Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Attorney
The unexpected death of a loved one is nothing short of devastating, but when your loved one dies as the result of the negligence of another individual, the emotional toll is even greater. Your family may face financial hardships without the support of your loved one, and mounting medical bills, funeral costs, and burial expenses can be overwhelming. Nothing can change the pain you feel, but it is possible to file a wrongful death claim with a Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Attorney.
What is Wrongful Death?
Legally, Florida courts define wrongful death as occurring as a result of the negligent or intentional actions of another person or entity. The death must happen as a result of a breach of contract, a wrongful act, or negligence. Only then do the surviving family members have the right to file a lawsuit.
Wrongful death lawsuits in Fort Lauderdale happen in many different kinds of cases.
Common Types of Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Claims
- Accidental poisoning or overdose
- Bicycle accidents
- Boating or drowning accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premise liability accidents
- Workplace accidents
In every case, though, a Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney files your case in civil court instead of a criminal one. The result, then, means compensation for your family.
Each U.S. state has its own laws on how the surviving party can file a wrongful death lawsuit, and Florida is little different in that regard. Within those laws are rules to determine which individual in the family is eligible for compensation following a wrongful death. The help of a wrongful death attorney in Fort Lauderdale, then, is critical to the success of your case.
Most Florida residents may not be fully aware of the rules and regulations for filing a wrongful death claim. Rather than going straight to a civil court, it is important to speak to a personal injury lawyer to understand your rights, explore your options and then make an informed decision on how to proceed.
Who is Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The official complaint usually needs to be made by the personal representative who has been named in the will of the decedent or an individual who the court has appointed. In most cases, a Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer will accompany the personal representative. The personal representative usually files a claim on behalf of the survivors (i.e. children, spouse) who have suffered either financial or emotional loss following the death of their loved one. In court, the personal representative must have a list of all the surviving members who have an interest in the lawsuit. The family members will usually include:
- Spouse of the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
The law also allows names of other financially dependent relatives to be added to the list, but their names only become relevant after the primary beneficiaries have filed their claim.
What Types of Wrongful Death Damages are Awarded?
Wrongful death claims are typically based on the expenses and financial damage the family suffers as the result of a loved one. This list can include
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of companionship in the case of a spouse
- Loss of decedent’s benefits (pension, investments)
- Loss of future earnings
- Loss of parental guidance if the decedent has minor children
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
The average payout for wrongful death in Florida varies quite a bit depending on the circumstances of the person’s death, but your Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney can help you better understand the compensation you may receive during a lawsuit.
When Can Wrongful Death Cases Be Filed in Fort Lauderdale?
A case can be filed after the death has occurred, but there is a statute of limitations on claims like these. The case must be filed within two years from the time the person died. That time limit makes choosing a Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney as soon as possible essential.
How Long Do Wrongful Death Cases Take to Resolve?
Most wrongful deaths can be settled within 6-12 months. Some more complex cases may take several years.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for a Wrongful Death Case?
Filing a wrongful death claim in Fort Lauderdale is a time-consuming, complex process. In the majority of wrongful death cases, the other party will deny that the death was their fault. As a result, the help of a wrongful death attorney in Fort Lauderdale can be incredibly helpful. If you file on your own, you must not only deal with the paperwork itself but also the research and investigation. Any miscalculation or misstep can mean depriving your family of the money they deserve.
The Power of Clayton Trial Lawyers
Clayton Trial Lawyers know how much you have to deal with as a result of the sudden and unexpected loss you’re facing. We’ll help build a solid wrongful death claim so you can recover the compensation you deserve and lessen the financial burden of your loved one’s accidental death. Our experienced team is ready to help. Contact us today to learn more.