Broward County Wrongful Death Lawyer
In the tragic circumstance of an untimely death caused by another person or entity, the Broward County wrongful death lawyer is compassionate toward family and aggressive in achieving rightful compensation.
The attorney invites the survivors of those who perished to a consultation free of charge or commitment. The professional wrongful death lawyer will evaluate the situation and weigh it with the law to determine the strength of the case. Personal injury attorneys are paid at the end of the case by a part of the damages won, a method referred to as contingency.
Definition of Wrongful Death
A wrongful death is taking the life of a person by an intentional or negligent act committed by a person or an entity. The death can occur under many circumstances, including accidents in the workplace or on a job site, in automotive collisions and boating crashes, by defective products, the malpractice of a health care provider, or in a criminal act.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim
In Florida, the decedent’s spouse, children, or the estate may sue for damages. Blood relatives and siblings may also sue if they relied in part on or entirely upon the deceased for financial support or services.
Parents may sue for loss of companionship but not for financial support. The children of parents who were not in wedlock may sue if the mother is the decedent although the father will not have standing to sue unless they have provided financial support and formally acknowledged the child. Parents of a fetus may sue if death occurred from a pre-birth injury as well.
Potential Compensation in Wrongful Death Cases
In suing for monetary compensation for a life lost, Florida allows certain economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include:
- Loss of a lifetime of income that the decedent would have earned
- Loss of the estate’s investments and benefits that likely would have accumulated
- Medical expenses related to the death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Property damage if applicable
- Punitive, if the cause of death was egregious
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering of the spouse, children, siblings
- Emotional trauma
- Mental anguish
- Loss of spousal protection and companionship
- Loss of a minor child’s financial support, guidance, instruction, and companionship
Florida Statute of Limitations
To achieve damages, a lawsuit must be filed with the proper court within a certain amount of time, called the statute of limitations. Failing to adhere to deadline prevents the plaintiffs from ever suing in that matter.
Florida allows four years from the date of death if the death was caused by a negligent or criminal act. If malpractice is the cause of death, the deadline is two years. Time goes by quickly, so a person should contact a Broward County wrongful death attorney immediately.
Proving Negligence Caused a Wrongful Death
If the wrongful death was caused by negligence, such as a traffic crash or a physician’s mistake, the Broward County wrongful death lawyer must prove each of the law’s four elements. These are that the defendant owed a duty of care toward the decedent, the duty was breached by an act that a prudent person would not have done, the breach caused the deadly incident and financial damages resulted.
If the death happened in the commission of a crime, the attorney can use the state’s evidence against the defendant to prove the civil wrongful death lawsuit, which has a lesser standard of proof than criminal cases.
During the case, the attorney will keep the family apprised of the lawsuit’s progress. The attorney also will negotiate a proper settlement with the insurance carrier if the case does not go to trial.
Contact a Broward County Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If you are seeking damages as the result of a loved one’s wrongful death, you should consult a compassionate and knowledgeable Broward County wrongful death lawyer to establish your options.