Losing a loved one due to another person’s negligence is a devastating experience. It is natural to want justice. On top of this, families may be under financial stress from funeral expenses and the loss of the victim’s income. You can file a claim for damages against the offender.
But it is difficult to manage your case without help from a skilled Zephyrhills wrongful death lawyer. If you do things yourself, may face tons of roadblocks and eventually lose the case because of your inexperience. Winters & Yonker will fight to ensure you get your deserved compensation from the responsible party.
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How is Wrongful Death Defined in the State of Florida?
The Florida Statutes Section 768.19 states that if anyone dies due to a person’s breach of contract, wrongful act, or negligence, it comes under wrongful death. If you are the deceased’s estate, spouse, or parent and confident that the deceased died due to the above reasons, you can file a civil lawsuit by seeking legal help from a professional. We can help file the case and assist in proving your claim.
Many people compare wrongful death to murder or manslaughter cases. There is a fine line of difference between the two. Homicides and murders come under criminal court. On the other hand, wrongful death goes under a civil court in Florida. Murder or manslaughter would fit the definition of wrongful death, the offender can be sued in civil court as well as prosecuted.
Who is Qualified to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
The deceased’s personal representative can file a wrongful death claim in Florida. The compensation goes to the deceased’s estate. The process isn’t as easy as it sounds. The court will first establish the relationship between the estate and the deceased. The deceased’s parents, children, and spouse can recover damages in a wrongful death claim. In the case of children, minors below the age of 25 will get a higher compensation amount than adult children. Financially dependent relatives may also file the lawsuit, but after these beneficiaries file their claims.
There are two ways to file your wrongful death claim: the easiest method is to hire a lawyer who can handle the legal proceedings. Our experienced lawyers know the entire process and would leave no stone unturned to rope the case in your favor. The second method is slightly complicated. It requires a personal representative to file the wrongful death claim. Who is a personal representative? It is someone mentioned in the deceased’s will or estate plan. You will not be able to file the claim if your name isn’t there. In that case, the court will appoint a legal representative.
What Types of Damages are Recoverable?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions regarding wrongful death claims. Clients want to know what to expect if they win the case. Wrongful death claims involve a lot of money. And you have every right to know the approximate amount you may receive if you win. Well, we need to take various factors in mind and calculate the amount carefully. Here are some of the damages for which the offender is liable to pay:
- The value of the deceased in terms of service and support provided to the family.
- The loss of companionship and protection that the deceased would otherwise provide if he were not dead.
- The emotional pain and mental trauma that parents go through if they lose their child.
- The funeral expenses and medical bills of the deceased that the family members had to bear.
Additionally, the defendant must also pay for the family’s financial losses due to the deceased’s death. These include:
- Any financial benefit that the deceased received, such as wages and bonuses from work before dying. The lawyer calculates every penny that the deceased would otherwise make if he didn’t die.
- He will also calculate the personal representative’s prospective net accumulations. This is the amount that the representative would receive if the deceased were alive.
- The defendant must also pay the medical bills and funeral expenses or reimburse the amount already paid by the estate.
How is Negligence Proven in a Wrongful Death Case?
There are four factors that must be shown to prove the negligence of the defendant in a wrongful death case.
- Duty – It proves how the defendant was responsible for providing care to the deceased but failed in his job miserably, leading to the death of your loved one.
- Breach – Our lawyer also proves how the violation or breach of the defendant’s responsibilities led to the death. The lawyer will focus on the specific actions and inactions that another responsible person wouldn’t do if he were in the defendant’s place.
- Damage – This stage shows the defendant’s the extent of damage that the defendant’s violation of duty had on the deceased’s family members.
- Causation – The lawyer proves your claims and how the deceased died due to the defendant’s negligence.
How Do You Start a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
You can get the ball rolling for your wrongful death claim in Zephyrhills, FL by hiring one of our lawyers. We will take care of the legal paperwork and inform you about everything related to the case as and when things happen.
Alternatively, you can file a wrongful death claim if you are a personal representative of the deceased. Any personal representative must have his/her name in the deceased’s estate plan or will. Otherwise, the state will appoint a representative on behalf of the estate.
What is the Difference Between a Wrongful Death Claim and an Estate Claim?
An estate claim only covers the damages that the deceased would recover if he were alive. On the other hand, a wrongful death claim provides compensation for all the financial benefits that the deceased provided to the estate.
Contact Our Zephyrhills Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
If you have lost a loved one due to another party’s wrongful or negligent actions, our Zephyrhills wrongful death lawyers understand your pain and are here to help you. You can call Winters & Yonker at (888) 373-7770 to represent you in court. We assure you that we will do everything possible to win the case on your behalf.