Thousands of people get hurt in accidents every year, but most of them survive. Sadly, the same can’t be said of many others. Some accidents are just so serious that the victims don’t make it. These are called wrongful deaths. If you’ve lost a loved one to an accident, you need a Boynton Beach wrongful death attorney.
What is wrongful death? It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a death that never should’ve happened. Usually, wrongful deaths are caused by accidents. Some of the more common wrongful death cases involve:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Dangerous drugs
The defendants in these cases tend to be bigger companies. Yes, with motor vehicle accidents, the defendant will be the other driver. But in the other types of cases, we’re dealing with manufacturers and hospitals.
Almost all wrongful death claims are filed against insurance companies. Ideally, you’d file your insurance claim and it would be paid right away. If your claim isn’t approved, you’ll have a few options.
Your wrongful death attorney in Florida will help you pursue these options.
- 1 What To Do if Your Insurance Claim is Denied?
- 2 Who Can File a Claim Under the Florida Wrongful Death Statute?
- 3 What Types of Damages Can You Claim?
- 4 What Are the Different Causes of Wrongful Death in Florida?
- 5 What Types of Parties are Named in Wrongful Death Cases?
- 6 Contact a Boynton Beach Wrongful Death Attorney Today
What To Do if Your Insurance Claim is Denied?
It can be really frustrating to find out your insurance claim wasn’t approved. You and your family are dealing with funeral arrangements and the loss of your loved one. The last thing you need is bad news.
This is why you need to rely on a Boynton Beach wrongful death attorney. Your attorney will deal with all of the legal issues while you focus on your family.
There are several reasons why the insurance company may deny your claim:
- They don’t believe the defendant is liable for the victim’s death
- The policy wasn’t valid at the time of the accident
- They believe a pre-existing condition was the actual cause of the death
- The claim is very large and they’d rather try to settle for a lower amount
Your Boynton Beach wrongful death attorney knows how the insurance companies work. They know that most denials are just an invitation for negotiations. And, thankfully, your attorney has years of experience dealing with insurance adjusters.
The first thing your lawyer will do is file an appeal. Hopefully, once the insurance adjuster learns you have a wrongful death lawyer, he’ll be more willing to play ball. If the claim is still denied, your lawyer will have no choice but to file a wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf.
Who Can File a Claim Under the Florida Wrongful Death Statute?
The Florida wrongful death statute defines wrongful death as any death that is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, or breach of contract by another. These lawsuits are technically filed by the estate of the person who died.
When it comes to who can file a claim under the statute, under Florida law, the following family members qualify:
- Surviving spouse
- Children (both adult children and minor children can sue)
- Parents of deceased
- Blood relative or adopted child who is financially dependent on the deceased
Certain people do not have the standing to file a wrongful death case. For example, no matter how much mental pain and suffering a fiance may experience, he can’t file suit under the statute.
In order to recover, your claim has to be filed within the statute of limitations. In Florida, you only have two (2) years from the date of date to file suit. If you miss this window, your claim will be barred forever.
What Types of Damages Can You Claim?
Usually, in a personal injury suit, the injured party is the one filing for damages. However, when that person is gone, the family has to step in and get justice for them. This means the type of damages you claim is a bit different.
In Florida, you can demand the following in a wrongful death case:
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earnings
- The value of an estate the person would have left had they lived a natural life
- Mental and emotional pain suffered by the family
- Value of support and guidance the defendant would’ve supplied
- Loss of companionship and guidance
It’s really hard to put a price on a lot of these things. You can’t show the jury a receipt for the loss of your dad’s companionship. Nor can you give an exact amount of the earnings he would have received in his lifetime.
There’s no way to determine how long your loved one would have lived if they weren’t in the accident. You also have to take the decedent’s age into account. Is a younger person’s life more valuable than an older person’s? Well, that depends.
If someone is in their 30s or 40s and is earning a huge salary, their damages may be higher than someone in their 20s who is in college.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the value of your loved one’s death reduced to present time. So, if he were to live another thirty years, the court will discount it to present day value.
Your attorney will negotiate with the defendant’s attorney to get you the best settlement possible.
What Are the Different Causes of Wrongful Death in Florida?
We already mentioned what the main causes of wrongful death cases are. We need to examine them a bit further. Your loved one may have been killed in a car accident. Or, maybe he was misdiagnosed by his doctor and died from terminal cancer. There are so many different ways people can pass away. Regardless of how it happens, if a third party if responsible for their death, they need to be held accountable.
Some of the more common causes of wrongful death are:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Some car accidents are so dangerous, people don’t survive. Truck accidents, for example, have a high fatality rate. Because the truck is so large and powerful, passengers in the car don’t stand a chance.
Doctors are supposed to take care of us. But doctors make mistakes. They’re busy and try to fit in as many patients as possible. If your loved one is misdiagnosed and ends up passing away, the doctor and his practice may be liable.
With so many new drugs on the market, it’s hard to know which ones are safe and which one’s aren’t. You could have a bad interaction with a certain drug. You may be allergic to it. Either way, you can die as a result of a dangerous drug.
Wrongful death lawyers in Boynton Beach handle all of these types of cases. They have years of experience going after the defendants in wrongful death cases.
What Types of Parties are Named in Wrongful Death Cases?
Your attorney is going to name all possible defendants in your case. There may only be one defendant. But, most wrongful death cases will involve more than one. This is because these cases are complex.
Some of the possible defendants in your Florida wrongful death case include:
- The driver of a car that hits your loved one’s car
- A doctor who fails to diagnose the decedent’s illness
- The manufacturer of a dangerous drug
- A mechanic who doesn’t service the victim’s car properly
This list is not exhaustive. There are plenty of other parties who can be name in a wrongful death suit. These are some of the most common. Your attorney will make sure all parties are named in your initial claim. You may not be able to add them later on.
Contact a Boynton Beach Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If your loved one died in an accident, you may have a claim for wrongful death in Florida. Not only have you lost your loved one, but you’ve also lost their companionship and protection. This may not sound like a lot to a stranger, but it means everything to you.
Your attorney understands this. He will work hard to get your family the compensation they deserve. He’ll also make sure your claim is filed within the Florida statute of limitations. Remember – you only have two years from the date of death to file your claim.
Call us at (800) 800-6500 and schedule your free initial consultation with a Boynton Beach wrongful death attorney today. You can sit down with an experienced attorney who can review your case. They will answer any questions you may have. They’ll also let you know what your case may be worth. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until your case settles.
You need to focus on taking care of your family and grieving for your loss. Call us today and let an experienced attorney handle the legal side of things for you at this difficult time.