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How long does one have to file a wrongful death claim in Florida?

It is often said that death is one of the only guarantees in life. However, the causes of each person's death can vary greatly. Many in Florida will die of old age or natural causes. Some will die from diseases, some from taking dangerous chances and others due to the actions of others. Often the deaths caused by others are the most difficult ones to handle for the family and friends of the victim.

These deaths are sudden and unexpected, leaving the family no time to prepare. Also, since they were caused by another individual, it could have been avoided, making it even more difficult. On top of all that, the victim may have been the primary financial provider for the family, leaving them in a difficult financial position as well.

Families in this situation may be able to recover damages associated with the death from the person responsible for it. Sometimes determining who was at fault is difficult, though. Multiple people or entities could be at least partially at fault. Determining this can take time. However, the family does not have an extremely long time to file a wrongful death lawsuit. It must be filed within two years of the victim's death.

There is an exception to this rule, however. If the person was murdered or killed due to manslaughter, there is no time limit for filing a lawsuit. The family also does not need to wait for criminal charges to be filed or for the person to be convicted of the crime in order to start the lawsuit.

Unfortunately many people in Florida die due to the negligence of another person or entity. The loss of a loved one is always difficult, but these deaths can be even more difficult to handle. However, the family may be entitled to compensation for their damages, but generally the wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the victim's death. Experienced attorneys understand how devastating losing a loved one can be and may be able to guide one through the process.

Source: Florida State Legislature, "Florida Statute 95.11," accessed Aug. 17, 2015

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