Wrongful Death Lawyers Serving Sebastian

The death of a loved one is a devastating experience. However, families are often left to cope with their loss alone. This challenging experience is often marked by emotional suffering from pain and sadness. It includes financial stress from medical bills, a loss of household income, and the loss of assistance and direction from the deceased.

While coping with the loss of a family member is difficult, learning that death might have been prevented if someone else hadn't acted negligently makes the loss much more devastating.

When a negligent person causes the death of a loved one, Florida law gives surviving family members the right to file a wrongful death case to recover damages for their loss. Although compensation cannot reverse the loss, it can help cover losses suffered due to a loved one's passing and possibly reduce any related financial stress.

A wrongful death case holds negligent people responsible for their actions, which may prevent similar events. If you have suffered a loss, speak with a Sebastian wrongful death attorney to learn whether you may be entitled to compensation.

Call Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers at (561) 800-8000 to evaluate your case.

How a Sebastian Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help

At Frankl Kominsky, we are devoted to helping you fight for fair compensation for your devastating loss. Our wrongful death attorneys serving Sebastian, Florida, will take the at-fault party to court to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Compensation awarded by Florida courts can help cover the following:

  • Loss of benefits
  • Loss of companionship
  • Direct expenses
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Punitive damages

When choosing a Sebastian wrongful death lawyer or law firm, select one with extensive experience handling and trying these cases. Our personal injury law firm has the resources to take a case to a trial if necessary because we are dedicated to actively pursuing wrongful death claims.

We pursue personal injury claims throughout the state.

What Is Wrongful Death According to Florida Law?

Even though we occasionally experience the loss of loved ones, not all deaths are considered unlawful. Wrongful death happens when someone's life is taken because of someone else's carelessness or wrongdoing. Examples of such cases include negligence, reckless driving, battery or assault, manslaughter, and murder.

Cases involving wrongful deaths are very different from criminal accusations. Initially, when a person died, the cause of action for personal injuries that caused the victim to pass away also ended. It seemed obvious that there would be no cause of action for the unlawful death of a person.

Florida has legislation providing the right to seek compensation for a person's wrongful death. The statute has changed over time from providing limited recovery in specific situations to a law that is much more generally interpreted.

Any of the statutory beneficiaries may now file a wrongful death claim. In accordance with the underlying tort that was committed against the deceased and caused the death, the act grants survivors a right of action.

According to Florida law, a death caused by a wrongful act, negligence, default, breach of contract, or guarantee of any person is considered a wrongful death. Someone can be sued in a wrongful death case when they are at fault for the death of another person.

The proof in these cases must be solid and convincing. The deceased must have had a chance to win their personal injury case if they had survived the injuries that caused their death.

You must satisfy the following conditions for an estate to establish a valid cause of action under Florida's Wrongful Death Act:

  • Death of an individual
  • The death must be caused by the negligence of another party or person
  • The decedent's family members must be suffering a financial loss because of the death
  • An estate and a personal representative for the decedent must be established according to Florida law

Death is a relatively easy factor to verify. Where the deceased has been identified, it is usually not a matter of contention.

However, negligence is more difficult to prove. You must prove three elements to establish negligence:

  1. The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care
  2. There was a breach of the duty of care
  3. The violation of duty of care caused injuries that resulted in damages

In a typical negligence case, the plaintiff would have to prove that the harm they received caused damages. A wrongful death action, however, necessitates that a member of the decedent's family is currently suffering losses.

Types of Wrongful Death Cases

Different circumstances may result in a fatal injury, allowing survivors' families to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Some of the most common scenarios include the following:

Traffic Accidents

During a serious traffic accident, drivers and passengers of different motor vehicles are at risk of suffering a fatal injury. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were approximately 3,194 fatal crashes on Florida's roads and highways in 2022.

Many factors contribute to traffic accidents, most of which are avoidable. A wrongful death lawsuit may seek damages from negligent drivers who break traffic laws, drive while intoxicated or high, or make other careless decisions that cause an accident. Florida drivers continue to be concerned about the surge in distracted driving, especially cell phone use.

Boating Accidents

Florida has hundreds of miles of rivers, canals, and coastlines, so boating accidents are common. Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) compiles information and produces reports on maritime mishaps.

Florida boating accidents claimed the lives of about 70 people in 2021. Falling overboard is the most common cause of fatalities, while other forms of accidents include running into another boat or a fixed object, being flooded, and capsizing.

