Wrongful Death Lawyers Serving Miami Lakes
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for the economic and non-economic losses of the deceased through a wrongful death claim.
Such a claim can help you recover money to cover costly expenses such as funeral and burial expenses, medical bills incurred before death, loss of financial support or inheritance, loss of companionship, guidance, or care, pain and suffering before death, and loss of consortium/services by the deceased person
Understandably, money cannot replace your beloved family member or friend. But it can provide you with much-needed financial assistance during this difficult time and serve as a symbol of justice.
In addition, if the negligent party is found at fault in the case, they may be subject to criminal penalties or civil action that could prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.How Does a Wrongful Death Claim Work?
When someone has died due to another person's negligence, the family may be able to file a wrongful death claim. This legal action brings a lawsuit against the negligent party and seeks to recover monetary damages for medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of companionship, and more.
It's important to note that wrongful death claims in Florida must be brought by an individual appointed within two years of the decedent's death. The appointed individual is often the deceased's spouse or close family member.
They may seek compensation for any damages incurred due to their loved one's death and must be able to prove that the negligent party caused their loved one's death by acting recklessly or negligently. To win a wrongful death claim, you'll need to prove four elements:
- Negligence of the defendant
- Damages as a result of death
- A surviving family member with standing to sue.
Understanding these facts before filing a wrongful death claim is important to ensure your case is properly handled and all requirements are met to receive compensation.How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?
If you're looking to file a wrongful death claim in Florida, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to prove that:
- The decedent's death was caused by negligence, improper action, or omission by the defendant.
- The surviving family members experienced monetary damages as a result of their loved one's death.
The court will consider all relevant evidence to determine whether or not the defendant is liable. This includes medical records, eye-witness accounts, police documents and reports, toxicology reports, and more. Witnesses can use any evidence that proves negligence or recklessness on behalf of the defendant.
In addition, if your loved one had an existing medical condition that contributed to their death, it may affect your wrongful death claim – but only if the defendant's actions worsened the condition significantly enough to cause death.Can I Recover Punitive Damages Against a Driver Who Causes Death?
It's understandable for you to want to get the person responsible for your loved one's death to get their due, which is why you might be wondering whether it's possible to recover punitive damages against a driver who causes death in Florida.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and make an example of that person—to hold them accountable for their actions. And while you can't pursue them in every wrongful death case, there are some circumstances where it may be possible in Florida.
When determining whether punitive damages can be awarded in your situation, these three things must be evaluated:
- Did the responsible party act with intent or gross negligence?
- Was there a reckless disregard for human life?
- Did the responsible party know that their behavior would put other people at risk?
If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, you may be able to pursue punitive damages against a driver who caused death in Florida. However, they're rarely awarded and are only provided when all other reasonable options have been exhausted.Is a College Liable if a Student Is Murdered?
Before filing a wrongful death claim in Florida, you also need to consider liability. In some cases, college campuses and universities may be liable if a student is murdered due to negligence or lack of security on the premises. Knowing your rights is important if you are considering filing a wrongful death claim in Florida.
The truth is that the burden of proof rests with you, and it can be difficult to prove that the college or university was negligent or responsible for the student's death.
You may also want to look into any prior incidents or complaints at the college concerning safety and security measures which can provide context when assessing potential liability. Determining whether a college or university could be liable depends on many factors, so it's important to consult an experienced attorney who can help guide you through this process.Can Friends Sue for Wrongful Death in Florida?
The simple answer is yes, but it depends on the relationship between the deceased and the claimant. In short, those who can file a claim for wrongful death in Florida are immediate family members like the deceased's spouse, parent, or child. In rare cases, a blood relative like a brother or sister may also be able to make a claim.
In addition to blood relatives and spouses, people who are financially dependent on the deceased may also be able to file claims in certain circumstances. This includes roommates and other members of their household who must demonstrate financial dependence on the deceased.
Remember that this is limited exclusively to "next-of-kin" relationships and is not an option for friends of the deceased who are not related by blood or law.Can Co-Workers Sue for Wrongful Death Cases in Florida?
You might wonder, 'can co-workers sue for wrongful death cases in Florida?' Generally, a worker's spouse, children, or parents may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. As the surviving family members of the wrongfully deceased person, they are allowed to seek monetary compensation for expenses such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages due to the deceased person's inability to work.
If you're dealing with the death of a co-worker, there are some other things you should consider:Statute Of Limitations
In Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years from the date of death. If you don't file within that time limit, your case isn't likely to move forward.Employer Immunity
If your co-worker was killed while on duty and their employer is immune or partially immune under Florida law—for instance, a government employee—you may be unable to file suit against them.Type of Death
The type of death also matters: if they died due to workplace negligence, it will usually be considered wrongful; however, other circumstances can complicate or prevent your claim, so it's important to get advice from an experienced lawyer before filing.Who Pays in a Wrongful Death Suit?
You're probably wondering who pays in a wrongful death claim in Florida. The person or entity responsible for the death—generally a person, business, or government agency—is typically liable for damages in a wrongful death claim.
The people eligible for the claim's payment depend on whether the victim had an estate. Some of the people who might be eligible to receive funds from a wrongful death claim include:
Any other person related to the intestate (a person without an estate) by blood or marriage
The court will consider who is most reliant on the victim and decide based on that information. Generally, the court wants to ensure that any damages will go to those who depended most heavily on the victim's financial support.How Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Different From a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
If you're considering filing a wrongful death claim in Florida, you may wonder how it differs from a personal injury lawsuit. Wrongful death claims differ from personal injury claims in a few key ways. Here is what you need to know:
A personal injury claim is brought forward when an individual suffers an injury, is seeking compensation and damages due to that injury, and is still alive. On the other hand, wrongful death claims are brought forward by the survivors of a loved one who was killed due to someone else's negligence or misconduct.
