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Chances of Winning a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida

Flanagan & Bodenheimer Injury and Wrongful Death Law Firm

In Florida, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed when the death of a person is caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another party. These lawsuits aim to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and provide compensation to the surviving family members for their losses, including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and emotional suffering.

To succeed in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff (the personal representative on behalf of the surviving family members) must establish the following elements:

  • Duty of Care: The defendant (the party accused of causing the death) owed a duty of care to the deceased.
  • Breach of Duty: The defendant failed to uphold this duty of care through negligent or intentional actions.
  • Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused or significantly contributed to the death.

Understanding your rights under Florida’s wrongful death laws can empower you to take legal action and seek justice on behalf of your loved one. If you believe you have grounds for a wrongful death claim, we encourage you to contact our Florida wrongful death attorneys to explore your legal options.

Call us at 305-638-4143 or complete our online form for a free consultation.

florida wrongful death lawyer

Table of Contents

Factors That Affect Your Chances of Winning a Wrongful Death Case in Florida

Several factors can influence the likelihood of winning a wrongful death suit in Florida, including:

  • Strength of Evidence: The availability and quality of evidence, such as, CCTV, physical evidence, witness testimony, medical records, expert opinions, and documentation of the incident, play a crucial role in proving liability.
  • Legal Representation: Choosing an experienced and skilled wrongful death attorney can significantly impact the outcome of the case. At Flanagan & Bodenheimer, our attorneys have a proven track record of success in handling complex wrongful death claims. We have successfully recovered millions of dollars for families throughout Florida.
  • Complexity of the Case: The intricacies of the case, including the number of defendants involved, legal defenses raised, and the involvement of insurance companies, can affect the duration and outcome of the lawsuit.
  • Jury Perception: Since wrongful death lawsuits may go to trial, the perception of the jury regarding the facts of the case and the credibility of witnesses can sway the verdict.  People frequently consider the expected beliefs of the general jury pool in the location where the wrongful death case may be filed when evaluating the chances of success.

Navigating Florida’s Wrongful Death Laws

Navigating a wrongful death claim in Florida can be complex and emotionally taxing, especially for grieving families. Seeking the guidance of an experienced wrongful death attorney is crucial to ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for your losses.

These are some important laws to be aware of if you are planning to file a wrongful death claim in Florida:

Who is Eligible to File a Claim?

  • In Florida, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate is typically the one who files a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the surviving family members.
  • The surviving spouse, children, parents, and, in some cases, other dependent relatives may be eligible to recover damages in a wrongful death claim.

What Types of Damages Are Available?

Damages in a Florida wrongful death claim may include:

  • Medical and funeral expenses incurred as a result of the death.
  • Loss of financial support and services provided by the deceased.
  • Loss of companionship, parental guidance, and support suffered by certain surviving family members.
  • Mental pain and suffering endured by certain surviving family members.

Is There a Time Limit For Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Florida, there is a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, within which a wrongful death suit must be filed. Generally, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Florida is two years from the date of the deceased person’s death. You should contact an attorney even if you believe the statute of limitations on your case has passed, as there may be some exceptions for certain cases, especially in medical malpractice cases.

Comparative Negligence

In Florida, wrongful death lawsuits are impacted by the state’s comparative fault law, outlined in Florida Statute § 768.81. This law addresses situations where multiple parties may share responsibility for an accident or injury, including the deceased individual.

  • Any degree of fault assigned to your loved one for their accident will reduce the wrongful death compensation awarded to your family by that amount.
  • Additionally, recent legislative changes introduced in 2023’s HB 837 prohibit any party assigned more than 50 percent fault from seeking damages.

Insurance companies and defense attorneys often attempt to diminish their clients’ liability by alleging that the deceased individual’s actions contributed to their injuries. These allegations can significantly impact the outcome of your wrongful death lawsuit, potentially reducing the compensation your family is entitled to receive.

At our firm, we understand the tactics used by opposing parties to minimize liability and restrict your family’s ability to seek financial justice. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are dedicated to vigorously defending your case against allegations of fault, ensuring that your family’s rights are protected and that you receive the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Are There Limits On How Much Compensation You Can Get From a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

Compensation caps refer to statutory limits placed on the amount of damages that can be awarded in certain types of lawsuits, including wrongful death cases. These caps are intended to regulate the amount of money that can be awarded for specific types of damages and are often established by state laws or court rulings.

