Wrongful Death Lawyers Serving Weston
When someone dies due to another person's negligent or intentional act, the victim's family may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that seeks financial compensation for the damages suffered by the surviving family members due to their loved one's death.
A wrongful death claim can help alleviate the emotional, physical and financial hardships that often accompany the loss of a loved one. Families need to understand their rights and options when filing a wrongful death claim in Florida. By taking the time to understand their rights and options, families can ensure that they have the best chance of obtaining fair compensation for the losses associated with the wrongful death of their loved ones.How Is Wrongful Death Defined in Florida?
In Florida, wrongful death is defined as the death of a person caused by the negligent or intentional act of another person or entity. To pursue a wrongful death claim in Florida, the surviving family must prove that the deceased person's death resulted from another's careless or reckless behavior. This includes acts of negligence, intentional misconduct, and any other breach of duty.
In addition to proving negligence or wrongdoing, the plaintiff must also demonstrate that the deceased would have been entitled to compensation for the harm inflicted upon them had they lived. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses. The family must also provide evidence showing their financial losses due to their loved one's death.
When filing a wrongful death claim in Florida, it is important to understand the legal requirements and deadlines to ensure that your case is properly handled. A knowledgeable attorney can provide invaluable assistance in understanding the laws and processes associated with filing a wrongful death claim.Who Can File a Claim?
In Florida, wrongful death claims are brought by a personal representative of the deceased's estate. This individual is appointed by the court and is typically the surviving spouse, adult child, or parent of the deceased. If none of these individuals are available, any other blood relative or adoptive sibling may file a claim.
If the deceased had any children, they may also be able to seek compensation for their loss. This can include lost wages, medical expenses, burial costs, and emotional pain and suffering. Additionally, if the deceased's surviving spouse was financially dependent on them, they may be able to file a claim for loss of consortium.
It's important to note that only one wrongful death lawsuit can be filed for a given person's death. Therefore, it's important to determine who will file the claim early in the process and ensure everyone is on board with the decision. If multiple family members choose to pursue legal action, they will need to work together and combine their claims into a single lawsuit.How Much Time Do I Have to File?
In Florida, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of death. This is known as the statute of limitations, and it is important to remember that filing a claim after this deadline will generally result in it being dismissed by the court. If the cause of death was due to medical malpractice, then you may only have up to two years from the date of the negligent act or omission to file your claim.
It is important to note that there are certain exceptions to this rule. In certain cases, such as when the deceased was a minor or had an incapacitating injury before their death, the statute of limitations may be extended.
Additionally, if the deceased person's estate files a wrongful death claim, then the two-year window may be extended as well. If you are unsure whether or not you are within the statute of limitations, it is always best to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.What Types of Damages Are Available to Me?
When filing a wrongful death claim in Florida, it is important to understand the types of damages that may be available to you. Generally, there are five common types of damages awarded in these cases:
- Compensatory Damages: These damages are meant to compensate for the economic losses incurred by the victim's family due to the wrongful death. This includes things like medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and loss of companionship.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are typically awarded in cases where the negligent party's actions were particularly egregious or reckless. These damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
- Pain and Suffering Damages: In some cases, victims' families may also be awarded compensation for their pain and suffering. This is especially true in cases involving elderly victims, who may have endured significant physical and emotional pain before their death.
- Loss of Consortium: When a loved one dies, families suffer an immense loss of companionship and care. Loss of consortium damages can help cover expenses related to the deceased's care and the void left in the family.
- Mental Anguish: Lastly, mental anguish damages are sometimes awarded to victims' families for the emotional trauma associated with losing a loved one. This can include things like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Proving a wrongful death claim in Florida can be a complex process. To succeed, you must demonstrate that the death of your loved one was due to the negligence or reckless behavior of another person or entity. You must provide evidence of several elements to prove a wrongful death claim:
- Negligence: To prove negligence, you must show that the other party had a legal duty of care toward the deceased but breached that duty and caused the death of your loved one. This could be due to an intentional act or simply a careless mistake.
- Causation: In addition to proving that the other party was negligent, you must also demonstrate that the negligent act or omission caused the death of your loved one.
- Damages: You must also provide evidence that the wrongful death resulted in damages for your family. Examples of damages may include funeral expenses, medical bills related to the injury or illness, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship or consortium.
Once you have evidence to support your wrongful death claim, you will need to present it in court to get compensation for your losses. It is important to remember that wrongful death cases are very time-sensitive, so it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected.How Much Will It Cost Me to Hire an Attorney?
When you are considering filing a wrongful death claim in Florida, you may be wondering how much it will cost to hire an attorney. The answer depends on several factors, including the case's complexity, the attorney's expertise, and the amount of time needed to prepare the case. Most wrongful death lawyers charge an hourly or contingency fee, depending on the situation.
An hourly fee means that you will pay for each hour your attorney works on your case, plus any costs associated with the case. An experienced wrongful death lawyer may charge anywhere from $150-$500 an hour, depending on their experience level and the case details.
A contingency fee is typically paid after a successful settlement or verdict. This fee is usually calculated as a percentage of the total amount recovered from the defendant. In some cases, the attorney may also be entitled to reimbursement for court costs and other expenses associated with the case. The typical contingency fee for wrongful death claims is between 33-40%.
