Have you lost a loved one in Boca Raton due to another person’s negligence? You are most probably experiencing grief and pain as you mourn your loved one. Wrongful death can be a traumatic experience. No one wants to lose their loved one, and the thought that the loss could have been avoided if more care was taken is especially painful. This is why you need the help of a competent Boca Raton wrongful death lawyer to pursue justice and win compensation for all damages.
At Englander Peebles, we deal with all types of wrongful death cases, including:
• Car accidents
• Medical malpractice
• Defective products
• Workplace accidents
• Semi-truck accidents
Our team of personal injury lawyers won’t rest until you get the justice you deserve. We understand that no amount of money can bring back your loved one. Still, we are ready to help you file a wrongful death claim today to hold all negligent parties accountable. We will build a strong case to get you and your family the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (954) 231-1384 to get started.
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How is Wrongful Death Defined in the State of Florida?
Wrongful death can be defined as a case in which an individual dies due to another party’s negligent or willful actions. A wrongful death claim in Florida can be filed to compensate for the emotional distress and financial burden brought about by the deceased person’s loss. Florida statutes (768.16-768.26) define wrongful death as any death of an individual caused by negligence, wrongful acts, default, or breach of contract or warranty.
According to the Florida Wrongful Death Act, the deceased’s family and dependents can file a claim for damages caused by their loved one’s demise. This claim is filed against the parties responsible for negligence. A wrongful death claim is a civil action against at-fault parties. It is unrelated to criminal charges that these parties may be facing. This implies that one may be acquitted of murder but still be sued in a civil court for wrongful death.
The purpose of the Florida Wrongful Death Act is to transfer losses caused by a wrongful death case to the at-fault party. A wrongful death lawsuit offers grieving family members relief. This ensures the defendant is held accountable for his or her actions. Here are some common types of Florida wrongful death claims:
Car accidents are the leading cause of wrongful death cases. The negligence of drivers leads to the occurrence of these accidents. Distracted driving, speeding, driving while sleeping, and driving under the influence cause many fatalities.
Dangerous jobs can lead to deaths in the workplace. Yearly, thousands of employees lose their lives due to workplace-related injuries. Electrocution, slips and falls, and being caught in between materials, structures and machines are some of the reasons for these fatalities.
Defective or dangerous products such as toxic food, flawed children’s toys, defective automobile parts, and defective drugs can cause fatalities. It’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure their products are safe for use. Manufacturers can be held liable if products cause harm or death to consumers.
Commercial trucks are larger and heavier than most vehicles. They are more likely to cause fatalities when accidents occur. Driver error, mechanical failure, oversized loads, and improper vehicle maintenance may cause an accident leading to the loss of your loved one.
Mistakes occasionally occur in the medical field. Medical personnel, including doctors and nurses, may try to cut corners or disregard procedures. Failure to diagnose a condition, misdiagnosis, or surgical errors may lead to wrongful death.
Who Is Qualified to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
In Florida, wrongful death claims must be filed within two years from the date your loved one passed on. Laws in Florida explicitly detail people who can receive damages when a wrongful death occurs. It is your right to file a wrongful death claim in Boca Raton if your family member is killed due to another party’s negligence.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act restricts individuals who can file wrongful death suits to certain close relatives. The deceased leaves behind their estate to beneficiaries once they pass on. The estate’s personal representative is the first category of parties who qualifies to file a claim in Florida. This individual can file a lawsuit on behalf of other estate beneficiaries.
A personal representative may still file a claim on behalf of the deceased’s survivors. These types of damages typically warrant higher settlements. The Florida Wrongful Death Act lists the following individuals as survivors:
- The decedent’s spouse
- The decedent’s children. Children under 25 years old are typically entitled to higher damages
- The decedent’s parents
- Blood relatives who partially relied on the decedent’s support. This includes adoptive siblings.
Florida law allows children of any age to recover damages for lost support. This includes damages incurred during injury and future loss of financial support. Children may also recover damages for loss of companionship and parental guidance if no surviving spouse is left.
The law in Florida doesn’t allow parents to recover pain and suffering damages if the deceased child was over 25 years old unless the death was caused by medical negligence, or there aren’t any other survivors. Funeral and medical expenses can be recovered by survivors who paid the bills.
What Types of Damages are Recoverable?
Wrongful death is classified as a civil suit. This implies that the deceased’s family or estate can file the case in court. The state of Florida isn’t bound to file a civil lawsuit.
The liability of wrongful death is only quantified monetarily. On the other hand, criminal cases aren’t expressed in monetary value. Wrongful death cases differ since they address distinct issues. Florida statutes state that specific rules should be followed when paying damages. Here are some damages that Englander Peebles can help you recover:
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection by the deceased
- Emotional and mental pain and suffering
- The decedent’s support to the family
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Lost income and other earnings
- Funeral and medical bills paid by the estate
There are limits in Florida to how much one can claim. Generally, the limits for non-economic damages are higher than economic damages. Even though non-economic damages are less tangible, they hold more value compared to economic damages.
