Florida Wrongful Death Lawyers
Tenacious & Compassionate Counsel When You Need It Most
It is devastating when a family member dies because of another persons negligence or improper conduct. While nothing can bring back a loved one, a wrongful death claim can assist families who suffer heavy financial burdens and immense pain and suffering as a result of the death.
Wrongful death cases are incredibly complicated, which is why you need a seasoned law firm by your side. Experienced Florida wrongful death lawyers Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather have a proven track record of handling wrongful death claims.
Who Can Recover Damages From Wrongful Death Claims?
A personal representative must file the wrongful death claim. A personal representative is someone named in a will or estate plan. If there is no will, the personal representative will be appointed by the probate court.
The personal representative files the claim on behalf of certain surviving family members. Depending on the type of case, these members often include:
- The deceased’s spouse
- The deceased’s children
- Parents of the decedent
Sometimes other relatives who depend on the decedent for financial support may be entitled to recover as well. Consult with an attorney to determine if you are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim under Florida law.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather has represented clients in a variety of wrongful death cases. Wrongful death claims can be filed when a person or company’s negligence or wrongful acts lead to the death of another.
While there are a variety of case types, they generally fall into one of several categories. First and foremost, different types of vehicle accidents often result in immediate death or catastrophic injuries where the victims succumb to their injuries following the crash. Automobile, truck, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents top this list. While the driver of the vehicle is often at fault for the wrongful death, the owner of the vehicle, the manufacturer, or the trucking company may be responsible as well. Our team at Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather fully investigates these claims to identify all responsible parties and potential causes of action.
Medical malpractice and nursing home negligence are other tragic causes of wrongful deaths in Florida. These include birth injuries that result in the death of the child, failure to diagnose serious health problems that result in death, nursing home neglect, as well as surgical or medication errors.
Premises accidents can also result in wrongful death claims. Property owners who fail to remove dangerous hazards put people at risk. Finally, the manufacturers of defective products can often be held liable if their products cause the death of consumers.
These are just some of the common categories. If your loved one is a victim of wrongful death, you can file a claim in many instances, even if the suit doesnt fit into one of the common categories.
How to Prove Negligence in a Wrongful Death Claim
You have to prove negligence when filing a wrongful death claim. This is similar to the process of proving liability in other personal injury cases. The person you are filing a claim against must have owed your loved one a duty of care. By breaching the duty of care, the defendant caused your loved ones death. You also must prove that you suffered damages due to the death. The damages can be economic, such as medical or funeral expenses, and non-economic, including pain and suffering and emotional trauma. Your attorney will help you determine if your case meets the criteria for a wrongful death claim.
Damages & Wrongful Death Claims
You can recover economic and non-economic damages with a wrongful death claim. The economic damages include medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages, and the loss of the decedents support and services. The estate might also be eligible to recover lost earnings or the prospective net accumulations of the estate. Loss of companionship and guidance and pain and suffering are also recoverable in many instances. Talk to a Florida wrongful death attorney to learn more about the potential damages you can receive for the wrongful death of a loved one.
Statute of Limitations
There is a limited time period, or statute of limitation, to file a wrongful death claim in Florida. You have two years to file a wrongful death claim in the state of Florida. If you wait longer than two years, your claim will be dismissed because the statute of limitations will have expired.
One of the first things you should do if you think you have a wrongful death claim is consult an attorney. An attorney can investigate the case, gather crucial evidence, hire expert witnesses, identify all responsible parties, and timely file your claim. They will also represent you in negotiations and litigation if necessary.
Learn more about your options for a claim by calling our Florida wrongful death attorneys at 561-500-HELP today.