No matter which option you choose, make sure to ask your lawyer upfront about their fees and any potential additional expenses. That way, you can make an informed decision before committing to anything.What if The Person Who Died Was Partially At Fault?
When filing a wrongful death claim in Florida, it is important to know whether or not the deceased was partially at fault for their death. If they were, their family's award may be reduced.
Under Florida's comparative negligence law, if the deceased was found to be more than 50 percent at fault for their death, then their surviving family members may be barred from receiving any compensation from a wrongful death claim. If the deceased was found to be less than 50 percent at fault for their death, their surviving family members can still receive compensation for the remaining percentage of fault.
For example, if the deceased was found to be 20 percent at fault for their death, then the compensation their surviving family members would receive would be reduced by 20 percent. This means that they would only receive 80 percent of the amount of damages they would have received if the deceased was found to be 0 percent at fault.
It is important to note that wrongful death claims are complicated and must be handled with care and diligence. Consulting with an experienced wrongful death attorney is always recommended to ensure that your claim is handled correctly and your rights are fully protected.Can I File a Claim If the Person Who Died Was Not A U.S. Citizen?
Yes, you can file a wrongful death claim in Florida even if the person who died was not a U.S. citizen. The laws governing wrongful death claims are the same regardless of citizenship status. That means that, regardless of the deceased's citizenship, you may be able to recover financial damages in a wrongful death case.
It is important to note, however, that certain types of damages may not be available depending on the deceased's citizenship status. For example, in some cases, punitive damages may not be available if the deceased was not a U.S. citizen.
If you believe that you have a wrongful death claim and the deceased was not a U.S. citizen, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and learn more about which types of damages you may be eligible to pursue. Your attorney can help you navigate the legal process and ensure your rights and interests are protected.How Long Will It Take for My Claim to Be Settled?
The time it takes to settle a wrongful death claim in Florida will depend on various factors, including the case's complexity, the availability of evidence and witnesses, and the willingness of the parties to negotiate. Generally speaking, the process can take several months to more than a year to resolve. In some cases, claims are settled out of court, while others proceed to trial.
If your case is going to trial, the time it takes to resolve your claim will depend on how quickly the court can hear your case and decide. Trials often require testimony from experts, witnesses, and other individuals. The process can be lengthy depending on how many witnesses need to be heard and the availability of certain witnesses and other evidence.
Ultimately, the amount of time it takes to settle a wrongful death claim in Florida varies depending on the facts of the case and the parties involved. It's important to work with an experienced wrongful death lawyer who can provide accurate timelines for your particular situation. With the right guidance and advocacy, you can resolve your claim as quickly and efficiently as possible.Can My Lawyer Drop My Claim?
If you have hired a lawyer to handle your wrongful death claim, it is important to understand that they are your legal representative and can decide whether or not to drop your claim.
Your lawyer will discuss the merits of your case with you and determine if it has a strong enough basis to continue pursuing. If the lawyer believes your case has a low chance of success, they may advise you to drop the claim.
In some cases, your lawyer may even choose to drop the claim without consulting you, such as if they believe that the cost of pursuing the case outweighs the potential reward. This could be due to various factors, such as the complexity of the case or a lack of evidence.
If your lawyer does decide to drop your claim, you will be free to seek legal counsel from another attorney or pursue the matter yourself. Be sure to review all documents carefully, including any letters from your lawyer, to understand why the decision was made and how it affects your options moving forward.Can My Lawyer Have a Conflict of Interest in My Case?
When filing a wrongful death claim in Florida, it is important to be aware of any potential conflicts of interest that your lawyer might have. Conflicts of interest can arise when the lawyer or their firm represents the interests of two or more clients whose interests are opposed. For example, if your lawyer previously represented the party you are suing in a different case, they may not be able to represent your interests in this case properly. Additionally, if your lawyer has financial relationships with any of the parties involved in your case, it could lead to a conflict of interest.
The best way to avoid potential conflicts of interest is to ensure that your lawyer is independent and free from any potential influence by any of the parties involved in your case. You should also thoroughly research the law firm you choose to ensure that they do not have any existing relationships or ties to any of the parties involved in your case. Ultimately, it is important to be aware of any potential conflicts of interest before hiring a lawyer to represent you in a wrongful death claim in Florida.Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers Weston Wrongful Death Lawyers Are Here for You
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we understand that a wrongful death can be a devastating experience for families and loved ones. When a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another, our Florida wrongful death lawyers can help you obtain the justice you deserve.
Our attorneys will work with you to understand the specifics of your case and evaluate all legal options available to you. We are dedicated to providing compassionate and personalized representation while seeking maximum compensation for your losses.
Our wrongful death lawyers have decades of experience helping families in Florida seek justice for wrongful death claims. We understand that every wrongful death claim is unique, so we take the time to get to know each of our clients and their needs. We will provide you with professional legal advice, advocate for your best interests, and ensure your case is handled properly.
We have extensive knowledge of Florida's wrongful death laws and will work hard to help you obtain the justice you deserve. We understand that this can be an emotionally charged process, which is why we strive to make it as stress-free as possible. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence or misconduct, contact us at (561) 800-8000 and let us help you through this difficult time.