Coping with death is never easy, but it can be especially challenging if the loss was both unanticipated and entirely preventable. While taking action in such a scenario won’t undo the tragedy your family has suffered, it could at least provide the funds needed to make your lives whole again.
Just because you have grounds for a wrongful death claim, however, doesn’t mean you’re automatically entitled to a payout. You’ll have to gather evidence of both liability and damages before you can hold the responsible parties financially accountable.
You’ll also have to avoid critical mistakes along the way. Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes that families make in the wake of a wrongful death:
1. Releasing a Statement
If the incident is publicized, your family may be asked to give a statement. Should you intend to take legal action, however, it’s best to avoid doing so. Even a seemingly innocuous statement could end up influencing the proceedings down the road. If local media reaches out to you, simply ask them to respect your family’s privacy during such a trying time.
2. Putting off the Proceedings
From closing accounts to distributing assets, death brings with it a long list of tasks and a mountain of paperwork. While settling the estate is undoubtedly a priority, it’s wise to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Enlisting help right away will allow your attorney to gather time-sensitive evidence before it’s altered or destroyed. It will also ensure you don’t miss any critical deadlines.
In Florida, the typical statute of limitations for wrongful death suits is two years. If it turns out a government entity was responsible for your loved one’s passing, though, you’ll have to allow for a 180-day investigation before you can proceed with a formal lawsuit.
3. Having the Wrong Party Bring the Claim
In Florida, a wrongful death suit can only be brought by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate. If the deceased left a will, he or she likely already assigned the role to someone. Otherwise, the probate court will name a representative. Should your family proceed without confirming the personal representative first, the judge will dismiss your case.
4. Proceeding Without Legal Guidance
While it’s possible to file a wrongful death claim without first hiring a lawyer, doing so is unadvisable. As long as your family’s financial security is at stake, you should seek strategic counsel from a resourceful professional. Your attorney will obtain evidence, track damages, and handle all correspondence with the opposing party.
If necessary, your legal team will even prepare your case for court. This, in turn, will allow you to focus on more important matters, like taking care of your family.
Call (954) 880-9500 to Discuss Your Case with a Wrongful Death Lawyer
To find out if your family has grounds for a wrongful death claim, contact Lubell Rosen, LLC. Our compassionate team will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident to help you determine how best to proceed. Call (954) 880-9500 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney.