Even though death is part of life’s journey, it is painful for a family to experience losing a loved one. A family member’s unexpected demise can cause emotional trauma. Things might seem unbearable for them when the departed is their primary breadwinner. It means the family is left with a financial gap they must fill to ensure they meet their needs. That is why you should consider working with a respectable and experienced Port St. Lucie wrongful death lawyer to help you fight for your deceased loved one’s rights and seek compensation for losses incurred.
At Englander Peebles, our Port St. Lucie injury attorneys understand that taking legal action often takes a backseat to grief during such times. However, it is something that families should not overlook if they want to have better odds of winning the compensation. The law gives people the right to sue those whose negligence, recklessness, or indifferent actions result in a loved one’s death.
We are law professionals familiar with the legal requirements associated with filing a wrongful death case; thus, we are confident we are who to hire. Get in touch with us today at (954) 231-1384 or visit our office in Port St. Lucie, Florida, to schedule a free case review and learn more about our services.
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How Is Wrongful Death Defined In The State Of Florida?
Florida Wrongful Death Act clearly defines the factors that constitute wrongful death. That means there are guidelines to consider when determining if you have valid grounds for pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible.
The law dictates that wrongful death is caused by an individual’s negligent, malicious, reckless conduct and will be found liable. Your wrongful death lawyer will consider the following elements that set grounds for qualifying your case as a wrongful death matter:
- Reckless and negligent acts that result in unintentional fatal accidents.
- Intentional or malicious actions such as homicide.
- Contractual breaches amounting to a breach of duty of care. For example, death is linked to the use of a defective product.
- Medical malpractice like misdiagnosis, surgical errors, incorrect medication prescription, etc.
- Faulty construction and engineering malpractice.
Who Is Qualified To File A Wrongful Death Claim In Florida?
If you wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, the law stipulates that you should be related to the departed (listed beneficiary) or by the appointed personal representative. Often, the beneficiaries and personal representatives are named in the decedent’s will. However, in cases where the departed did not leave a will or estate plan, the court appoints a personal representative, who could be the deceased’s surviving spouse or child.
The personal representative is tasked with overseeing the wrongful death lawsuit and ensuring the departed’s surviving family gets the benefits the courts award. The representative also will oversee the equal disbursement of the compensation to the listed or legally known beneficiaries.
It also is essential to understand that all other lawsuits filed on behalf of the decedent will be invalidated once you file a wrongful death claim. Keep in mind that a wrongful death action can be dismissed under various grounds, a fact that echoes the need to consider working with an experienced Port St. Lucie wrongful death lawyer.
What Type Of Damages Are Recoverable?
According to Florida Wrongful Death Act, a deceased’s beneficiaries are entitled to recover the following damages:
- Spouses can recover from the loss of companionship, mental/emotional pain, loss of protection, services, and support.
- Kids can recover losses such as lost parental love and guidance, lost support, mental and emotional suffering, among others. However, adult children are disqualified from pursuing damages for lost parental companionship.
- The surviving family can be compensated for treatment and funeral costs incurred when caring for or burying their loved one. They also can recover damages for lost family income and prospective net accumulations for the departed’s estate.
Can The Surviving Family File For Punitive Damages?
Courts can award punitive damages to a decedent’s kin if they can prove those responsible acted with malice, negligence, or reckless and their conduct was grossly indifferent. While it is an option the surviving family can request, the court will pass down the punitive damages at its discretion. It often includes the defendant serving jail time aside from paying compensation to the victim’s family.
How Is Negligence Proved In A Wrongful Death Case?
As stated above, proving negligence is vital in determining liability and building a robust case against those responsible. And since death is the chief issue in a wrongful death case, determining damage (validity for the case) is relatively straightforward. However, the law dictates that the claimant must prove the following:
- The accused owed the departed a duty of care.
- The defendant failed to uphold the duty of care (breached the duty of care), which your lawyer will prove by presenting the accused actions or inactions that caused the death.
- Proving damage which will be a wrongful death.
- Showing the court that the death resulted from the accused’s negligent, reckless, or malicious conduct.
How Do You Start A Wrongful Death Claim In Florida?
At Englander Peebles, we believe that working with an experienced and reliable Port St. Lucie wrongful death lawyer is your best bet if you want to win the lawsuit. Hiring a Port St. Lucie wrongful death lawyer will swing the odds in your favor, especially if you find a law professional specializing in wrongful death claims and has a history of winning such lawsuits. In addition, your lawyer will take you through the various steps you must take when starting the wrongful death claim process, helping you navigate the different legal challenges you are bound to encounter.
What Is The Difference Between Wrongful Death Claim And Estate Claim?
In most wrongful death actions, the term “estate claim” will appear. But while they might emanate from the same issues – a wrongful death – they are distinctively different.
- A wrongful death claim will have the beneficiaries or representative listed in the decedent’s will/estate plan as the ones suing those liable for their loved one’s unexpected demise.
- An estate claim will focus on the departed’ property in its entirety, in which the estate sicks to recover all expenses incurred before the property owner died. For example, it can be considered when recovering medical treatment costs, funeral/burial expenses, and lost salary.
Get In Touch with a Wrongful Death Lawyer at Englander Peebles Today For Help
We are confident that we can help you and your family seek justice for your loved one’s death attributed to another person’s negligent, malicious, or careless acts. We understand that taking legal action often takes a backseat to grief during such times. However, it is something that you should not overlook if you want better odds of winning the compensation.
But we take pride in being law professionals familiar with the legal requirements associated with filing a wrongful death case; thus, we are confident we are who to hire. So get in touch with Englander Peebles today at (954) 231-1384 or visit our office in Port St. Lucie, Florida, to schedule a free case review and learn more about our services.