How Long Do I Have to Sue for Wrongful Death in Florida?

Accidents and careless conduct cause injuries to millions of victims every year, but these unfortunate incidents can also be tragic when they lead to fatalities. Victims of all ages are killed when others are negligent, failing to exercise reasonable care. At-fault parties cause traffic crashes, slip and falls, construction accidents, medical malpractice, and many other deadly incidents. It is fortunate that you have legal options to recover compensation as a survivor through a wrongful death claim. However, you should also be aware of deadlines under Florida’s statute of limitations. 

The statute of limitations can have harsh consequences if you take too long to pursue your remedies, but moving quickly is also important for many other reasons. You should discuss your options and the claims process with a Miami wrongful death lawyer to ensure you do not miss critical deadlines. Plus, it is also useful to review some details about how long you have for a wrongful death case.

Deadlines Under Florida’s Statute of Limitations

There are time restrictions for every type of court case in Florida, and it is two years for all personal injury cases based upon negligence. A wrongful death claim is a personal injury matter, even though the victim was killed instead of only suffering injuries. Plus, the Florida statute of limitations also includes a provision that specifically states the deadline to be two years for wrongful death cases.

It is important to note that the statute of limitations starts to run on the date of death, as opposed to the date of the fatal accident. With other personal injury cases, the clock starts to run on the date the incident occurred.

Steps in the Insurance Claims Process

With many wrongful death cases, you will be dealing with an insurance company that provides a liability policy for the at-fault party. You start the process by filing a claim with the insurer and requesting payment for losses, including funeral and burial costs and the losses you suffer because of the void left behind by the decedent’s death. Many times, the parties settle an insurance claim for wrongful death.

There is no specific deadline for the insurance claims process, but you should use the rule of thumb to start right away.

Take Action Promptly

Though the statute of limitations still applies, there are multiple reasons you should not wait two years until it expires. Physical evidence may deteriorate over time, leaving you with little credible proof of how the accident happened. The recollections of witnesses may also fade. With the decedent unable to testify, this evidence is critical. You should take action for wrongful death as soon as possible, well before the deadline.

Contact a Miami Wrongful Death Attorney Right Away

Now that you know how long you have to sue after a fatal accident, you can see that retaining legal counsel is a top priority. For additional details, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach. You can call an experienced wrongful death lawyer at (305) 371-6000 or visit us online.

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