Dealing with Wrongful Death Issues in Slip and Fall Claims

Seary Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley

Slip and fall accidents in Florida are frequently underestimated because the term “slip and fall” sounds relatively minor. Our minds tend to create images of slipping, falling onto our floor, and standing back up, albeit a bit more slowly, with a few curse words and maybe a bruise for our clumsiness.

And, quite frequently, this, or something similar to this, is what actually happens. Occasionally, however, a slip and fall accident is anything but minor. These types of accidents can be severe, costly, and expensive, with injuries that are complicated and painful, often requiring extended medical care.

About Slip and Fall Accidents and Premises Liability

When slip and fall accidents occur on someone else’s property and are caused by some type of unsafe condition, you may be able to hold the property owner liable for your injuries under a premises liability claim. Particularly tragic are slip and fall accidents that result in the death of a loved one. If you’re experiencing this type of heartbreaking devastation, you’re usually buried in the necessary legwork of putting your loved one to rest and grieving. Financial compensation may be the last thing on your mind.

However, the financial compensation you’re entitled to will become very important as you begin to deal with the loss of income, medical bills, and other types of expenses. A Florida wrongful death attorney at Searcy Denney understands the suffering you’re experiencing and can handle your insurance and legal claims for you, allowing you to deal with your other tragic responsibilities.

About Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death claim is a claim resulting from another person’s negligence or direct act, in this case, by unsafe conditions on another’s property, which causes the death of a family member. In Florida, wrongful death claims are governed by the “Florida Wrongful Death Act,” Florida Statutes Sections 768.16-768.26. The Act, in Section 768.19, states that surviving members of the family may file a lawsuit if the loss is due to:

  • A wrongful act
  • Negligence
  • Default
  • Breach or of contract or warranty

There’s also a statute of limitations regarding wrongful death claims, which is two years from the time of death. Under certain circumstances, the attorney or personal representative for the family may be granted an extension for the claim.

Who Can Recover for Wrongful Death?

Under Florida law, a personal representative for the deceased person can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person’s survivors. “Survivors” include “the [deceased person’s] spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. It includes the child born out of wedlock of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.”

In addition, certain specific survivors can recover other specified damages. A Florida wrongful death attorney can help with these.