If you've lost a loved one unexpectedly, you may be facing significant financial hardships along with your emotional loss. If your loved one passed away due to the negligence or misconduct of someone else, you may be able to seek financial compensation to help you through this difficult time by means of a wrongful death suit. There is, however, a time limit for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, so it's important that you consult a Miami wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
Wrongful death occurs when someone dies as a result of the negligence, recklessness, or deliberate actions of another. More than one party may be held liable for a single event, such as both the driver of a company vehicle who causes a fatal accident and the company that owns the vehicle. The liable party or parties can include individuals, government agencies, companies, or employees. To establish wrongful death, an attorney must prove that an individual failed to behave in a reasonable, prudent manner; that his or her wrongful actions caused the death; and that damages resulted. Common causes of wrongful death include:
- Medical malpractice. This includes misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, inadequate service (such as wrong prescriptions), or inaction.
- Accidents at work. Employers should make sure that their employees don’t work in dangerous conditions or without proper safety equipment.
- Car or truck accidents. Drivers are responsible for operating vehicles safely, and drivers who talk on cell phones, text, or drive under the influence of alcohol may provide grounds for a wrongful death claim.
- Defective products. Manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their products, including toys, power tools, vehicles, and other consumer products.
- Death during a supervised activity. Supervised activities can include sports tournaments, field trips, or other activities
Our experienced Miami wrongful death lawyers in our South Florida offices can review your situation, answer your questions, and conduct an appropriate investigation to determine the facts around your loved one’s death. They’ll evaluate your possible claim and help you take appropriate action.Wrongful death claims
Members of your family who depended on the deceased for emotional and/or financial support may be eligible for compensation to help you recover from your loss. These survivors include:
- Other relatives who depended on the deceased for support
In Florida, if you have a valid wrongful death claim, you will need to open a probate estate and appoint a personal representative (usually a spouse, parent, or another appropriate person) who will bring action on behalf of the estate and individual survivors. Our wrongful death claims attorneys can assist you in opening the estate and appointing a personal representative.Wrongful death damages
Each survivor may be entitled to recover the value of lost support and services, the value of future support and services, and medical and/or funeral expenses. Survivors may also recover for the loss of the deceased’s companionship, and mental pain and suffering. Determining damages can be complex. For example, when an employed adult with dependent children dies, the court may consider:
- Loss of income, with interest, both present and in the future
- Loss of parental companionship, guidance, and instruction
- Mental pain and suffering
In addition, a court may also impose punitive damages, which may be appropriate in situations where someone was intentionally or recklessly negligent and caused a death. Punitive damages punish the responsible party and discourage others from behaving similarly, so that other people won’t experience the same losses you have.Call us today
At Friedman, Rodman & Frank, we help families across South Florida navigate the legal process, while protecting their rights with compassion and sympathy. Our attorneys have the extensive knowledge, experience, and skill you need to examine your legal options and seek fair compensation for your loss. To learn more contact us at our Miami law offices by calling 305-448-8585 or 877-448-8585.