Miramar Wrongful Death Lawyer
The unexpected death of a loved one is a tragic and challenging ordeal. When an accident causes the preventable death of a loved one, it can be devastating for surviving family members. Death leaves the victim's loved ones and beneficiaries with many questions and worries about how their loss will affect their future.
When someone dies because of someone else's negligence or recklessness, their family or beneficiaries can file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation from the person responsible for their losses.
No amount of money can make things right again after losing a loved one. However, our experienced Miramar wrongful death lawyers in Florida know how a settlement can help a grieving family to regain financial stability after the death of a breadwinner.
Our seasoned wrongful death attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers are available to address your concerns, support, and fight for your rights. Call (561) 800-8000 to discuss your case with a wrongful death attorney and learn how to seek compensation.What Is a Wrongful Death Claim or Lawsuit?
A wrongful death suit allows surviving family members and beneficiaries to seek justice on behalf of a loved one who lost their life because of the recklessness or negligence of another party.
The executor or administrator of an estate often files a wrongful death claim in civil court on behalf of the decedent's heirs. You might be entitled to financial compensation if your loved one died due to someone else's negligent actions.
A wrongful death lawsuit is filed when a person's or company's irresponsible actions directly result in the death of another person. Wrongful death differs from criminal prosecution of the party that caused a victim's death.
For example, the police may file criminal charges against a drunk driver who causes a fatal accident. The victim's relatives may also file a wrongful death case against the intoxicated driver, seeking compensation from the driver's insurance provider.
Wrongful death claims in Florida can be based on a wide variety of circumstances, such as:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Boating accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Medical negligence
- Workplace accidents
- Intentional criminal acts
A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida can be filed to seek damages for certain losses, such as:
- Loss of care, guidance, and companionship
- Mental anguish and suffering
- Loss of household income
Punitive damages can be awarded to penalize the culprit in circumstances of intentional or outrageous behavior.Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
You and your Miramar wrongful death attorney must prove the following elements:Negligence
Cases involving wrongful death need proof that the defendant's negligence, recklessness, or carelessness played a role in the plaintiff's loved one's untimely demise.Breach of Duty
The plaintiffs in a wrongful death suit must show that the defendant owed the deceased person a duty of care to win the case. For instance, it is the responsibility of drivers to adhere to all applicable traffic regulations. Doctors and other medical professionals are ethically obligated to help patients stay healthy.
The plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed them a duty and that they breached that duty by acting negligently.Causation
The plaintiff in a case must prove that the defendant breached their responsibility to the victim and that the defendant's negligence directly resulted in the victim's death.Damages
The decedent's death must result in monetary losses for a wrongful death claim. Potential damages include:
- Cost of healthcare
- Death and funeral expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of potential earnings
- Loss of parental care and a guidance
- Suffering endured by the victim before death
For these claims to be upheld in a wrongful death lawsuit, substantial proof must be presented to the court. Expert witnesses may be needed to explain certain pieces of evidence. In the event of a wrongful death, a lawyer can assist you in constructing a case based on the available information.Burden of Proof
Wrongful death cases are civil lawsuits and not criminal ones. Therefore, the burden of proof is lower than in criminal cases. There is no requirement for indisputable evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in civil cases alleging wrongful death; instead, a successful claim can be made based on the gravity of the evidence offered.
There is a lengthy process involved in establishing wrongful death, which includes creating a plan, conducting an extensive study on tort law, interviewing experts, meeting with witnesses, and preparing a case.
A wrongful death lawsuit involves negotiations, demands, and possibly a settlement. If involved parties disagree, the claimant can file a lawsuit, and the case will go to trial.Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuits Help You Seek Compensation
Various types of damages can be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit. These damages cover the costs that the deceased incurred because of the negligent act. This includes financial obligations incurred from a tragic injury, such as medical bills or lost wages. Claimants can also seek compensation for any financial or emotional damages suffered.
The primary purpose of a wrongful death claim is to compensate the deceased's estate for financial losses incurred before and after the person's death. Damages awarded in a lawsuit might be either economic or non-economic.
Economic losses are easily quantifiable. They can usually be proved by showing a bill or receipt. The goal of compensating for non-economic damages is to restore emotional value. Punitive damages are awarded to estates only in extreme situations where the judge intends to convey a message to the defendant about the seriousness of their wrongdoing.Economic Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
The financial impact of a fatal accident in Florida is usually substantial enough to warrant legal action. For instance, if the deceased person was unable to work because they were absent due to illness or injury, the party responsible for the accident may be financially responsible for the deceased's lost pay.
Suppose a biker who suffers a fatal spinal cord injury might undergo a lengthy and complex operation to alleviate the pain before passing away. They may have to spend tens of thousands in medical expenses and no income. In this case, the deceased's future wages could be recovered for the estate's beneficiaries.Loss of Services and Support
The death of a loved one can have a significant financial impact on not only the survivor's family finances. Beneficiaries can recover compensation for the loss of support and loss of services from their deceased loved one. The courts can determine the amount of compensation by assigning a monetary value to the deceased's unpaid labor and money spent caring for their family.
Suppose an individual dies because a distracted driver caused a car crash, and the parents depended on him to pay for utilities and do chores like grocery shopping or doctor's visits. Then the parents may have a valid claim for loss of services and loss of assistance on behalf of the deceased's parents.Funeral and Burial Expenses
The costs associated with burials and funerals can quickly go into the thousands. Due to the sudden nature of many wrongful death claims, it can be difficult for families to swiftly come up with the money necessary to cover funeral and burial costs.
