There are no words out there that can truly describe the feeling of losing a loved one, and the loss can be more painful when the passing of your loved one was the result of another’s negligence, carelessness, recklessness, or wrongful acts. While a suit might be the last thing on the minds of the family of the deceased, it is crucial. After all, filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for your loved one’s death is the only way to pursue some form of justice on behalf of the deceased.
The wrongful death of someone you love can leave your family coping with more than grief. You may have to worry about your life without the deceased, there might be unpaid medical bills you still owe, and you may also have to cope with the absence of financial support you were getting from the departed.
Do you suspect that your loved one’s accidental death was a direct result of another’s reckless, negligent, or wrongful/illegal actions? If so, our experienced Bayonet Point wrongful death lawyers can lodge a claim on your behalf and seek compensation for you and your family. Contact our personal injury lawyers at Winters & Yonker today for a free consultation.
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What Is a Wrongful Death
Sadly, good people die through the careless actions of others. This can happen in different settings, for example, in an accident involving a defective car, but regardless of how it happens, it is always a traumatic occurrence.
Outside of the grief and emotional impact of losing a loved one, wrongful death can significantly impact the finances and lifestyle of the family left behind. This is why compensation laws exist in Florida to help dependents of the deceased to recover things like funeral expenses and lost companionship. The team of wrongful death lawyers at Winters and Yonker can guide you through this difficult time with sensitivity and professionalism.
Wrongful deaths can happen in different settings, including:
- Medical malpractice, such as medical injury, surgery errors, misdiagnosis, or medication errors
- Criminals/illegal actions, including intentional homicide
- Engineering malpractice or defective construction
- Defective products, such as a defective car, medical devices, electronics, and other products
- Nursing home or assisted living neglect or abuse
- Road accidents with pedestrian fatalities
- Work accidents like electrocution
- Premise liability such as accidents involving slip and falls
- Sanitation issues and contamination of food and water in commercial establishments
- DUIs and DWIs
- Unreasonable or illegal service, such as when a bartender continues to serve alcohol when the person is clearly intoxicated
Can I Lodge a Wrongful Death Claim in Bayonet Point, Florida?
According to the Florida Wrongful Death Act, family members (or their personal representatives) of the deceased have a legal right to lodge a wrongful death suit against the person or entity they are convinced is responsible for their loved one’s death. A representative of the decedent’s estate can also file a wrongful death suit. Florida allows the following surviving family members to file a wrongful death claim:
- Spouse or domestic partner
- An heir or heiress
- Chosen beneficiary
- Dependent parent
It is crucial you work with a specialized wrongful death attorney to help ease the burden at one of the most devastating times in your life.
Wrongful Death Damages In Florida: What Can I Recover?
Since wrongful death claims are brought before civil courts, they are resolved solely through financial means. Florida Statutes Section 768.21 dictates the guidelines for awarding damages in wrongful death suits.
This splits damages for wrongful death into two categories:
Damages That Survivors May Recover
Survivors or family members of the deceased can recover damages for:
- Lost services and support
- Lost companionship, guidance, instruction, and protection
- Medical bills and funeral expenses
- Psychological pain and suffering
Damages That the Decedent’s Estate May Recover
Damages awarded to the estate include:
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Decedent’s lost earnings
- Loss of net accumulations
How Is Negligence Proved in a Wrongful Death Case in Florida?
The steps towards proving negligence in wrongful death cases in Florida are quite complex. These steps are referred to as the elements of negligence. To win a wrongful death suit and obtain maximum compensation for you, our lawyers will prove all elements to show that the defendant acted negligently. Each element is discussed below.
In legal settings, the term duty means a legal obligation, and there are two types of duty to consider in wrongful death cases:
- Duty of care means to act as any person of sound mind would under the circumstances
- Special duty care may exist either in place of the typical duty of care in addition to it. This is when an individual is legally obligated to perform or act in a way an average person is not obligated or necessarily expected to.
Therefore, to prove negligence for wrongful death, we will show that the defendant owed the decedent a legal duty of care.
Breach of Duty
Next, our attorneys will look to show that the defendant’s actions or conduct were a breach of duty. The goal is to demonstrate that the defendant fell short of the expectation of duty.
Basically, this element requires that you prove that the defendant’s action or inaction actually caused the death of your loved one. Sure, someone might conduct themselves negligently, but you can only recover compensation for wrongful death if the negligence somehow caused the death of the deceased.
Damages are the results of a defendant’s actions, as determined by the court. This element requires you to show the court that you were harmed as a result of the defendant’s conduct.
When these elements are proved before a court, the defendant will be found liable for the death of your loved one, which means a successful claim.
I Want To File a Wrongful Death Suit In Florida, How Do I Go About It?
Filing a wrongful death suit is Bayonet Point, Florida can be quite complicated, especially when you’re still grieving the loss of a loved one and also dealing with surviving interested parties. Besides, there are strict deadlines for filing wrongful death claims in Florida, which is why you don’t want to take any chances.
Finding an experienced wrongful death attorney will offer you peace of mind during what is undeniably a terrible time. Do you have specific questions regarding wrongful death? If so, contact Winters & Yonker at (888) 373-7770 so we can review your case for free and offer you guidance on what legal steps to take.