People die. It’s a fact of life. But, most people die when they get much older. Or, they may suffer an illness and pass away earlier than expected. But one thing should never happen is a loved one dying due to someone’s negligence. When this happens, you need to call a Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney.
How is wrongful death different from other personal injury cases? Well, they aren’t all that different. The major difference is that, rather than get injured, the victim dies. Their injuries are so serious that they can’t recover. Some common causes of wrongful death lawsuits in Fort Lauderdale are:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Product liability
If your family member dies as a result of an accident, your Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer will help you hold the responsible parties accountable. You may have to pursue more than one person. There could be multiple defendants in your case. Your lawyer will make sure all potential defendants are named in your lawsuit.
Generally speaking, wrongful death lawsuits are usually based on negligence. An experienced lawyer in Fort Laudedale knows how to prove negligence.
Your Lawyer Knows the Florida Wrongful Death Statute
Like other personal injury cases, wrongful death is often based on negligence. To prove a negligence case, your lawyer has to show the following:
- The defendant owed your loved one a duty of care
- He breached that duty
- Your loved one died
- His death was caused by the defendant’s breach
The hardest part of proving negligence is causation. You have to find a way to prove that the defendant is liable for your loved one’s death. This isn’t easy. The jury knows that a lot is at stake. They understand that their decision can impact both parties in a great way. Your lawyer will have to show that your loved one wouldn’t have died if it weren’t for the defendant’s actions.
Who Can File for Wrongful Death Actions in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?
Some states don’t allow family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Florida is not one of these states. They allow most family members to file a claim on behalf of the victim. In order to file a wrongful death claim in Florida, you must fall into one of the following classes:
- Surviving spouse
- Parents of deceased
- Blood relative or adopted child who is financially dependent on the deceased
Even if you’re really close to the decedent, you can’t file for wrongful death if you’re not listed above. This means that you can’t sue if you were engaged to the victim. You can’t sue if he was your business partner. The law is very strict about who can and cannot sue for wrongful death.
Florida law also requires that you file suit within a certain period of time. You must file your claim before the statute of limitations runs out. In Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two (2) years. This means you only have two years from the date of death to file suit. Don’t wait until the last minute. Your attorney will need plenty of time to prepare your case.
Damages in a Florida Wrongful Death Suit
Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are different from personal injury damages. Since the victim isn’t alive, he can’t prove his own damages. You need to claim two types of damages. Your first must demand the damages that your loved one could have claimed had he survived the accident. You also get to demand your own damages.
In Florida, you can claim the following types of damages:
- 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
Your Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney has to prove these damages. You don’t just get damages because someone died. You have to show that your family suffered an actual loss. Your lawyer will present evidence of what your family has lost due to the accident. He can also show what damages the victim would’ve if he were alive.
Accidents that Cause Wrongful Death in Florida
Some types of accidents are more likely to cause the death of the victim than others. Wrongful death attorneys have handled all of these types of cases. Most causes of wrongful deaths include:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: Some car accidents are so dangerous, people don’t survive. Truck accidents, for example, have a high fatality rate.
- Medical Malpractice: Doctors are supposed to take care of us. But doctors make mistakes. If your loved one is misdiagnosed and ends up passing away, the doctor and his practice may be liable.
- Dangerous Drugs: With so many new drugs on the market, it’s hard to know which ones are safe and which one’s aren’t.
Your attorney will fight to get your family justice. He’ll also fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Attorney Today
If your loved one has died in some sort of accident, you need to contact a Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney today. Schedule your free consultation. You’ll get to sit down with an experienced attorney and ask any questions you may have. He can also review your case and let you know what it may be worth.
This is a time when your family needs to grieve and try to move on with life. The last thing you need to do is deal with insurance companies and lawyers. Let your Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney handle the legal side of things for you.