Losing a loved one is a painful experience particularly if it was caused by an accident or another person’s negligence, careless actions, or wrongful actions. If you lose a family member, you will have to cope with grief, be faced with medical debt (if your loved one was taken to hospital before he or she died), and find yourself struggling to stay afloat (if the deceased was the family breadwinner).
At Winter & Yonker P.A., our Elfers wrongful death lawyers know that nothing can take away the pain of losing a loved one and you wish you could bring your loved one back to life. However, our attorneys also understand that you should be practical after the death of your loved one and take care of your financial future. Our main objective is to protect your legal rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve so that you don’t struggle financially following your loved one’s death. Schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney today.
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Damages for a Wrongful Death Claim
Under the law, individuals, organizations and government entities whose careless and negligent behavior result in death can be held legally responsible. The deceased person’s surviving family members including the spouses, minor children, or parents of minors who were killed are entitled to recover compensation for:
- Funeral costs and expenses
- Medical expenses incurred (if the deceased was taken to hospital before he or she died)
- Lost companionship to compensate the surviving family members for the loss of the important relationship in their lives
- Lost wages/income that the deceased person would have earned over his or her lifetime
Calculating the exact amount of wrongful death damages is difficult particularly when it comes to evaluating lost companionship and a lifetime of lost earnings. Expert witnesses like actuarial experts can help calculate the amount the family of the deceased should be awarded as they provide information on the earning potential and life expectancy of the deceased. A wrongful death lawyer knows how to build a strong case that will help you get the compensation you deserve after the death of your loved one.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Elfers
If you file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate of the deceased person, contact a reputable Elfers wrongful death lawyer. The lawyer will help you prove all of the legal elements of your wrongful death claim including:
Duty of Care
The first step to proving negligence in a wrongful death action in Elfers, Florida, is to prove that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to your loved one. A duty of care can be defined as a duty to act in a way that ensures the safety of others or avoiding certain actions that can harm others.
For instance, in a car accident, a defendant driver owes a plaintiff motorcyclist (not to mention all other drivers who operate their vehicles on the roadways) an affirmative duty to drive carefully. This means that the driver has a duty to operate a vehicle just like a “reasonable” driver under similar or the same circumstances would.
Breach of the Applicable Duty of Care
To prove that the individual who caused the death of your loved one was negligent, you have to show that the defendant breached a duty of care that he or she owed to your loved one. For instance, in a car accident, if a driver ran a red light or stop sign and collided with a motorcyclist in the middle of a traffic intersection resulting in death, the defendant driver’s actions are likely to constitute negligence.
For the estate of the deceased to recover in a wrongful death action in Elfers, the estate has to prove that the defendant’s negligent actions caused the deceased’s death. This means that the estate has to show that the deceased death was foreseeable and it would not have happened but for the defendant’s negligence.
Elfer’s Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations ensures that lawsuits and claims are filed on time. Keep in mind that as time goes on, important evidence may be lost or evidence may become stale and potential trial witnesses may not be available for many reasons or their memories can grow foggy. Therefore, time limits for filing suits ensure that trial evidence remains fresh. It also ensures the timely resolution of cases.
Under Elfer’s law, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death. In most cases, absent some of the limited circumstances, this is a hard-and-fast deadline. If a wrongful death claim or a lawsuit isn’t filed within the provided time (2 years), the estate may be barred forever from filing a lawsuit or claim or from seeking compensation in the future.
Time is of the essence when it comes to a wrongful death case. As such, it is good to take legal action as soon as possible after the death of your loved one. Attorneys at Winters & Yonker P.A. can help you file your wrongful death claim or lawsuit in a timely manner.
Contact an Elfers Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful deaths are complex and you cannot fully understand what they entail unless you are a lawyer. That is why it is a good idea to look for a reputable lawyer to guide you when dealing with wrongful death. Winters & Yonker P.A. has been practicing Elfers’s wrongful death law since 2001.
We have helped many surviving family members seek justice and get the compensation they deserve and we can help you too. Just contact us at one of our offices so that you can talk to an experienced and skilled legal professional about your situation.