The FWC lists the following common causes of fatalities:

  • Improper lookout
  • Careless operation
  • Excessive speed
  • Weather
  • Intoxication when boating
  • Operator inexperience
  • Incorrect anchoring
  • Overloading

A boat operator may be held accountable for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit when his reckless behavior or mistakes cause death.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents

In Florida, hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists pass away every year, according to the most recent FLHSMV data. When a negligent motorist crashes into other road users, those who are biking, walking, or jogging are not as protected as those in a car.

If they are fortunate enough to survive, accident victims often sustain severe injuries that might have long-term effects. While cyclists and pedestrians occasionally dart into traffic and cause fatal collisions, drivers of motor vehicles are often to blame.

Drivers owe pedestrians and bicyclists a higher duty of care. However, cyclists frequently share the right of way with pedestrians. Based on the specifics of the case, a Florida court may hold drivers responsible for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit if they kill a pedestrian or cyclist.

Workplace Accidents

Many wrongful deaths occur on the job, where most people spend at least a third of their waking hours. The number of occupational injuries and fatalities in each state is tracked by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

According to the OSHA data for the state of Florida, hundreds of workers lose their lives on the job annually. Factors that contribute to workplace accidents include workplace hazards, inattentive coworkers, and broken equipment.

About a third of workplace fatalities were attributed to transportation issues like:

  • Falls, slips, and trips
  • Exposure to harmful substances
  • Workplace violence
  • Contact with dangerous equipment
  • Explosions or fires

When a worker dies on the job, their loved ones need to hire a wrongful death lawyer familiar with workers' compensation law. Wrongful death lawsuits are notoriously difficult to resolve since many parties are often involved, including employers, contractors, and property owners.

Slip and Fall Accidents

While not every slip and fall accident results in death, the elderly are at increased risk of dying following a fall. Florida has a high percentage of elderly residents, which means that accidents involving falls and subsequent fatalities are common.

According to data from the Florida Department of Health, elderly Floridians account for over 80% of slip and fall fatalities in the state. Whenever an elderly person or anybody else slips and falls, they risk sustaining severe injuries such as broken bones, dislocated joints, and brain injuries.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) sustained from falls can be particularly devastating to the elderly. There is a severe risk of bodily harm or death if property owners don't keep their properties safe for guests. Liquid spills, food, sand, or cleaning chemicals like wax could cause slips and fall accidents.

Swimming Pool Accidents

Because of the state's sunny and sometimes scorching weather, swimming pools in Florida are always a welcome sight. Some Floridians without pools may swim at a friend's or neighbor's house to cool down during summer, or they may frequent a public facility.

Although accidental drownings, especially among youngsters, are more common than fatalities caused by slips and falls around pools, they are still tragedies. Property owners must keep their pools in safe working order to prevent accidents involving serious injury or death.

The following are examples of careless behavior that could result in a tragic swimming pool accident:

  • Disregarding the need for or failing to install adequate pool fencing
  • Failing to supervise children near a swimming pool
  • Pools with defective filtration and drainage systems
  • Inadequate safety gear
Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence

Medical errors that result in death can be as devastating as any other kind of fatal accident for families.

We usually trust hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to find the source of our health problems, treat them, and ultimately restore our health. When a doctor is responsible for a patient's death, it shatters our trust in doctors and medical practitioners.

Medical malpractice encompasses a wide range of negligent behaviors that might result in wrongful death litigation if they cause harm to a patient. These include errors in diagnosis, wrong-site surgery, unnecessary procedures, complications during surgery, and inadequate follow-up treatment.

Medication errors, such as inappropriate dosage or medicine, made by medical workers are another common cause of patient deaths. The hospital often bears some of the responsibility for the malpractice that occurs in the medical care they provide.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida

You must follow many steps before filing a wrongful death claim in Florida. They include:

  1. Opening an estate on behalf of the diseased.
  2. Appointing a personal representative to administer the estate.
  3. Filing a claim or lawsuit on behalf of the estate, usually against the party or parties at fault for the decedent's untimely demise.

The deceased person's will or other estate planning documents will specify who will act as personal representatives. This person is legally obligated to file a claim for damages on behalf of the deceased against the party responsible for their death. Any wrongful death claim must list all possible heirs and their links to the victim.

After the lawsuit is over, the personal representative must divide any awards made from the estate among the surviving spouse, children, any eligible family members, and any creditors who may have been named in the will. The personal representative is responsible for determining a just and equitable means of dividing the proceeds among the appropriate claimants.

