It can be devastating when a loved one dies, especially when it happens due to an accident or from someone being negligent, careless, or acting in a way that is intentionally harmful. If you lost a member of your family, you not only must cope with your grief and pain, but you might also be concerned about your financial future while being faced with the expense of medical bills as well as the lack of financial support that would have been provided by the deceased if not for their untimely death.
Our Palm Harbor wrongful death lawyers at Winter & Yonker, P.A. understand that nothing can eliminate the pain of a loved one’s death and you would give anything to have them back with you. However, we also know that you must be practical following a death in the family and do everything that you possibly can to take good care of your financial future. The goal of our attorneys is to help ensure that your legal rights are protected and to obtain fair and full compensation for your family member’s death. That way you will be able to at least move forward with your life as best as possible without financial concerns.
Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today for a free review of your wrongful death case. We will assess if you have a strong claim and guide you through the legal process.
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Damages for Wrongful Death Claims
People, companies, and government entities who cause the death of an individual due to their negligent and careless behavior may be held legally responsible under the Florida Wrongful Death Act. Wrongful death laws give close family members such as minor children, spouses, or parents of minors who have been killed the right to file a claim with a court of law to seek compensation for the following:
- Funeral expenses and costs
- Medical bills that have been incurred for treating the injuries of the deceased prior to their death
- Lost wages and income that would have been earned by the deceased over the course of their lifetime for support if their untimely death had not taken place
- Lost companionship, as surviving family members lost an important relationship
It can be difficult to determine an appropriate amount of damages for wrongful death, especially when evaluating lifetime lost earnings and lost companionship. You might need actuarial experts or other expert witnesses to provide information on the deceased’s earning potential and life expectancy. A Palm Harbor wrongful death attorney can help to build a strong case so that you receive the full amount of compensation that you need and deserve after you lose a family member to death.
Filing a Palm Harbor Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If you make the decision to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased’s estate, a wrongful death attorney in Palm Harbor can help to prove all of the claim’s legal elements, including the following:
Duty of Care
This is the first step toward proving negligence in a wrongful death action in Palm Harbor. You must show that under the law the at-fault parties or party owed the deceased individual a duty of care.
For example, when a motor vehicle accident has occurred, the defendant driver owes the plaintiff motorcyclist (and all other drivers operating vehicles on the road) an affirmative duty to drive in a prudent and reasonably careful manner. That means the driver has the duty to operate their vehicle in the same way that a “reasonable” driver would when acting under similar or the same circumstances.
Breach of Applicable Duty of Care
In order for a plaintiff to prove negligence, it must be shown that the defendant(s) violated their standard of care that they owed to the deceased under particular circumstances. For instance, in a motor vehicle accident, if the driver ran a stop sign or red light and then collided in the middle of the traffic intersection with a motorcyclist, which caused the death of the deceased, likely that act would constitute negligence by the defendant driver.
In order for a deceased’s estate to be able to recover a wrongful death action in Palm Harbor, the estate is required to prove that the deceased’s death was caused by the defendant(s) negligent acts. The estate is required to show that the death of the deceased was foreseeable and would not have happened without the negligence of the defendant.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Florida
A statute of limitations helps to ensure that lawsuits and claims are filed in a timely manner. If a case languishes for too long, then the evidence will become stale and trial witnesses might become unavailable for a number of different reasons. When time deadlines are imposed for filing a suit, it allows the trial evidence to stay fresh – and for cases to be resolved in a timely manner.
Under the law in Florida, usually wrongful death cases have a statute of limitations of two years starting on the deceased’s date of death. Absent certain limited circumstances, in most cases, this is a hard deadline. So if a wrongful death lawsuit or claim is not filed within the statute of limitations, the estate might be barred forever from being able to file a lawsuit or claim – or from seeking financial recovery – at any time in the future.
Given that time can be of the essence in wrongful death cases, the deceased’s estate’s personal representative should take legal action right away and not delay. The knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys at Winters & Yonker P.A. in Palm Harbor can file wrongful death lawsuits or claims in a timely manner.
Call a Palm Harbor Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful deaths are often complex legal matters that involve a wide range of important factors. That is why it is important to seek help from a capable and experienced attorney for the guidance and answers you need. Winters & Yonker P.A has practiced wrongful death law in Palm Harbor for many years. We have helped with restoring the resources of numerous individuals and families who have been faced with disastrous financial and emotional losses. We encourage you to contact our law office to speak to one of our experienced legal professionals about your current situation.