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Wrongful Death

RECOVERING DAMAGES IN A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT IN FLORIDA WHAT IS “WRONGFUL DEATH”?

The phrase “wrongful death” has a specific legal meaning for a Hollywood wrongful death attorney. Specifically, it refers to any death that has occurred by wrongful means, whether caused by an intentional, reckless, or negligent act of another. A wrongful death lawsuit is a personal injury claim, and does not depend upon how the death occurred; thus, a claim may be pursued whether the death occurred by medical negligence, a car accident, an intentional killing, or any other wrongful means. At the Flaxman Law Group, our South Florida personal injury attorneys understand how difficult dealing with the death of a loved one can be, and we work diligently with our clients to ease the process of recovery.

Because the immediate victim of a wrongful death is deceased, he or she is not able to sue the wrongdoer. However, the law recognizes that it would be nonsensical for a wrongdoer to escape liability when his or her wrongful act leads to death, yet a lesser, non-fatal injury would be fully recoverable. Accordingly, a wrongful death action recognizes that others, such as a spouse, children, or parents of someone who is killed, are also injured by such wrongful acts, and therefore should be entitled to some form of recovery against the wrongdoer. If you have lost a loved one, contact a wrongful death attorney in Miami, Hollywood, or your South Florida community.

Do I Have an Accidental Death Claim?

As a general rule, in order to obtain legal recovery for a wrongful death, a plaintiff (or plaintiffs) must be able to show four elements. First, the plaintiff must show that the death was caused, at least in part, by the conduct of the defendant. Second, the death was caused by conduct that was negligent or intentional, or that the defendant, by law, is strictly liable for the death (usually, strict liability lies where there is a special relationship between the defendant and decedent that places the defendant in a position of legal responsibility). Third, the plaintiff is a legally-eligible survivor of the defendant, such as a spouse, child, parent, dependent, or the administrator of the decedent’s estate (on behalf of the estate’s beneficiaries). Finally, the plaintiff must be able to show that monetary damages have resulted from the wrongful death.

Since it can be difficult to determine whether your potential claim meets these four requirements, you will want to consult with a Hollywood wrongful death attorney if you have any reason to suspect a loved one’s death may have been caused by negligence or recklessness. An experienced attorney can look at the details of your case and can help you understand the legal options you may have.

WHAT DAMAGES ARE AVAILABLE IN A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?

When a family member has suffered an unexpected death by wrongful means, survivors can suffer both emotional and financial hardships. Under Florida law, depending upon the circumstances, a survivor may be able to recover monetary damages for:

  • Lost support and services, such as employment income or child care services, including the lost future income and services;
  • Direct costs brought about by the wrongful act, such as medical and funeral costs paid by a survivor;
  • For a spouse, loss of companionship and protection;
  • In the case of children, lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance;
  • For children, spouses, and parents, mental pain and suffering.

The various damages you may recover vary widely and you will want the legal advice of a wrongful death attorney in Miami, Hollywood, or your community to determine which course of action may be right for you.

The amount of damages and whether certain types of damages are recoverable depend upon several factors, such as the age of the decedent, the decedent’s probable future income, and so on. For example, in the case of a deceased parent, the calculation for the loss of parental companionship, instruction and guidance may be higher if the child is an infant than if the child is sixteen years old, although in the same case the calculation of mental pain and suffering damages may be higher for an older child, who is more likely to feel acutely the loss of a much-loved parent than an infant who has not yet developed a strong personal attachment. In addition, certain types of damages may also be limited by specific statutes that relate to specific causes of action; for example, certain types of damages may be limited in medical malpractice lawsuits that are not limited in cases dealing with industrial accidents. A Hollywood wrongful death attorney can help you understand whether any statutes could impact your case.

While it is true that monetary damages cannot adequately compensate for all the injuries suffered by survivors, particularly emotional injuries, the availability of damages to offset the increased burden of shouldering other responsibilities, such as caring for children, can greatly alleviate the difficulties of coping with an unexpected loss. When a loved one has died through a wrongful act, a suit in wrongful death can help to alleviate many of the pragmatic consequences brought about by the death.

IF YOU BELIEVE YOU MAY HAVE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM, CONTACT THE FLAXMAN LAW GROUP FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

It is understandably difficult to attempt to face the mundane and practical realities that are the natural consequences of losing a spouse, child, or parent when you are hurt and suffering from grief. You may hesitate before contact a wrongful death lawyer in Hollywood or your community. If a family member has been killed in an accident or other mishap, however, your future well-being may be critically dependent upon determining whether you have a valid cause of action for recovery in a wrongful death suit.

The Flaxman Law Group can help. We have many years of experience in wrongful death suits, and can evaluate the legal implications of your situation, from knowing whether your case has legal merit to understanding the intricacies of the law regarding which damages are recoverable based upon your specific situation. We are also adept at undertaking the complicated calculations that go into figuring out the potential recovery for matters such as lost future income and the loss of services.

If you need help figuring out what step to take next, call us to speak to a wrongful death lawyer in our Miami, Homestead, or Hollywood offices. Your consultation will be free and strictly confidential, and you will have no obligation to pursue a case with our firm as a result of your free consultation.

Let the attorneys at Flaxman Law Group handle the legal questions and problems that you have neither the training nor inclination to confront in the midst of your grief. If you have unexpectedly lost a loved one, contact the Flaxman Law Group today, at 1-866-FLAXMAN (1-866-352-9626).