Experiencing the death of someone you love and deeply care about is truly traumatizing, especially if they died as a result of the negligence or wrongful actions of another person. As a result of their actions, you lost your loved one prematurely. After the death of your loved one, you would likely be faced with a pile of medical bills as well as a bleak financial future if you depended on that person for financial assistance.
So, we at Winter & Yonker have some of the best Pinellas Park wrongful death lawyers that can help you to get compensation for the loss of your loved one so that you can continue your life and not struggle financially. Of course, we understand that this will in no way make the pain of losing a loved one disappear. However, our goal is to make your life easier so that you have a much better financial future. Contact our personal injury attorneys today to arrange a free consultation.
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Wrongful Death Claim & Damages
According to Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, any person or entity – governmental, private as well as even companies – who is at fault for the death of another person due to their negligence, wrongful act, default, or breach of contract or warranty can be held fully accountable. The family of the deceased may file a claim against the at-fault party and get compensation for the following things:
- Medical expenses due to the treatment of the now-deceased person
- The cost of the funeral and other related expenses
- Income that the deceased person would have continued to earn for the rest of his/her life in the event that they did not die
- Loss of familial companionship – this type of compensation is for the family members and the anguish they suffer due to losing a member of their family
When it comes to calculating the right amount of damages due to wrongful death, it is quite difficult to do so. This is especially difficult when it comes to putting a monetary figure on the loss of companionship and potential lifetime earnings.
As a result, you will likely need the help of expert witnesses like an actuarial expert who can help you to calculate the potential lifetime earning, natural life expectancy, etc. Additionally, having the help of a Pinellas Park wrongful death attorney will go a long way in enabling you to create a good case in order to get the compensation that you and your family completely deserve.
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case
Once you have made up your mind to file the wrongful death lawsuit, having a lawyer can help you every step of the way by ensuring you have all of the documents and building a strong case. To prove negligence and hold the at-fault party liable for wrongful death, you must establish these elements:
Duty of Care
When it comes to proving negligence in a wrongful death case, you need to be able to prove that the person or party that is at fault actually owed your deceased loved one a duty of care according to the law. One good example to show this is the way a defendant driver owes all other motorists sharing the road a duty of care. This means that he/she is legally bound to drive in a wise and cautious manner to prevent accidents. A defendant has a definite duty to drive their car or their truck in the same manner as any other reasonable driver who is in the same situation.
Breach of Duty of Care
After showing the defendant had a duty of care, the plaintiff has to provide evidence that the defendant breached this duty either through action or inaction. To put this into perspective, in the example above, if the defendant ran a red light and hit the victim’s car, and this caused them to die, then the defendant motorist broke their duty of care since they were supposed to obey traffic laws and stop at a red light.
Basically, it needs to be proved that the reason the deceased person actually died was because of the negligence of the defendant. In the example of a car accident, a defendant driver might have been speeding, but if defective brakes actually caused the fatal accident, the defendant driver is not liable for the wrongful death. Instead, the surviving family would have a case against the vehicle or parts manufacturer.
Statute of Limitations in Florida for Wrongful Death
This statute of limitations exists so that all lawsuits are filed in a time-efficient way. This is because if various cases are allowed to stretch out for long periods of time, then the evidence may not be viable and even key witnesses and parties may become unavailable. So, deadlines are very important so that the evidence stays fresh and that each case can come to a resolution as soon as possible.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death in Florida is two years. This period starts from the day of the person’s death. This deadline is mostly set in stone unless there are particular circumstances. So, if you have a wrongful death case and you don’t file it within two years, then you will likely be unable to file a claim or try to get any monetary compensation in the future.
Since there is a time limit when it comes to wrongful death cases, it is imperative that the family of the deceased takes legal action as soon as possible. The Pinellas Park wrongful death lawyers at Winters & Yonker can help to file these claims and lawsuits as quickly as possible so that the case is processed in a timely fashion.
Call a Pinellas Park Wrongful Death Lawyer
When it comes to wrongful death cases, these are quite complicated as there are many factors at play. So, it is imperative that you get the help of an experienced lawyer that can provide the assistance and guidance required. We at Winters & Yonker have experienced wrongful death attorneys who have helped numerous families get the compensation they deserve for the death of their loved one. If you have experienced a wrongful death in your family, be sure to give us a call and speak to one of our lawyers so we can get started on your case.