Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Palm Beach Gardens
The city of Palm Beach Gardens is located southwest of Jupiter, northwest of West Palm Beach, and is home to more than 56,000 residents. The lush city is known for its 12 golf courses, luxurious gated communities, and being a host to some of the nation’s largest Golf Tournaments such as the Honda Classic and PGA National Golf Tour. In offering a variety of local attractions, shopping centers, and events, the risk of being injured or suffering from an accidental death increases.As the population grows, many local hospitals have reported an increase in fatalities as a result of auto-related accidents including t-bone accidents, motorcycle accidents, and accidents involving pedestrians.
One of the most common reasons for an accidental death claim is when a family member loses a loved one, a spouse, a child, or a parent in a car accident. This can occur when a drunk or distracted driver collides with another’s vehicle causing serious injuries or sudden death.Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Common instances of wrongful death typically occur in:
- 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
When filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, a statute of limitations will apply. In nearly all cases, (except for a few very rare exceptions) that limitation is two (2) years from the time of death. Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(d) Failing to file a claim within Florida’s wrongful death statute of limitations may prohibit the deceased’s family from ever recovering compensation for their loved one’s death. If you have any questions contact an experienced wrongful death attorney for legal guidance. But, no matter what, if you wish to file a claim or lawsuit following an accidental death, you should do so as soon as possible.
Ask Our Florida Injury Lawyers: What is the statute of limitations regarding filing a wrongful death claim?Personal Injury Claim vs Wrongful Death Claims
There is a big difference between filing a wrongful death lawsuit and filing a personal injury claim. Even if a death has occurred, a personal injury claim is appropriate in a situation in which death would have been the “normal” outcome for that particular situation.
A driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol collides with a vehicle containing a family of four at 100 miles per hour. The family sustains serious injuries that require immediate medical transport, treatment and extended care to recover from their injuries. The accident victims have a right to bring a claim against the at-fault driver.
The personal injury claim will cover medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.
Should the victims of the crash die as a result of their injuries, the surviving family members have a right to bring a wrongful death claim against the person responsible.Palm Beach County: Wrongful Death Claims
Another instance of a wrongful death claim is when a pedestrian is struck and killed by a negligent driver who fails to obey traffic signals.
To understand how a wrongful death lawsuit is filed, you must first know that there needs to be a personal representative. In many cases, the person who is to represent the deceased has already been named in the deceased’s will. If this is not the case, then the court will appoint a personal representative. This person is usually the deceased’s spouse, child or parent. The lawsuit is generally filed on behalf of the person’s surviving family members and the estate.
But before that decision can be made, the court will need to have a complete list of all those who would have an interest in the wrongful death lawsuit. Besides those people already mentioned, this list may also include the deceased’s biological and adoptive siblings, perhaps children who were born to unmarried parents and other blood relatives. When considering unmarried parents, a child would be eligible for an award from a lawsuit if the child’s mother is one who has died. If the deceased is the child’s father, then there must have been a formal declaration of his parentage to the child and therefore, he would have been obligated to provide support for that child.
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.
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.
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:Survivorship
- 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.
- 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.
- Minor children of the decedent, and all the 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.
- 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.
- Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death may be recovered by a survivor who has paid them
- 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 decedent, excluding amounts recoverable under subsection (5).
- Evidence of remarriage of the decedent’s spouse is admissible.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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
In addition, should you choose to move forward with a wrongful death claim, there are a couple of very helpful suggestions that are extremely important for you to consider.
- Speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney before accepting any cash or checks that are offered by the other party’s lawyer or their insurance company.
- Never discuss your case with anyone else except your own attorney – and do not post anything about your claim on social media!
There are many factors used to calculate the value of a Wrongful Death Claim. 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, 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 determining 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.
It’s also important to note that the medical or funeral expenses attributed to the injury or death may also be recovered.Hire an Accidental Death Attorney Serving Palm Beach Gardens
An intense emotional response is all too common when it comes to the death of a loved one, whether it’s your response or the response of another family member. At this time, the family structure has suddenly changed and now you are expected to deal with the legal process and paperwork of a wrongful death lawsuit.
By hiring a Palm Beach County Injury Lawyer with experience handling wrongful death claims, they can strive to build a strong case by investigating the initial accident or injury, the background of the at-fault party, negotiating medical bills, and more. Since your initial consultation is absolutely free, there is no reason to hesitate speaking with one of our lawyers. Our attorneys will work closely with you and support your efforts during this time of loss.Speak to an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer to 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 Palm Beach Gardens at any given moment in time. If a loved one’s death has occurred as a result of a negligent action, then contact a wrongful death attorney, serving Palm Beach Gardens, today!Start Your Free Consultation Today
At Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we offer surviving family members diligent legal representation. Our attorneys have assisted more than 7,000 individuals and obtained more than $75 million in combined verdicts and settlements. Call 561-800-8000 to start your consultation today.