In the event that you are involved in a lawsuit, and the defendant you are suing has passed away, you might be wondering about your options. Not being able to obtain compensation after an unexpected accident can bring up serious financial concerns. Medical bills and property damages add up fast. The good news is you may not have to be stuck with these expenses. Feel free to talk to a Tampa personal injury attorney about your legal options.
Can You Sue Someone Who is Deceased?
When it comes to suing a deceased defendant, your personal injury claim still has a chance. According to the Florida survival statute, you can still sue a defendant who has passed away. This law states that your personal injury claim does not die with the person you are suing.
You might be wondering how this works and where the money will come from then. The answer depends on whether there is a substitute to take the deceased defendant’s place. What the court will normally do is find an appropriate substation of the party who passed away.
This substitute party could be the deceased defendant’s personal representative or successor. You might find yourself suing a close family member depending on how all this works out. However, this motion for substitution must be made within 90 days of the defendant passing away.
Keep in mind that it can take months to find a personal representative for the deceased defendant. In other words, time may not always be on your side. Consider contacting a Tampa personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to start working this out. The longer you wait, the lower your chances are of receiving the compensation you need.
How Much Compensation Can I Obtain from a Deceased Defendant?
The amount of compensation you could receive depends on the damages you suffered and whether the party substitution is upheld. Personal injury compensatory damages are often broken down into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include objective financial losses like:
- Repair and replacement costs
- Medical bills
- Medication costs
- Lost past and future wages
You can also sue for loss of employment if your injuries were severe enough to cause you lifelong impairments. Non-economic damages include subjective losses rather than financial losses that you suffered in the accident like:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Major inconvenience
Proving these damages can be challenging because they do not come with solid documents to prove them. You may need witness testimonies and other pieces of evidence to prove these. Feel free to ask a lawyer about what steps this will require. A lawyer can help you defend your claim to help you recover financially.
Tampa Personal Injury Attorney
Figuring out the legal issues with suing a deceased defendant can be stressful. Contact the Rebein Law Firm today at (813) 305-7285 to speak with a Florida accident lawyer for a free consultation. Our experienced team of Tampa personal injury attorneys can help you seek compensation for medical costs, emotional distress, and lost income. We are located in the Florida cities of Tampa, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee, Pasco, and Polk County.