If the negligent person is found to be responsible for the fatal accident, you may be entitled to compensation for losses such as the casket, embalming, funeral expenses, burial plot, and printed materials.NoneconomicNon-Economic Damages in Florida Wrongful Death Cases
The financial costs associated with grieving a loved one are only a fraction of the difficulties the grieving family faces. "What is the value of my loved one's life?" is one of the most heartbreaking questions we hear as wrongful death lawyers.
Although there is no precise way to quantify non-economic losses like these, Florida law recognizes them as damages.Loss of Relationships
The worth of non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, is quantified by their actual value. Wrongful death can rob you of the opportunity to enjoy the companionship of your loved one. Spouses who file a wrongful death claim in Florida can seek compensation for the agony of losing their emotional and intimate relationship with their partner.
Surviving children may claim damages because they lost out on their parent's love, support, and education. Damages for emotional distress endured by a deceased person's spouse or children are calculated based on the context of the relationship.Pain and Suffering
Compensation for emotional distress might include the pain and suffering of surviving family members. Severe fatal injuries are often painful to endure and treat.
Suppose a cancer patient was not diagnosed in time for appropriate treatment. They may suffer during their final days before finally succumbing to the disease. The estate of a deceased person might seek financial compensation for the worth of pain and suffering sustained by the deceased as a result of the negligence of another party.Who Can Recover Damages in Florida Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death lawsuits are usually filed on behalf of a deceased person's estate. A personal representative, often the executor of the will, claims on behalf of beneficiaries. In a successful claim, the estate collects the damages or settlement and divides assets amongst beneficiaries.
Potential beneficiaries include:
- Biological and adopted children
- Adopted and biological siblings
Florida wrongful death laws have various restrictions on the potential beneficiaries that can recover some types of damages. Those who fronted the money for things like medical care or a loved one's funeral would typically be reimbursed in full, plus interest.
Most people who could be beneficiaries are eligible to receive money for their emotional distress.Examples of Cases that Cause Wrongful Death in Florida
Below are the common types of cases that may cause wrongful death actions:Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car crashes that end in fatalities often warrant a wrongful death suit if the at-fault motorist was negligent. These include motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving, drunk driving, and over-speeding.Product Liability
You may file a claim against the producer or seller of a product, drug, or food that ultimately resulted in the death of a loved one. However, the death must be a direct result of following the labeled usage instructions or the directions provided by the manufacturer.
If a loved one suffered fatal injuries because the instructions on the packaging weren't clear enough, you might also have grounds for a claim.Premise Liability
According to Florida laws, it is the responsibility of property owners to eliminate any potential causes of injuries on their premises. Individual homeowners, commercial property owners, and government agencies may all be held responsible for injuries sustained on their properties.Medical Malpractice
In case of medical wrongful death, you can file a lawsuit against the healthcare professional who made the error that ultimately led to the patient's death.
Misdiagnosis, surgical errors, birth injuries, poor follow-up care, and drug errors are typical examples of situations in which medical practitioners can cause wrongful death.Intentional Acts
Wrongful death suits can be based on intentional acts like assault or murder. Other than criminal charges, responsible parties can be held accountable for damages incurred through wrongful death.
If you lost a loved one because of the negligence of another party, contact a Miramar wrongful death lawyer for legal counsel.
Lack of insurance funds may prevent eligible individuals from obtaining compensation. A wrongful death claim is usually made against the defendant's insurance coverage. However, uninsured defendants are still subject to wrongful death lawsuits. If the defendant is financially unable to pay, it will be more challenging to collect on any settlement or award.What Is the Statute of Limitations for Florida Wrongful Death Cases?
The statute of limitations for filing most wrongful death cases is two years from the date of death. However, there are various exceptions to the law that may extend this limit. So, consult your Miramar wrongful death lawyer for clarification.
Except for some specific cases, you will lose your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit once the statute of limitations expires. This makes it essential to file a wrongful death claim as soon as possible after the death of a loved one.
The two-year time limit may be extended if the death was caused by medical malpractice, homicide, murder, or a government body.Do Wrongful Death Lawsuits Take Time in Florida?
Due to its complexity, it can take years to resolve a wrongful death claim. Various time-consuming processes must be carried out, including:
- Appointing a personal representative.
- Collecting data on the cause of the death and beneficiaries
- Initiating the process of filing a claim for damages and seeking monetary compensation.
- Filing a formal legal claim.
- Gathering evidence.
- Witness interviews.
- Holding mediation meetings.
- Going to trial if that becomes necessary.
- Appealing court decisions in case of unfavorable outcomes.
Your attorney for wrongful death will take care of all of these procedures as fast as possible.Why You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney on Your Side
If you lost a loved one because of someone else's negligence, you should contact a wrongful death attorney near you immediately. Your lawyer will offer advice and answer all your questions before you pursue legal action.
By retaining the services of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our team will help you by:
- Offering legal advice, guidance, and support
- Handling correspondence with insurance companies
- Investigating the accident
- Gathering evidence
- Identifying liable parties
- Assessing damages suffered because of the death
- Representing your best interests in a court of law
The emotional pain of losing a loved one is already great enough without adding the stress of trying to make ends meet on your own. We understand that money isn't the primary concern, but knowing that you can provide for your loved ones is.Seek Legal Representation
Credibility and quality are more significant than the amount of evidence in a wrongful death lawsuit. Therefore, you need legal representation to build a solid case and increase the chance of success.
A Miramar wrongful death lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence to meet the burden of proof. Since you'll be unable to recover compensation without meeting the burden of proof, it is crucial to have enough evidence to prove the defendant's careless action caused the death.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be challenging to navigate, making it essential to work with an advocate who is familiar with the ins and outs of such claims. Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers has a team of professionals who are familiar with the intricacies of wrongful death cases and will help you gather the evidence you need to prove your claim.
Call us at (561) 800-8000 or send us a message on our website to schedule a free consultation and evaluate your case.