Wrongful Death Lawyers Serving Pembroke Pines
Losing a loved one in Pembroke Pines, Florida, can devastate their survivors. It is even more difficult to accept when their death is a result of the negligent actions of another. In the days following the loss, it may be challenging to know what the best course of action is to take. Pembroke Pines wrongful death lawyers can help families seek justice for the death of their loved ones and help you hold the responsible parties accountable.
There is no way to compensate for a person’s loss of life. However, for many, filing a compensation claim is the only way to recover damages for losses associated with the death. The compensation may cover funeral and burial expenses, pre-death medical bills, lost companionship, etc. With this, survivors of the deceased can secure a financial future.
Wrongful death suits can be complicated. Handling all the complex legal matters arising from the claim can be difficult as one grieves. It’s well-advised to have a lawyer handle survivors’ cases with attention, commitment, and respect. Our legal experts at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers are prepared to handle your wrongful death claims (by appointment only).Understanding Wrongful Death Law in Pembroke Pines, Florida
Wrongful death occurs when a person dies because of somebody else’s negligence, wrongful act, breach of contract, or warranty. Unfortunately, it can result from a car accident, defective product, truck accident, dog bite, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, etc. In addition, individuals, companies, or government agencies can be held legally responsible for acting negligently or intentionally.
Florida law holds that individuals who wrongfully cause the death of another can be held responsible for their actions. The deceased person’s estate can also file a claim to potentially recover monetary damages from the death. While no amount of money can bring your loved one back, it may ease some of the pressure and financial burdens.
Many survivors are often confused about their legal options. With our help, distressed family members can pursue a personal injury claim through the at-fault’s party insurance company or file a civil lawsuit.
Note that not everyone's loved one’s death warrants a wrongful death lawsuit. However, when the death would not have occurred without the negligent actions of another, a wrongful death claim may be the best course of action. We advise you to speak with us if you are unsure if you have a wrongful death claim.What Is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and a Criminal Homicide Case?
A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit. In this type of suit, a person files an action for the victim’s death. As with other types of personal injury claims, the defendant's liability is expressed solely in terms of financial compensation. In a successful claim, the defendant will be ordered to pay the deceased person’s survivors.
On the other hand, in criminal homicide cases, a conviction can result in jail or prison time, probation, fines paid to the state, and other strict penalties. Also, criminal prosecution does not award damages to any surviving family members following the deceased’s death.Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims
Many accidents can lead to wrongful death in Pembroke Pines, from motor vehicle collisions on interstate roads to birth injuries. Our firm handles different types of wrongful death claims arising from:
- Hit and run accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Bicycle or motorcycle accidents
- Workplace hazards
- Dog bites
- Pedestrian accidents
- Elder abuse claims
- Slip and falls
- Birth injuries in newborn
- Injuries caused by defective products or medical devices
- Nursing home abuse and negligence, etc.
Florida has complicated laws regarding who can recover damages through a wrongful death claim. Some specific people are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim in Pembroke Pines, FL. Depending on the specific circumstances of someone’s case, there may be different survivors or no survivors at all. We advise consulting with an attorney to know who qualifies as a survivor in your case.
Wrongful death claims are filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. This individual is the executor or estate administrator of the decedent’s estate. They recover benefits for the decedent’s survivors and estate.
Usually, the deceased person’s will or testament designates a personal representative. If the deceased does not designate one, the court will appoint one. In filing the personal injury claim, the personal representative should identify the family members or people with interest in the claim.
Those who may be eligible to seek compensation from the money recovered by the personal representative are:
- The surviving spouse of the decedent
- The surviving children or grandchildren (including adopted children and grandchildren)
- The surviving parents filing a claim if the decedent was unmarried or had no children
- Financial dependents
- Distant family members such as grandparents or siblings to the deceased through the estate representative.
As noted, wrongful death can happen in many ways. However, the grounds for the claim remain simple: a person or entity was at fault or negligent in causing another’s death. The details of someone’s Pembroke Pines wrongful death claim will determine who is at fault and liable for damages. It may not be enough to file a claim against the at-fault party.
Wrongful death claims are civil cases. They occur separately from any criminal trial related to death. The party bringing a wrongful death claim is the plaintiff, while the party against whom the claim is brought is the defendant.
Once the suit is filed, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s death. Before damages can be awarded, the plaintiff must prove these essential elements:
- That the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care. For example, in the case of an auto collision, one must prove that the defendant had an obligation to obey traffic laws and drive carefully.
- That the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff.
- That the defendant’s particular action directly caused the wrongful death.
When these elements are established, the plaintiff can seek compensation for the costs associated with the death. However, proving the liability of the at-fault party can be complicated.
It’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced lawyer in Pembroke Pines to navigate the process. We will investigate the case and ensure it is resolved as efficiently as possible (by appointment only).How Long Do I Have to File a Pembroke Pines Wrongful Death Claim?
All civil actions to recover damages for wrongful death must be filed no later than two years from the date of the death. This deadline is called the Statute of Limitations. There are limited exceptions to this deadline where it can be tolled or postponed. Therefore, it is important to consult us to determine when the time will begin to run on your case.
Pembroke Pines wrongful death lawyers can help ensure all the legal paperwork is filed on time. Two years may seem like a long time, but it can go by quickly while adjusting to life without your loved one.
If the claim is not filed before the expiration of the deadline, personal representatives will almost certainly lose the right to file. The sooner you call an attorney, the faster they can begin investigations on your case.What Compensation Am I Entitled to in a Pembroke Pines Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The wrongful death of a loved one can be tragic and traumatic to surviving family members. However, the unique circumstances of someone’s claim will determine the amount of compensation they can potentially recover.