Wrongful death lawsuits are typically filed by a surviving family member and/or loved one of the deceased on behalf of their estate and family members left behind. This type of lawsuit seeks not only to compensate for damages suffered by the deceased's estate but also for intangible losses such as loss of companionship and emotional trauma suffered by the family.What Is the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Case in Terms of Wrongful Death?
You might wonder about the difference between a civil and criminal case regarding wrongful death claims.
In criminal cases, the accused is charged with a crime and must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to be convicted. This means the court is accountable for taking appropriate action against the accused, typically jail time.
Conversely, in civil cases, the plaintiff files a wrongful death lawsuit against the accused and must prove their negligence. Once negligence is established, the court will provide monetary compensation to the plaintiff depending on the severity of their loss.
Criminal cases are brought forth by district attorneys who are responsible for prosecuting individuals on behalf of society. On the other hand, civil cases are brought forth by private parties and do not need to meet the same burden of proof as criminal cases.
Due to these differences, it's important to understand which type of case suits your situation better before filing your wrongful death claim in Florida.What Should I Look for In Choosing a Wrongful Death Attorney to Represent Me?
If you're considering filing a wrongful death claim, you should consider hiring a Florida lawyer with experience in these types of cases. Finding someone who understands the process's complexities and will strive for the best outcome for you and your family is important.
When choosing an attorney to represent you, here are the things you should look for:Experience
Look at how much experience they have in wrongful death cases and other personal injury claims. The more familiar they are with the necessary paperwork, laws, and court processes associated with wrongful death cases in Florida, the better your chances of success.Credentials
Ensure that the attorney is properly licensed and insured so that their insurance can cover it if something goes wrong during your case. Ask for referrals from others who have previously used their services and any ratings or reviews online. The more feedback available, the easier it will be to understand what kind of attorney they are.How Much Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth?
You might wonder how much a lawsuit is worth regarding wrongful death cases in Florida. Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all answer here, as every case is different and will have to be evaluated based on the situation's specifics.
That being said, some factors can affect the final value of a wrongful death claim:Economic Damages
This includes medical expenses resulting from the injury or illness leading up to the death, lost wages and benefits due to the deceased's passing, funeral expenses, and any economic losses suffered by dependents like loss of support or companionship.Non-economic Damages
These damages don't directly involve money but are still compensable and include things such as pain and suffering before death, emotional distress, or mental anguish suffered by family members as a result of the person's passing.Punitive Damages
In rare cases when a party acted so recklessly or egregiously that it merits punishment in addition to compensation for damages incurred, they may be liable for punitive damages intended to punish them and deter future similar behavior. These types of damages are only awarded in certain situations if there is clear evidence that they're warranted.Does Insurance Cover Wrongful Death?
You may be wondering if insurance covers a wrongful death claim in Florida. In short, it depends. Under Florida law, liability insurance usually covers wrongful death claims, though some exceptions exist. The best thing to do is speak with an experienced attorney who can advise you.
It's important to note that all liability insurance policies have limits—meaning insurers won't pay any more than the policy limits for a wrongful death claim (or any other type of claim). Your lawyer can review the policy and advise you on the maximum recovery amount you may be entitled to receive.
In addition, some types of insurance might not cover wrongful death claims—certain homeowners' and auto insurance policies are examples of this. Depending on where the wrongful death occurred and what caused it, other forms of compensation might be available, such as:
- Workers' compensation benefits.
- Death benefits from Medicare or Medicaid.
- Social Security survivor benefits.
- Benefits through an employer-provided life insurance policy.
Understanding all your legal options is critical if you're considering filing a wrongful death claim in Florida. Speak with a lawyer about your case for more information about how these guidelines might apply.What Takes Time in Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
If you're thinking about wrongful death lawsuits in Florida, a few things might take some time. It's important to be aware of these things so you can plan accordingly.Crafting the Complaint
The process starts with filing a civil complaint, and getting the wording right on this document is important. This document must include specific details and facts surrounding the death claims that can be proven in court and information on how much money is being sought in damages.Collecting Evidence
Gathering evidence can be lengthy, requiring reviewing records and collecting other information to prove your case. It's important to collect documents from all relevant sources, such as hospitals, employers, police reports, etc. In addition to finding evidence to support your case, lawyers may also need medical or financial records for calculations related to any potential settlements.Meeting Filing Deadlines
Finally, plaintiffs need to meet filing deadlines for wrongful death claims in Florida, or their claims will not be valid. Depending on the facts of the case and other factors involved in each situation, there may be different statutes of limitation applicable; this means it's important to consult with an attorney knowledgeable about the Florida wrongful death law.Contact a Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers Serving Miami Lakes
If you or a loved one have experienced the loss of a family member due to negligence in Miami Lakes, contact a Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers attorney serving Miami Lakes at (561) 800-8000. Our team can provide legal counsel and representation as you seek justice and closure after an unexpected tragedy.
Our firm has many years of experience in civil litigation and wrongful death cases across Florida. We understand how difficult it is to cope with such profound loss and are equipped to handle your case with sensitivity and compassion.
Our knowledgeable attorneys have an impressive track record of successful verdicts and settlements, utilizing their combined resources to build powerful cases that get real results for our clients.
We also provide complimentary case evaluations, so our team can review your circumstance in detail before recommending further action. To schedule yours, call us at (561) 800-8000 anytime, 24/7. Our lawyers are here for you throughout this process every step of the way.