West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Lawyers
Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits In Florida
Individuals every day lose their lives in countless accidents caused by negligent physicians, auto accidents and defective products.
Fortunately, when someone dies due to the negligence or the inaction of another party, legal recourse options such as filing a wrongful death lawsuit is available. It is similar to a personal injury lawsuit, as the incident is caused by the wrong doing of another.
However, it is quite obvious that the deceased cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit. So, the family must be the one to do so. But the law does not allow any person of the family to make the claim.
Who Is Allowed To File A Wrongful Death Claim?
Given the number of family members of the deceased, the law stipulates a specific “order of claimants,” or those who can file a wrongful death lawsuit first.
- First in line: The law first allows spouses, life partners and financial dependents to sue for wrongful death.
- Second in line: If the decedent has no spouse, life partner or dependents, his or her parents may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Third in line: If the deceased has no spouse, partner, children or living parents, the siblings and/or their children are authorized to file suit.
- Fourth in line: The next order of claimants is the deceased’s grandparents and their descendents such as the victim’s uncles or aunts.
There are exceptions, however, to the above order. Some states allow ANY person who suffers financially from the loss of the victim to sue for wrongful death. Also, if the victim was a guardian of a minor, the minor may file the case of wrongful death if he or she was cared for by the victim and lived with the victim for at least 180 days.
What Types of Damages Are Available in a West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Claim?
In personal injury cases, damages are awarded depending on how the injury negatively affected the injured victims. In wrongful death claims, the damages awarded are meant to compensate the deceased’s surviving family members for how the loss of their loved one has affected their emotional wellbeing and financial situation.
The surviving family members can usually recover compensatory damages to cover the costs of all the decedent’s medical expenses before they died, burial and funeral costs, and other expenses they may have incurred due to the untimely death of their loved one.
The compensatory damages may also include the earnings the deceased may have earned had they lived. The lost earnings will be estimated according to the deceased’s age at the time of their death, their earning potential, and average life expectancy. Surviving family members may likewise recover damages for lost support and services, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
The surviving spouse can also be awarded loss of the deceased’s protection and companionship. If there are surviving minor children, the child may be awarded lost instruction, guidance, and parental companionship.
In addition to the compensatory damages, the surviving family members may recover punitive damages if the liable party’s egregiously negligent or careless actions caused the death of the deceased.
Is There a Time Limit For Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
The statute of limitations for Florida wrongful death claims sets forth a deadline within which surviving family members can bring a wrongful death claim. They can be barred from bringing a claim forever if they fail to file their claim within the time limit. Surviving family members of an individual who was killed due to another person or entity’s wrongdoing or negligence must file their claim within two years of the deceased’s date of death.
However, if the death of your loved one was killed due to an intentional tort, such as homicide, surviving family members can initiate a wrongful death action at any time. This exception applies even if the liable party hasn’t been convicted, charged, or even arrested for the crime.
What Our West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Lawyers Can Do For You
Building a strong wrongful death claim is never easy. But having the West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers of Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa by your side to guide you through the entire legal process can significantly help. We know how to establish fault and liability for your loved one’s death to ensure that you receive the compensation your family deserves.
We know exactly how pursuing a wrongful death claim can impact surviving family members emotionally and financially. But with guidance from our West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers, we can help provide closure during this immensely challenging time.
Our lawyers have decades of experience serving people throughout West Palm Beach and surrounding areas. We know that we cannot bring back your loved one, but we will certainly do what we can to secure maximum compensation for your family’s losses.
Skilled, Experienced Legal Representation To Handle Your Wrongful Death Case in West Palm Beach
Claiming a wrongful death suit requires a trial attorney to provide sufficient evidence that the other party’s misconduct or negligence caused the death.
At Rosenthal, Levy, Simon & Sosa, our team of lawyers has over 35 years of experience helping South Florida family members in similar situations successfully recover compensation they need to move forward. Losing a family member is difficult enough; not having the financial means to move forward adds to the stress you are facing. Let us help you.
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Learn more about the different types of wrongful death benefits available.