim is a legal action the decedent’s family can pursue to receive financial and emotional compensation for their loss. Criminal homicide charges, on the other hand, seek justice and retribution by punishing the perpetrator/s through imprisonment and fines. Understanding the differences between the two is essential, as a wrongful death claim can still be utilized even if criminal homicide charges do not lead to a conviction.
The Statute of Limitations in Florida
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Florida is two years from the date of death. This means that any lawsuit must be filed within this time frame, or the court will not accept it. It is important to note that this time frame can vary if an estate or trust has already been set up after the person’s death. In such instances, the time frame may be extended for up to four years if certain conditions are met.
The Role of a Personal Representative or Executor
Navigating the aftermath of a wrongful death in Florida can be confusing as the laws governing it vary from state to state. In Florida, a decedent’s representative is responsible for filing a case on behalf of the decedent and their surviving family members. This personal representative will seek all available legal remedies to compensate for all the personal and financial losses those closest to the deceased suffered.
Additionally, personal representatives must consider special circumstances such as additional medical expenses or pre-death pain and suffering, elements that may not be included in filings in other states.
Who can be a personal representative or executor?
In most states, people will usually select lineal descendants such as the surviving spouse, adult children, parents of a deceased minor child, or siblings to serve as executors or personal representatives. Additionally, even trusted friends or professionals can take on this role if no suitable family members are available. In either case, personal representatives must be approved by the court. If approved, they will become responsible for representing their loved ones throughout the legal process until it is concluded.
It’s also important to remember that serving in this role is not always easy and can be quite time-consuming. Personal representatives, at best, should be living near the deceased’s residence and have enough knowledge of the decedent’s estate, debts, and other important information. Your wrongful death attorney from the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn can further explain the executor’s role and help with the selection process.
How do Personal Representatives Receive Payment?
When a court approves a wrongful death claim, payment will be made to the personal representative on behalf of the decedent’s survivors.
Compensation Under a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim can be used to seek numerous forms of compensation, from economic and non-economic damages to punitive ones.
1. Non-economic Damages
These cover any non-monetary losses such as mental pain and suffering, loss of the decedent’s companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life. A decedent’s spouse also has the right to take legal action and claim for lost parental companionship.
2. Economic Damages
These are more tangible forms of compensation and may include medical costs for the deceased before their death, funeral expenses incurred from the decedent’s injury and death, lost earnings that the deceased would have earned if his or her death did not happen, and other related damages.
3. Punitive Damages
These are awarded to the plaintiff to punish or deter someone from committing the same wrongful act again. In general, punitive damages are reserved for cases involving gross negligence, malicious intent, or recklessness on behalf of the defendant. The exact amount of payment will depend on the specifics of the case.
If a claim is settled out of court, then any agreed-upon amount will be divided among all required parties. However, a judge may award damages accordingly if a trial is necessary. In either instance, payment can be made as a lump sum or a structured settlement. It’s important to note that even if a wrongful death case is successful, it may still take time for any compensation to be received by the claimants.
Allocating Acknowledged Compensation
The allocation of acknowledged compensation is an incredibly important part of the wrongful death process. To determine precisely how much compensation should be awarded to surviving family members and beneficiaries, the decedent’s estate and probable net income are considered. This includes the decedent’s salary, bonuses, investments, and other income-producing assets.
These factors are then weighed against the decedent’s probable life expectancy to calculate wrongful death proceeds for survivors accurately. After the calculation is complete, the proceeds are typically divided among family members, including the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parents, and other dependents.
In the event of a dispute regarding the division of proceeds among beneficiaries, it is essential to seek legal counsel before pursuing any action in court. An experienced attorney from Jared’s firm in Hollywood, Florida, can help ensure that all surviving family members receive their rightful share of compensation.
Seek Legal Advice
Given the complexities of wrongful death cases, working with a lawyer specializing in these matters is beneficial. Jared Spingarn has the knowledge and insight to help navigate any legal issue that may arise in a Hollywood, Florida, wrongful death case. He can understand the applicable statutes, investigate the incident, negotiate with insurance companies, and advise you on the division of proceeds.
A wrongful death lawyer from Jared’s firm can also help ensure compensation is directed to the appropriate parties. Additionally, an attorney can assess any legal options available, like personal injury lawsuits, to reach the best outcome for all involved.
Understanding wrongful death claims in Florida is a complicated and emotionally difficult process. Knowing how are personal representatives paid in wrongful death action Florida can make a difference in your legal options and outcomes.
It is also essential to always seek out experienced legal counsel to navigate these issues best and pursue wrongful death litigation. Do not hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn today. Jared’s team has handled many Florida wrongful death cases and can help you understand your legal rights and options.
If you know someone who got involved in an accident that resulted in a wrongful death in Florida, don’t hesitate to reach out to Jared Spingarn, Accident Attorney, at 1-954-781-2316 for a Free Case Review or drop a message on their Contact Us page.