In Florida, there are several types of damages for which compensation caps may apply in wrongful death cases:

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of parental guidance and support, loss of protection and support, and loss of companionship. 

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct and deter similar behavior in the future. In Florida, punitive damages are generally capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $500,000, whichever is greater. However, there are exceptions to this cap in cases involving certain intentional torts or wrongful acts.

Sovereign Immunity

In some cases, the defendant may be a government entity or employee, subject to sovereign immunity. This limits the amount of compensation that can be recovered in lawsuits against government entities and employees. Under Florida law, there are specific procedures and limitations for suing government entities for wrongful death. 

How To Maximize Your Chances of Winning a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida

These following may increase your chances of winning a wrongful death claim in Florida:

  • Prompt Legal Action: Time is of the essence in wrongful death cases, as evidence may deteriorate, and witnesses’ memories may fade over time. Contacting an experienced wrongful death attorney promptly allows for the preservation of crucial evidence and ensures that legal proceedings begin without delay.
  • Thorough Investigation: A comprehensive investigation is essential to building a strong wrongful death case. Our legal team will conduct a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death, gather relevant evidence, and consult with expert witnesses to establish liability and damages.
  • Establishing Liability: Proving liability is a critical aspect of winning a wrongful death claim. Our attorneys will work diligently to demonstrate that the defendant(s) owed a duty of care to the deceased, breached that duty through negligent or wrongful actions, and directly caused the death as a result.
  • Calculating Damages: Determining the full extent of damages in a wrongful death case requires careful consideration of various factors, including medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and the emotional suffering endured by the surviving family members. Our wrongful death lawyers will meticulously assess your damages to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses.
  • Negotiation and Litigation: While many wrongful death claims are resolved through negotiation and settlement, some cases may require litigation to achieve a favorable outcome. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and trial advocates who will pursue the most advantageous resolution for your case, whether through settlement negotiations or courtroom litigation.

Free Consultation with a Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer

chances of winning wrongful death lawsuit florida

The success of your wrongful death claim in Florida hinges significantly on the attorney you choose to represent you. One of the most critical factors to consider when selecting an attorney for your wrongful death claim is their expertise and experience in handling these types of cases.

Unlike larger law firms that spread themselves amongst multiple practice areas, our firm focuses exclusively on personal injury and wrongful death claims in Florida, allowing us to have a deeper understanding of relevant statutes, and legal procedures. 

Our experienced trial attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for families in wrongful death cases. These are some examples of wrongful death cases our firm has resolved:

  • $4.2M Wrongful Death Settlement – Single man in his thirties was killed in a shooting at an apartment complex. His parents were his only survivors.
  • $3.0M Wrongful Death Settlement – Single man in his thirties was killed in a shooting at an apartment complex. 
  • $2.6M Wrongful Death Settlement – We represented the parents of a young man that was killed in a car crash. We brought claims for negligence and product liability against a negligent driver and a product manufacturer. 
  • $2.75M Wrongful Death Settlement – Failure of hospital to diagnose infection in mother shortly after childbirth resulted in death two days later.  The Defendants requested to arbitrate, which put a cap on the available damages under the Florida medical malpractice law.
  • $2.5M Wrongful Death Settlement – It was alleged that a hospital failed to respond to a patient’s medical emergency, resulting in the death of the patient.  The survivors were the patient’s children.  The Defendants requested to arbitrate, which put a cap on the available damages under the Florida medical malpractice law.
  • $1M Wrongful Death Settlement (insurance policy limits) – Man drowned in ocean while participating in in-patient drug and alcohol rehabilitation activity at the beach, leaving his wife as his only survivor. 
  • $1.9M Wrongful Death Settlement – Settlement for the family of a man who overdosed after being wrongly discharged from a drug and alcohol transition facility. The survivors were the parents of the man who overdosed.
  • Confidential Wrongful Death Settlement – Settlement for the wife of a patient who was treated with Digoxin and over the course of several months developed digoxin toxicity and died.
  • $1.25M Wrongful Death Settlement – Settlement of wrongful death case involving a disputed liability motorcycle crash.  Defendant had insurance policy limits of only $100,000.00, however, as a result of mishandling of the claim by the insurance company, we ultimately obtained a settlement of $1.25 million for the surviving parents.

From expertise in wrongful death law to negotiation skills and trial experience, the right attorney will possess the qualities needed to maximize your chances of success. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions, contact us for a free consultation. Call 305-638-4143 or complete our online form to get started.

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