A court must approve the settlement if one of the beneficiaries objects to the distribution, the beneficiary is a juvenile, or the beneficiary is considered incompetent. If the personal representative wants to ensure that the distribution can't be contested in the future, they may seek the court's approval, although it's not required.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?

Florida has a two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death complaint if your loved one would have been entitled to recover damages in a personal injury suit had they lived.

Your right to sue in court under Florida law may be revoked if you fail to initiate legal action within two years of the decedent's date of death. The legal action must also be filed by the deceased's personal representative or the deceased's estate.

People who are eligible to receive damages from a wrongful death claim in Florida include:

  • Surviving spouses
  • Children, stepchildren, adopted children, and any dependents of the deceased
  • In the absence of a surviving parent or spouse, the deceased's adult children
  • Parents of minors
  • Parents of adult children in case there are no other survivors

The only time a child of unwed parents can file a lawsuit for damages is after the mother's passing.

Damages You Can Recover from a Florida Wrongful Death Suit

Wrongful death compensation awards in Florida vary widely based on factors such as:

  • The deceased's expected lifespan
  • The financial needs of the deceased's dependents
  • The degree to which the deceased may have contributed to their own death

If the court rules that the death of your loved one was caused by another party's negligence, you may be able to collect the compensation for:

  • Loss of service and support. The amount of money a survivor receives to make up for lost financial assistance and services is determined by the deceased's net worth, the survivor's relationship to the deceased, and the price of finding a suitable replacement.
  • Loss of companionship for spouses
  • Emotional pain and suffering for the surviving spouse and children
  • Loss of companionship and guidance for minors that lose a parent
  • Medical expenses that may include the total cost of medical care from the moment of the accident to death, including the cost of a hospital stay, ambulance transport, any necessary surgical procedures, diagnostic imaging, and medications.
  • Burial and funeral expenses.

The deceased's estate may receive damages from the court in some situations. Such damages include lost wages and loss of prospective net accumulations.

Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Sebastian

Experiencing the death of a loved one is a harrowing ordeal. It is therefore essential to work with a lawyer who has experience handling wrongful death cases.

Claims for wrongful death are complex and should be handled by an experienced Sebastian personal injury attorney. In case of a fatality in the family caused by another party's negligence or malice, the surviving members should be compensated for their financial and emotional losses.

If you've lost a family member or loved one due to the negligent conduct of an individual or entity, contact one of our compassionate and seasoned wrongful death attorneys serving Sebastian at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers online or call (561) 800-8000 to schedule a free, no obligation, and confidential evaluation to determine your eligibility for compensation.

Our wrongful death lawyers serving Sebastian, Florida, will work with you to investigate the case and establish an estate so that you can seek appropriate compensation in compliance with Florida laws.

We wil help you and your loved ones through this trying time by taking care of the claim details so you can focus on healing. We will assess your situation, conduct an investigation, and work hard to ensure that those responsible for your loss pay for their actions.

Client Reviews
I have had experience in the past using other attorneys and law firms however the attorneys and staff at Frankl Kominsky are by far the best experience I have ever had. Thank you for everything this law firm has done. I recommend this law firm to everyone. By Bruce
This was an amazing injury law firm. Steven and his staff was available when I needed him and were always following up with me. I felt very fortunate that I found them. It is true that this law firm will never settle for less! I fully recommend this law firm to anyone that needs a hardworking and results oriented law firm. By Consuelo
Mr. Frankl came very highly recommended by two separate peers. I had a handful of lawyers to choose from and I chose him. He moved quick, no nonsense, and very effective. Before I knew it everything was handled and I had a serious burden lifted. If I ever have a problem again, I am going straight to him. It is that simple. By Kelly
I called Mr. Frankl and his firm about a motorcycle accident case and he helped me through the entire process. Mr. Frankl made me feel like my situation mattered to him and didn't treatment me like just another file in a file cabinet. He is smart, energetic and a true fighter. I am glad to call him my lawyer and I highly recommend Frankl Kominsky for your personal injury case. By A Personal Injury Client
Mr. Frankl was such an asset to have on my team while I picked up the pieces following an accident. Right from the beginning he assisted handling the insurance companies, rental car companies, auto body shops, police reports, it was incredible. His guidance allowed me to focus on the most important thing and that was my medical condition & recovery. Should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation do yourself a favor & trust this man & his expertise. By Damon