Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Wellington
While we all have to face death, in one form or another, there are many situations in which the loss of life could be completely avoidable. When the tragic loss of life has been the result of negligence on the part of a trusted source, then a wrongful death claim may become the most understandable response. However, there are a number of things that need to be understood, when it comes to seeking the services of a Wrongful Death Lawyer in response to a Wellington fatality. In the case of a wrongful death claim, there should be an established estate for the decedent (fatality victim), with a personal representative for that estate. If a representative hasn’t been named (in the decedent’s will) then the court has the right to appoint an individual as the representative. In these cases, it is common for the court to appoint a spouse, parent or a decedent’s child.
This is done once the court has received a list of every survivor who has an interest in the case. In addition to the decedent’s spouse, children and parents, other eligible individuals include; any blood relative (or adoptive sibling) who is either partially or wholly dependent on the deceased individual for services and/or support. In addition, if there is a child who is born to unmarried parents, the child may be eligible to recover damages, if the mother has died. But if the child’s father dies, the child is usually only allowed to recover damages in a situation in which the father had formally recognized the child as his own and was therefore obligated to contribute to the child’s support. (See Video)Florida Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims
When filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Wellington (and the rest of the state), the statute of limitations stipulates that it must be done within 2 years from the date of the accident (in most cases). Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(d). There are a few specific situations in which this time-frame might be extended, so it can be advantageous in contacting a Wrongful Death attorney about this.
But, in any case, it is a critical matter to adhere to the statutes regarding lawsuit claim timeframe limitations.Wrongful Death statutes in Wellington
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.Recovering damages in a Wellington wrongful death case
A wrongful death case is a civil claim. This means that it is brought to court by the deceased person's estate, not by the government. Liability in a wrongful death claim is expressed solely in terms of money damages. Although a criminal case related to the death might also be filed in court, it addresses different concerns, and it typically does not result in damages being paid to the estate or the surviving family members.
Florida Statutes section 768.21 sets out the state's rules for awarding damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages that surviving family members may receive in these kinds of cases 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:
- 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 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).
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 lawsuit. There are certain complex legalities that make up a lawsuit; especially should the case involve a hospital, trucking company or other commercial entity. Remember, they too will have their own representation whose job is to dispute the claim or to pay as little compensation as possible. When you consider the fact that the initial consultation is free, then there is nothing to lose when it comes to getting an opinion as to what your options are.
However, prior to speaking with a wrongful death attorney, serving Wellington, it’s important to consider a few helpful pieces of advice. For example:
- Never accept any money or cash a check that is offered by the other party’s lawyer or insurance company.
- Never discuss the case with any party other than your own attorney
- In addition, our wrongful death lawyers can handle any legal paperwork that might be required when it comes to filing a lawsuit. They will stay in close contact with you in order to offer you the personalized care that is needed in this time of loss.
When you are in the process of taking care or reorganizing your life and managing things such as; funeral arrangements, etc., you don’t want to legalities to get in the way of your necessary activities and chores. Having the assistance of a wrongful death lawyer can free you up to handle other family concerns during this time.Enlist 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. If your loved one has encountered a fatal accident that has resulted from negligence, it is advised that you seek the advice of a wrongful death attorney.
Seek 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 today!
Turn to Frankl & Kominsky for comprehensive legal guidance. Call 561-800-8000 or use our Contact Form to set up a free consultation.