Generally, the value of your claim depends on the totality of damages suffered due to the negligent actions of the at-fault party. In granting compensation, the court will consider the survivor’s relationship with the deceased and their level of dependency on the person.
We cannot give an exact amount of the average value of a wrongful death claim. Each claim is unique, and so are the challenges faced by the survivors. In Pembroke Pines, the total compensation awarded is categorized into economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Recoverable economic and non-economic damages include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills for treatment given for injuries that led to the deceased’s death
- Lost wages and benefits based on the earnings of the deceased person
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death
- Loss of consortium to compensate for the emotional damages of the surviving family members
- Loss of decedent's care, companionship, advice, etc.
- Mental pain and suffering as a result of the death
- Loss of parental support, instruction, and guidance
- Lost accumulated estate value
- Other damages allowed by Florida law, etc.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for the behavior that led to the wrongful death. These damages are typically awarded in a driving under the influence (DUI) case or if the defendant acted maliciously.How Can a Pembroke Pines Wrongful Death Lawyer Help Me?
It is possible to represent yourself in a wrongful death claim. However, as previously mentioned, it can be emotionally difficult to navigate through complex legal matters while still mourning the death of a loved one. Family members deserve to be professionally represented to protect their rights. A Pembroke Pines wrongful death lawyer can help in the following ways:Investigate and Gather Evidence
We help family members gather and preserve evidence of the actions that led to the wrongful death. Retaining an attorney early on in the claims process is highly recommended regardless of the claim. This is why knowing your legal rights from the start is important.
The evidence your attorney can gather includes:
- The deceased’s medical records
- Photos or videos surveillance of the accident scene
- Official police report
- Expert witness testimony
- Testimony from eyewitnesses
- Employer wage statements, etc.
Our legal team helps survivors identify individuals, companies, or government agencies whose actions contributed to wrongful death. This could be a negligent driver, a vehicle manufacturer, a nursing home, etc.File the Wrongful Death Claim on Time
We will file your wrongful death claim within the deadline to protect your rights to seek compensation.Build a Strong Wrongful Death Case
We will meticulously document your loved one’s injury and all evidence related to the death. With the evidence gathered, we can build a solid wrongful death claim against the at-fault party/parties. In addition, we can bring in medical and other expert witnesses to strengthen your claim.Handle Negotiations With the At-Fault Party’s Insurance Company
Insurance companies can quickly deny responsibility, argue you don’t have a valid claim, or offer a low settlement. They can be extremely aggressive as they work to protect their profits. The last thing family members need is to be burdened with handling insensitive insurance adjusters.
We can help take the burden off of you and your family. We can handle all communications and negotiations with insurance to help you seek the fair compensation you deserve. In addition, we can negotiate with the opposing counsel to protect your interests.Calculate the Full Scope of Your Damages
Sadly, many survivors don’t know how much compensation they deserve for the death of their loved one. Establishing the amount a family deserves requires skill, expertise, and experience. We help survivors calculate their full scope of damages. We consider the economic and non-economic damages suffered and punitive damages, if necessary.Handle Court Litigation
Most wrongful death cases settle long before ever going to court. However, we are prepared to take your case to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.What to Look Out for in a Pembroke Pines Wrongful Death Lawyer
When you experience loss and mourning, working with an attorney should not be a source of additional stress. Rather, finding the right lawyer should give you peace of mind during this period in your life.
While there are many licensed attorneys to choose from, not everyone is the same. Here are some qualities to look for in a wrongful death lawyer.
- A compassionate lawyer who understands your grief is sensitive to your situation and can represent your best interests.
- Not all lawyers have experience or expertise in this area of law. Look for a lawyer that specializes in personal injury law.
- A lawyer with excellent communication skills. A good lawyer can break down all legal issues and communicate them clearly.
- A lawyer you can quickly and consistently approach throughout the process. In addition, they should be responsive to calls, texts, and emails.
- Hire a lawyer with integrity and character.
- A good wrongful death lawyer should have a proven track record of successful cases.
- Although most wrongful death cases are settled out of court, a plaintiff must be prepared for the possibility of going to trial. Therefore, find a lawyer with litigation experience.
Usually, a Pembroke Pines, Florida wrongful death attorney works on a contingency fee basis. This means that we charge a percentage (usually around 33%- 40% or more) of the total recovery of the case if you win.
However, we do not charge this fee unless you win your case. With this arrangement, you will typically not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for legal representation.
Several factors influence how a lawyer decides on their fee, this includes:
- The strength of the case
- The novelty or difficulty of the legal issue
- The amount of damages sought by the personal representative
- The experience and reputation of the attorney or the law firm
- The fee that is customarily charged in that area for similar services, etc.
To help avoid fee disputes, it is a good idea to negotiate and put the final fee agreement into writing. Regardless, talk to your attorney if any dispute arises. In addition, most law firms offer free initial consultations.Our Pembroke Pines Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Help Your Family Seek Justice and Compensation
No one deserves the untimely death of a loved one. However, your family deserves justice and compensation if you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death. We understand the difficulty of handling a claim alone while dealing with a tragic loss. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys are here to help.
If you believe you have a wrongful death claim, contact Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers. We have a proven track record of successfully helping family members seek compensation for their claims.
Contact our firm at (561) 800-8000 to speak with our Pembroke Pines wrongful death lawyers to schedule an appointment.