Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Greenacres
We’ve all faced death of a loved one at one point or another in our lives. It could be the death of an older relative or the death of a younger friend. But, in any case, we understand that death is inevitable. However, there are also times in which death can come about in a situation in which it could have completely been avoided. It may even have come from a source that we have had complete trust in, such as a professional medical team in a well-respected hospital. In a situation in which a negligent act has resulted in the death of someone we have loved, then filing a wrongful death lawsuit is something that we may pursue. When it comes to understanding how this is done, we would normally seek the help of an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer serving Greenacres.
In order to file a wrongful death claim, the victim must have an estate that would represent their interests and there must be a person who is representing that estate. If a deceased person has not named an estate representative in their will, then the court will have the right to appoint a representative. Here, it is common for the court to appoint; a spouse, child or parent as that representative.
However, before the court makes its decision, it will first receive a complete list of those who would normally have an interest in the lawsuit. These people would also include; siblings (both biological and adoptive), other blood relatives who may have depended upon the deceased for support and possibly children who were born to unmarried parents. In the case of unmarried parents, a child is eligible for a lawsuit award if the mother has died. If the father has died, then the child will usually only be eligible if the child had been formally recognized by the father and therefore the father was obligated to help support the child.Is There a Statute of Limitations for Filing a Greenacres Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Florida, there is a statute of limitations when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit. That statute states that the lawsuit must be filed within 2 years from the time of the person’s death in nearly all cases (but there are some very rare exceptions). See: Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(d). If someone has any questions regarding these exceptions, then they should consult a wrongful death lawyer who serves Greenacres. In any case, it is very important that a wrongful death lawsuit be filed as soon as possible.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful Death claims may arise out of a negligent act. These may include:
- Car or Auto Accidents
- Accidents Involving Semi-trucks, Commercial Trucks, Tractor Trailers or 18-Wheelers
- Motorcycle, Bike and Pedestrian Accidents
- Workplace Deaths
- Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents resulting in death
- Defective Products
- Medical Malpractice
The law that pertains to Greenacres wrongful death situations is:
In a situation in which someone has died as a result of the wrongful contact of someone else, then a civil action (wrongful death lawsuit) may be filed against the accused party. Since this is a civil action, it is considered separate from any other (criminal) charges. As such, The Florida Wrongful Death Act (Florida Statute 768.19) was instituted as a judicial means for surviving family members to be compensated for the loss of a loved one.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act states:
Right of action.—When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those occurring on navigable waters, and the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued, the person or watercraft that would have been liable in damages if death had not ensued shall be liable for damages as specified in this act notwithstanding the death of the person injured, although death was caused under circumstances constituting a felony.
Florida Statutes section 768.21 points out the state's rules for awarding damages in wrongful death lawsuits. Damages that surviving family members can potentially pursue include (according to Florida Statutes):
Damages.—All potential beneficiaries of a recovery for wrongful death, including the decedent’s estate, shall be identified in the complaint, and their relationships to the decedent shall be alleged. Damages may be awarded as follows:
(1) Each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value. In evaluating loss of support and services, the survivor’s relationship to the decedent, the amount of the decedent’s probable net income available for distribution to the particular survivor, and the replacement value of the decedent’s services to the survivor may be considered. In computing the duration of future losses, the joint life expectancies of the survivor and the decedent and the period of minority, in the case of healthy minor children, may be considered.
(2) The surviving spouse may also recover for loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
(3) Minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. For the purposes of this subsection, if both spouses die within 30 days of one another as a result of the same wrongful act or series of acts arising out of the same incident, each spouse is considered to have been predeceased by the other.
(4) Each parent of a deceased minor child may also recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.
(5) Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death may be recovered by a survivor who has paid them
(6) The decedent’s personal representative may recover for the decedent’s estate the following:
- Loss of earnings of the deceased from the date of injury to the date of death, less lost support of survivors excluding contributions in kind, with interest. Loss of the prospective net accumulations of an estate, which might reasonably have been expected but for the wrongful death, reduced to present money value, may also be recovered:
- If the decedent’s survivors include a surviving spouse or lineal descendants; or
- If the decedent is not a minor child as defined in s. 768.18 (2), there are no lost support and services recoverable under subsection (1), and there is a surviving parent.
- Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death that have become a charge against her or his estate or that were paid by or on behalf of
- Evidence of remarriage of the decedent’s spouse is admissible.
(7) All awards for the decedent’s estate are subject to the claims of creditors who have complied with the requirements of probate law concerning claims.
(8) The damages specified in subsection (3) shall not be recoverable by adult children and the damages specified in subsection (4) shall not be recoverable by parents of an adult child with respect to claims for medical negligence as defined by s. 766.106(1).
When it comes to the death of a loved one, there are a number of emotions that can interfere with one’s ability to tackle a potentially complex legal issue such as a wrongful death claim. When you consider the fact that your initial consultation with a wrongful death lawyer is free, then there is nothing to lose when it comes to obtaining guidance as to your options.What Types of Damages can be Pursued in a Claim for Wrongful Death
When you are dealing with the death of a loved one, there are different emotions that you may also be facing. This is generally not the time to begin investigating a wrongful death lawsuit and researching legal procedures. The difficulties can be especially huge should you be dealing with a commercial company or hospital that will likely have their own lawyers to advise them. This is why you should contact an experienced attorney, who is prepared to try and fight for your rights, in this difficult time.
Damages that can be pursued include:
- Medical Bills
- Funeral and Burial Expenses
- Lost Earnings, Loss of Support and Services
- Loss of Net Accumulations (future income)
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Companionship, protection, guidance, and instruction
There are many factors used to calculate damages in Wrongful Death Claims. These can include evaluating loss of support and services, the relationship of the survivor to the victim, the amount of the victim’s probable net income available for distribution to the survivor, and the replacement value of the victim’s services to the survivor. This can also include household chores that the survivor will now have to pay to have done.
In computing future losses, the joint life expectancies of the survivor and the victim will be taken into consideration. In the case of any healthy minor children, the period of minority will also be considered.
The surviving spouse may also receive damages for loss of companionship and protection, as well as compensation for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
If the children of the victim are minors, or if there is no surviving spouse, the children of the deceased may be compensated for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance (as well as for any mental pain and suffering that derived from the date of injury).
Likewise, each parent of a minor child may be awarded compensation for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Compensation may also extend to each parent of an adult child if there is no spouse or other survivors.
It’s also important to note that the medical or funeral expenses attributed to the injury or death may also be recovered.Contact an Experienced Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Lawyer to Help Protect Your Rights
A loved one’s fatality can result from a vast number of different sources. These can include: motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, fatal slip and fall accidents, defective products and other, unexpected situations. These may occur in Greenacres at any given moment in time. If your loved one has encountered a fatal auto crash or a less obvious reason that has resulted from negligence, it is advised that you seek the advice of a wrongful death attorney.
Seeking the advice of a wrongful death lawyer, who can try to assist in receiving the compensation that you rightfully deserve. Therefore, if a loved one’s fatality occurred as a result of any one of the common situations mentioned in this article, contact a Florida wrongful death attorney, serving Greenacres today!
Turn to Frankl Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call 561-800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.