Can a Surviving Family File for Punitive Damages?
Extreme negligence on the part of the defendant can warrant punitive damages. These damages are imposed as punishment for intentional, malicious, or reckless conduct. Even so, there’s a limit to the compensation awarded for punitive damages. Punitive damages are geared towards disciplining the defendant to deter similar actions in the future.
How Is Negligence Proved in a Wrongful Death Case?
It is the responsibility of the victim’s lawyer to prove negligence in a wrongful death case. Negligence happens when an individual fails to exercise a certain extent of reasonable care that’s usually expected. For instance, failing to place signs notifying visitors that a floor is wet may be construed as negligence.
Pure comparative negligence applies in Florida. Your recovery depends on your negligence. This implies that different levels of fault apply to various parties. The decedent’s survivors will still recover some damages even if the decedent was mostly at fault when the accident happened. They may recover 40% of the damages if a determination is made that the decedent was 60% at fault.
When you work with Englander Peebles, we will help you establish these four elements to recover monetary damages:
Duty Of Care
It is the defendant’s legal responsibility to act reasonably to prevent accidents. For instance, a driver’s duty of care entails driving safely and adhering to traffic laws. At Englander Peebles, we conduct thorough investigations and analysis to prove to a judge or jury that the defendant didn’t exercise his or her duty of care. This is determined by comparing the defendant’s actions to what a reasonable person would have done in the same situation.
Breach Of Duty Of Care
First, our Florida wrongful death lawyers will prove that a duty of care exists. We will then prove that the defendant breached his or her duty of care. For instance, breach of duty of care applies when a driver runs a red light or speeds and ends up causing a fatal accident.
It is prudent for your wrongful death lawyer to prove that a breach of duty of care led to your loved one’s demise. Englander Pebbles will extensively analyze medical records, accident reports, and other relevant documents to determine whether the defendant was directly involved in your loved one’s death.
Damages Caused By Defendant’s Actions
Evidence should be produced, showing the death of your loved one led to damages. These may include medical bills, funeral expenses, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of earnings. Consider reaching out to an experienced Boca Raton wrongful death lawyer today to help you prove negligence that led to your loved one’s untimely death.
How Do You Start a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Everyone hopes their loved ones live long lives. However, this isn’t always the case. Florida residents die wrongful deaths every day due to negligence, crime, medical malpractice, flawed products, and car accidents. Some steps need to be followed when wrongful death litigation is triggered.
The first step to getting justice for your loved one is reaching out to a skilled wrongful death attorney in Boca Raton. At Englander Peebles, we will require you to furnish us with all the relevant details regarding your loved one’s death. Our attorneys can help get you the justice you deserve by unearthing all at-fault parties.
After that, we will conduct investigations to find out what happened to your family member. We will advise you on whether your case has merit under the Florida Wrongful Death Act. Our skilled lawyers will access medical records, the autopsy report, and even interview witnesses.
Englander Peebles will proceed to file your wrongful death claim in Florida. Remember, legal processes are time-consuming. We will go above and beyond to help you secure compensation for damages incurred. What’s more, we work on a contingency basis. This implies that you don’t have to worry about any payments until we win your Florida wrongful death case.
What is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and an Estate Claim?
You and your family members have the right to pursue justice in Florida if you’ve lost your loved one due to recklessness, negligence, or wrongful behavior. Damages from a Boca Raton wrongful death claim must be distributed in accordance with the Florida Wrongful Death Act.
A wrongful death claim and an estate claim may arise during a wrongful death case. The main difference between these two claims is the damages included and the party that brings the claim. Under Florida tort laws, a wrongful death claim may be filed by a family member or the estate’s representative.
Surviving family members seek to recover the decedent’s full life’s value. The surviving spouse, minor children, and the deceased’s parents have a right to file a wrongful death claim. The estate’s representative is the last individual who can file a claim. This claim handles monetary damages like lost wages, loss of consortium, and loss of intangible benefits (parental guidance, companionship, care, and love).
An estate claim aims to recoup the financial expenses incurred by the family due to their loved one’s death. The decedent’s estate tries to make up for expenses such as burial costs, medical bills, and pain and suffering endured before passing on. Florida law allows parties to file both claims simultaneously.
Schedule a Consultation With a Boca Raton Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing your loved one due to another person’s negligence can really hurt. It’s prudent for you to make sure all at-fault parties are held accountable. Englander Peebles can help you throughout the process of a wrongful death claim in Boca Raton. We believe that our clients’ rights need to be respected, protected, and upheld by any court. We will strive to make sure you get the best compensation for your case.
At Englander Peebles, we offer a free consultation if your loved one has passed on due to someone else’s negligence. We don’t charge any fees when handling your wrongful death claim. We operate on a contingency basis, which means you only pay if we win your case.
You need the legal assistance of experienced attorneys if you’ve lost your loved one due to another party’s fault. We are ready to help you get justice and a fair settlement for your loss. We will offer you the best legal options for your case. Call us today at (954) 231-1384 to hold all at-fault parties accountable and receive maximum compensation for your wrongful death claim.