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Elements and Statutes of Wrongful Death Compensation Claim

Jun 11, 2008
Wrongful death claim is different from other types of personal injury compensation claims. Here the victim is not the claimant; the lawsuit is filed by the dependants who has become financially impaired after the death caused by someone else's negligence. State laws entitle the beneficiaries for compensation.

Negligence or any form of liability can be the cause of wrongful death. In case of other personal injury claims, the injured persons submit their complaints. But in an event of wrongful death, individuals related with the decedent claim compensation for monetary damages.

There is no room for any kind of compensation against wrongful death under the Common Law. According to Common Law, right to compensation expires with the victim and the dependants have no right to claim damages for their economical hardship.

Later on, all the States incorporated distinct laws for wrongful death. This initiative definitely helped the family members of decedents killed due to negligence or wrongful act of others.

Since, it was a state-level initiative to enforce wrongful death laws; the laws are not same in all the states. Florida wrongful death laws are different from that of New York and others. However, they trace their origin to a common structure.

The elements of Wrongful Death Compensation Claim:

Elements of wrongful death are nothing but the facts need to be established before court.

1. Careless conduct of another entity is the cause of death
2. The defendant was strictly accountable or negligent for the death
3. The decedent has left behind spouse, children, dependants and beneficiaries
4. All the dependants are suffering from monetary damage because of this death

The clauses are somewhere similar like those of Tort laws or state-wise personal injury laws. Wrongful death attorneys help the claimants establish their right in court and make sure that they receive compensation for monetary damages.

Though it is easier said than done, but one needs to keep his mind cool and behave in a planned way once an incident of wrongful death happens in family. A genuine case may be forfeited if actions are not taken properly. Here are some points that help claimant pursue wrongful death claim properly:

Know the Statues of Limitations:

There is a time span after which even a genuine claimant cannot file case against the offender. Statues of Limitation vary in different states. In Florida it is 2 years after the cause of wrongful death was confirmed or suspected. An action should be taken within 2 years after suspecting wrongful death.

Delayed Discovery Doctrine:

What if the plaintiff comes to know the actual cause of death when the statute of limitation is already over? Delayed Discovery Doctrine lets plaintiff file the compensation claim by starting the SOL clock from the date on which claimant learned the cause of wrongful death or suspected the cause.

This rule varies from state to state. Some people say that in Florida, Delayed Discovery Doctrine is only applicable for product liability, not for wrongful death. Hence, it is better to consult Florida attorneys to know your options.

Some random information about filing wrongful death lawsuit:

* Only the beneficiaries or the dependents of the decedent can file wrongful death claim for monetary damages.
* In case there are multiple heirs, the lawsuit must be filed jointly.
* The lawsuit helps dependents get compensated for economic damages, not for emotional stresses.

Florida residents should visit Florida wrongful death attorneys to get their case filed in the court of law in Florida.
About the Author
Guaranteed Do Not Pay Until You Win with leading Ft Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer Boone and Davis. Find out more top Florida Lawyers and get latest legal advice.
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