Wrongful death cases are civil suits that are filed when a party’s recklessness or negligence contributes to an individual’s death. In such scenarios, the plaintiffs are usually those who have survived the deceased. This can be the child or spouse of the deceased. Wrongful death cases are filed in court after a person dies due to the use of defective products, car accidents, medical malpractice, and cases of workers’ compensation.
These cases can be complex, and getting a competent Spring Hill wrongful death lawyer might determine the outcome of the case and how much compensation you would get. Contact Winters & Yonkers today if you are looking for a qualified and experienced wrongful death attorney who can help you win your case. Contact our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation and get started on your wrongful death claim.
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How Are Wrongful Death Cases Treated in Florida?
In the state of Florida, an individual can file a wrongful death suit against a party who they deem responsible for the death caused by any act of breach of warranty or contract, negligence, default, or wrongful act. With that said, wrongful death encompasses a variety of scenarios. Some legal grounds for a wrongful death suit are:
- Improper alcohol sales: For instance, a bar owner who continues to sell alcohol to an intoxicated individual
- Poor Sanitation: For instance, cases involving the sale of contaminated food in restaurants
- Fatal pedestrian accidents
- Car accidents that occur as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance
- Acts of crime such as murder
- Construction and engineering malpractice that cause workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice: This can include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and wrong prescriptions
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Spring Hill, FL?
A wrongful death suit can be filed by any person who is a legal representative of the deceased estate, or who is named in the deceased will or estate plan. Where the deceased does not leave a valid estate plan or will, the court may appoint a legal representative, who brings the case to court on behalf of the surviving family members. In such cases, it is necessary that the appointed representative state their personal interest in the case prior to the commencement of court proceedings.
In Florida, the following persons are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- A child born out of wedlock, as long as it can be confirmed that the father was supporting the child
- A blood relative or adoptive sibling that was wholly or partly dependent on the deceased for support
- The deceased’s parent, child, or spouse
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered?
Wrongful death cases are civil claims, and liability is solely addressed in the form of monetary damages. Section 768.21 of the Florida Statutes lists the state’s guidelines for awarding damages in wrongful death cases. Damages are categorized into those that the survivors of the deceased can recover and those the estate can recover.
The deceased person’s estate can be awarded damages for:
- Funeral and medical expenses paid directly by the estate
- Net loss accumulations or the cumulative value of income the estate could have generated if the deceased person was still alive
- Lost earnings or wages, including earnings that the deceased would have made in the future
The survivors of the deceased can be awarded damages for:
- Funeral and medical expenses paid by those who survived the deceased
- Loss of guidance, protection, and companionship offered by the deceased person
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering following the loss of a parent or child
- Value of services and support offered by the deceased person
How Is Negligence Determined in Wrongful Death Cases?
In a wrongful death case, the main factors that are used to determine negligence are:
The plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the deceased a duty of care. For example, a truck driver has a responsibility to follow traffic laws and the FMCSA regulations for safe operation and in order to prevent accidents.
The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant breached or violated their duty of care either through action (such as drunk driving) or inaction (like a truck driver not performing regular maintenance on their truck).
The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s actions caused the death of the deceased. So if a fatal truck accident was caused by a manufacturing defect rather than driver error, the truck driver isn’t liable.
The plaintiff must prove that the wrongful death resulted in damages, which can include things like funeral bills and loss of companionship.
How Do You Initiate a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Spring Hill, FL?
The law demands that the deceased’s representative file a wrongful death suit within two years of the death of the person in question. While hiring an attorney may not be at the top of your mind after losing a loved one, starting the process of searching for a good wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible can significantly increase your chances of winning.
Lawyers who handle wrongful death suits are familiar with the ins and outs of these cases. They can assist you in building a solid case. On top of this, they can ensure that you always present the right documents in court as well as meet all deadlines when filing the claim.
Contact Our Spring Hill Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
Our lawyers are highly trained, highly skilled, and knowledgeable on all matters related to wrongful death. They have the necessary qualifications and experience in handling these cases. Because of the many laws that govern these cases, you cannot afford to hire just any lawyer to handle your case. At Winters & Yonker, we guarantee the best representation in court. We will do our best to ensure that you get fair compensation for the loss of your loved one.
By hiring any one of our Spring Hill wrongful death attorneys, you can be sure that you will be getting the best legal representation. We will help you get a clear picture of the kind of compensation to expect as well as the benefits of filing a wrongful death suit.
We know very well that losing a loved one is not easy. Because of this, we try our best to ensure that justice prevails at the end of the day. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.