Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Cases
Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits can result from the same types of accidents, such as:
- Vehicle accidents
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Premises liability accidents
- Workplace accidents
While personal injury and wrongful death cases share some similarities, their differences can help you determine which one to pursue if you are thinking about suing a liable party for compensation.
What are Personal Injury Cases?
Personal injury cases generally involve people who are filing a lawsuit to hold someone accountable for an injury they suffered. They also file legal action to recover financial compensation to cover the damages they suffered because of their injury.
Damages in this kind of case can include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income, reduced income (past, present, and future)
- Reduced earning capacity
- Property damage (if applicable)
- Pain and suffering
- Other injury-related expenses
Proving negligence is key to recovering damages in a personal injury case. Without proof that a party is responsible for their damages, a person likely will not win compensation in their case.
What are Wrongful Death Cases?
Wrongful death cases involve a lawsuit that seeks compensation on behalf of the survivors of a person who died from a negligent or wrongful act. These cases allow qualifying loved ones to sue a person or entity they believe is responsible for their loved one’s death and collect damages on that person’s behalf.
Florida’s wrongful death law, known as the Florida Wrongful Death Act, can be found in Florida Statutes § 768.16 through § 768.26. According to the law, those who can file this kind of lawsuit include:
- The decedent’s spouse, minor or adult children, or parents if there is no surviving spouse or children
- Blood relatives or adoptive siblings who are “partly or wholly” dependent on the decedent
In a wrongful death suit, eligible survivors and the estate can seek to recover damages, such as:
- Medical expenses the decedent paid or that were paid on the decedent’s behalf
- Funeral, burial expenses
- Lost wages, benefits, or potential future earnings of the decedent
- Pain and suffering due to losing the decedent
- Minor children’s loss of companionship, protection
- Loss of support, guidance, or services
A Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney can review other recoverable damages not listed here that may apply to your case. Establishing liability and proving negligence is also important in a wrongful death case.
How Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases Differ
There are at least two things to keep in mind when considering personal injury and wrongful death cases.
The Statutes of Limitations Differ for these Cases in Florida
One important difference between personal injury and wrongful death cases in Florida is that you do not get the same amount of time to file a wrongful death case as you do a personal injury one.
- If you wish to file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, you have four years from the date of injury to do so, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a).
- If you wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit, Florida allows two years from the decedent’s date of the death, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d).
Only certain people are eligible to pursue a wrongful death case
Another difference between the two types of cases concerns who can bring forth the lawsuit.
In a personal injury case in Florida, the person who was injured can bring legal action against the party who is being held responsible for their injury or loss. This is pretty straightforward.
In a wrongful death case, however, criteria are in place as to who can bring forth a legal action, as noted above. A lawyer from our firm who handles wrongful death actions can help you figure out who can pursue a wrongful death action and how much compensation can be recovered.
How We can help you with your Case
Whether we handle your personal injury or wrongful death case, we can take it off your hands and manage it for you, which gives you your time back to take care of other matters that need your attention.
When you become our client, we will:
- Advise you of your rights and update you on all developments in your case
- File your injury or wrongful death action by Florida’s statute of limitations deadline
- Examine evidence you have and collect additional proof to establish negligence
- Calculate your damages to determine what your case is worth and what you can ask for in your lawsuit
- Communicate with all parties in your case on your behalf, including legal representatives and insurance companies
- Represent you in all hearings and meetings
- Negotiate on your behalf for a settlement
Working with your attorney on your wrongful death cases can become complex, and without legal representation, you risk not understanding the laws involved and what they could mean for the outcome of your case. We can give you an overview of Florida’s wrongful death laws and help you with a legal strategy to hold the party accountable.
Call us today for a Free Case Review
If you are ready to take legal action, the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can help you with your personal injury or wrongful death case. If you are unsure which action you should take, we can review your situation and help you figure it out.
We offer responsive and prompt communication and treat our clients like family. We know how much is at stake in each case we manage, so we devote our time to making sure clients know their legal options.