When a person dies an avoidable and untimely death, their survivors often end up financially and emotionally devastated. Wrongful death lawsuits are important tools that allow families to gain compensation for losses associated with the person’s death. However, not every death can turn into a legal claim, and some legitimate cases are never pursued. To ensure justice and a proper recovery, families should consider the following factors when filing a claim with the help of a wrongful death lawyer in Lake City, FL.
Only a Few People Can File
The most vital factor to keep in mind when contemplating a wrongful death claim is that the state of Florida has strict rules in place regarding eligibility for a wrongful death claim. Only the decedent’s heirs can recover damages. Here, the term refers to family members who would automatically inherit a person’s property if they die without a will, such as spouses, surviving children and parents.
There’s a Two-Year Statute of Limitations
A person’s survivors only have two years from the date of the event to file a wrongful death claim. If the deadline is missed, the suit is immediately thrown out of court, with limited exceptions. While two years might seem like a lengthy period, a person in mourning may need that time–and more–to handle their grief and the decedent’s estate. A wrongful death lawyer in Lake City, FL can help a family file within the time prescribed by Florida law.
Wrongful Death Cases Are Different from Homicides and Murders
Homicide is a charge filed against a person who directly causes the demise of another individual. Juries use the “reasonable doubt” standard to determine guilt or innocence in these cases. On the other hand, a wrongful death case is a civil action brought by a person’s family against an at-fault party. To determine liability, a jury only requires a preponderance of the evidence, which is a looser standard. Because of the differences, a civil and criminal trial can run concurrently. Moreover, an accused person can be found not guilty of homicide, but they can be held civilly liable for a person’s wrongful death.
A wrongful death can leave a family devastated in many different ways, but attorneys provide the legal help necessary to seek damages from a responsible party. Visit Northfloridaautoaccidentlawyer.com to learn how the team can help area families gain compensation for losses related to a member’s untimely death.
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