Close Menu
Florida Personal Injury Lawyers
Call, Text, or Chat: 1-888-LPENDAS
(573-6327)
Free Initial Consultation
Florida Personal Injury

The Stages of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

WrongfulDeath4

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that allows certain family members to hold a negligent person or company financially responsible for their loved one’s death. Spouses, children, parents, and financially dependent relatives might be able to recover damages under state law.

Your loved one’s death triggers the litigation process. Here are the steps to take when seeking wrongful death damages in Florida:

  1. Contact an experienced attorney, and provide details about your loved one’s death. If you have a list of witnesses, share it with the attorney. The more you tell your attorney the more she can help you.
  2. Your attorney will investigate your claim. This includes talking to witnesses and going over the decedent’s medical records and autopsy report. She might have more questions for you during the investigation.
  3. File the wrongful death lawsuit and notify the defendant about your allegations. (This is called service of process.) Your attorney will help determine where to file the lawsuit. There is a principle called jurisdiction that limits courts’ authority to make legal decisions. If a court doesn’t have jurisdiction over the parties or the claims, then it can’t decide the case. Also, make sure you file the case within two years of the death.
  4. Next is discovery, which is a process where both sides request information from the other. You might have to provide evidence to the defense, and vice versa. In some cases you can request that privileged information be protected from discovery. The court might also step in if the defense refuses to hand over relevant documents or other information. The goal is to help each side plan their arguments so there aren’t a bunch of surprises at trial.
  5. The trial will begin once discovery closes. Some trials take longer than others. It depends on the complexities of the case and whether there’s a judge or jury. But generally you can expect that both sides will present their versions of the case, and both may cross-examine the other’s witnesses.
  6. Once both sides have presented their case the judge or jury will make a decision. You may appeal if you’re unhappy with the outcome.

These are the basic stages of a wrongful death lawsuit. But other variables may arise. For example, either side may file a motion that attempts to end the case before it goes to trial. If the evidence is conclusive then you could ask the judge to decide the legal questions instead of sending the case to a jury. This is called a motion for summary judgment.

However, wrongful death trials can be painful and emotional. You don’t have to go through litigation at all. At any point before trial the parties can try to reach a settlement agreement instead.

Contact Us Today

Contact a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if your loved one dies because of another person’s negligent or reckless behavior. We will help recover the compensation that you deserve, including medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of companionship.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Jacksonville, Miami, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.

Resource:

leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0768/Sections/0768.19.html

Read What Others Have To Say About Us

  • “I'm very happy with this firm... Joel is an excellent attorney and Carolyn is an amazing paralegal, After been ditched from another law firm, Pendas took care of me and they won my case. I recommend them 100%...” - Jacksonville -

    Maria Pastor
  • “This law firm is amazing. I love how they always try to stay/keep in contact with you. It shows that they really care and want everything taken care of correctly, Thank You!...” - Orlando -

    Shantelle Blackwell
  • “I'm very thankful for all the attention of all the Pendas staff that took care of my case and helped me through the process, thanks for your patience, collaboration and comprehension!...” - Tampa -

    Carlos Guadalupe
  • “The Pendas Law Firm was amazing! They are very kind, professional, and hard-working! They always kept me informed. Larry Trias was great to work with! I always recommend Pendas to family and friends. Thank you for helping me with my case!” - Fort Myers -

    Heather Pepper
  • “Their attorneys are absolutely someone you want handling your car accident claim. They communicated with us promptly and thoroughly. I was very happy with our recovery. Their staff speaks Spanish and you feel like family.” - Orlando -

    Ian Brito
  • “I would definitely recommend this firm. The staff really helps you and they actually show you that they care, especially Siomara Roldan. She has been a great help for my family and myself, she is always helpful with any questions.” - Tampa -

    Wilmer D Santana Rodriguez
  • “5 stars for these guys! Hays Mathis got my case settled without going to court for a sum that dwarfed what the other guys were advising me to take. I highly recommend Hays not only because he does the work to get it done but he cares about the client and outcome as well!” - Jacksonville -

    Mike Reilly
  • “Pendas is the best! The paralegals are very attentive to your case, knowledgeable, and communicative! The attorney also won’t just be there the day of your sign up, but all throughout the process as needed. I truly recommend Pendas!” - Orlando -

    McKenzie Czabaj