The unexpected loss of the breadwinner of a family is always an emotionally traumatic time for the surviving members of the family. Such a loss could immediately create a series of financial problems for the entire family. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence in Palm City, Florida, you are entitled to claim compensation from the responsible party.
The most important thing is to hire the best Palm City wrongful death lawyer to handle your case. Palm City has its own share of wrongful death lawyers. But all of these lawyers are not created alike. Your extensive research plays an important part when selecting the best attorney to handle your case.
Englander Peebles is your trusted partner in Palm City, FL for all personal injury lawsuits including wrongful death cases. Our lawyers have dealt with hundreds of personal injury lawsuits and won millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of our clients. Call our offices today at (954) 231-1384 for a free case review and consultation.
Table of Contents
How is Wrongful Death Defined in the State of Florida?
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act states that a surviving family member can file a case against the responsible party when his/her loved one’s death is caused by any wrongful act, negligence, or breach of contract or warranty. Florida’s wrongful death definition includes:
- Intentional acts such as criminal assault leading to death
- Negligent acts like reckless driving that leads to a fatal accident
- Having a duty and breaching that duty
- Breach of a contract or warranty such as product defects
Your attorney should establish that your case satisfies the definition of wrongful death. He or she should establish the following elements or your case will be dismissed:
- The conduct of the responsible party amounts to a wrongful act, negligence, or breach of contract or warranty.
- The conduct of the responsible party caused the death of your loved one.
- The conduct of the responsible party would have entitled your loved one to file a lawsuit and recover damages if he or she had not died.
Who is Qualified to File A Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Under Florida Statute § 768.20, a wrongful death action must be brought by the personal representative of the deceased. The personal representative is often named in the deceased’s will. The court can appoint a personal representative if the decedent left no will.
The personal representative files a claim, the damages recovered in a wrongful death claim to the deceased’s survivors and estate. Those who receive the compensation can include the deceased’s:
- Relatives dependent on the deceased for support
What Types of Damages are Recoverable?
In a successful wrongful death case in Florida, the court will order the defendant to pay damages to compensate for the plaintiff’s loved one’s death. Florida law categorizes potential damages in a wrongful death lawsuit such as damages awarded to the deceased’s family and damages awarded to the estate. Damages paid to the deceased’s family include:
- Loss of deceased’s protection and companionship
- Loss of support and services the deceased provided to his/her family
- Mental pain and suffering
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Loss of parental companionship and guidance
The damages paid to the deceased person’s estate include:
- Lost wages and other benefits from the date of the loved one’s injury to his/her death
- Medical and funeral expenses that were paid directly by the estate
- The value of earnings and benefits the deceased could have been expected to save
Can the Surviving Family Members File for Punitive Damages?
In Florida, the court will decide to pay punitive damages to the surviving family members of the deceased if it determines that the negligent party’s acts were grossly negligent, intentional, or reckless. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for his/her reckless behavior to discourage similar actions in the future by others.
How to Prove Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case?
The plaintiff should prove four elements of negligence to receive compensation for the loss of their loved one. These elements include:
- The responsible party or defendant owed a “duty of care” to the deceased
- The responsible party breached his or her “duty of care”
- The actions of the defendant were directly responsible for causing the untimely death of your loved one
- Damages resulted from the actions of the defendant
How Do You Start a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
A wrongful death claim should be filed by the deceased’s personal representative on behalf of the surviving members of the deceased’s family. Florida’s statute of limitations comes into effect two years from the date of the untimely death of his/her loved one. You cannot commence wrongful death actions in Florida after the two-year deadline.
That is why you need to immediately hire a wrongful Palm City wrongful death lawyer to file a lawsuit and claim compensation from the responsible party.
How Can a Palm City Wrongful Death Lawyer Help Me?
If your loved one was killed by the negligence of another party, it is in your best interest to retain a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Englander Peebles helps families in Palm City and the surrounding areas in South Florida.
Our firm is prepared to conduct a full, independent investigation of your loved one’s death to secure important evidence and determine all negligent parties. We can negotiate with insurance companies to make sure that you receive a fair and full settlement that accounts for all of your past, present, and future needs.
Our lawyers can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call us or fill out an online contact form to set up a free consultation. Gary B. Englander and Warren Q. Peebles make themselves available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer all of your legal questions.
Get a Palm City Wrongful Death Lawyer at Englander Peebles for a Free Consultation Today
If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligence in Palm City FL, you are entitled to claim compensation under the wrongful death act. You need to hire the best wrongful death lawyer in town to handle your case.
Although legal action might not be the first thing that comes to the mind of the grieving family, it’s important to understand that Florida’s statute of limitations comes into effect two years from the date of the untimely death of his/her loved one. You cannot commence wrongful death actions in Florida after the two-year deadline.