Dedicated to Helping Injury Victims Throughout Florida
Attorneys Assisting People in West Palm Beach in Wrongful Death Claims
The unexpected death of a loved one can be devastating, but when the loss is caused by the reckless acts of another party, those left behind often not only have to contend with overwhelming grief but also with anger and frustration. People that recklessly cause the death of another person can be held accountable for their actions, though, and survivors have the right to pursue damages via a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you lost a loved one because of someone else’s wrongful behavior, the dedicated West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers of Winegar Law, P.A. can advise you of your rights and aid you in pursuing the full amount of damages you may be able to recover under the law. While we are mindful that no amount of money will mend the harm caused by your loved one’s senseless death, we can help you pursue the compensation needed to repair the financial damages suffered due to your loss to allow you to focus on healing.
Pursuing Wrongful Death Claims in Florida
The right to pursue damages via a wrongful death claim is provided by the Florida Wrongful Death Act (the Act). Specifically, it provides that the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can pursue claims for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit against the party that caused the injuries that ultimately resulted in the loss of the deceased person’s life.
While the Act allows parties to pursue wrongful death claims under several theories of liability, in most lawsuits arising out of fatal incidents, the plaintiff will allege that the defendant was negligent. In Florida, to prove negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care under the circumstances, but the defendant breached the duty.
The plaintiff must also show that the defendant’s breach caused the accident and that the accident caused fatal injuries, which caused the plaintiff to suffer actual losses. In many instances, police reports, eyewitness statements, surveillance videos, and pictures may be used to demonstrate that the defendant failed to act in a reasonable manner in consideration of the situation that existed at the time the fatal harm occurred. A plaintiff that successfully establishes liability may be awarded damages. Any wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of death, however, or the estate and any survivors may lose the right to recover compensation.
Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim
The Act details the compensation that may be awarded in a wrongful death claim. Specifically, it states that the estate may be awarded damages for the loss of earnings from the time the deceased person was injured until they died, with certain deductions. Additionally, medical and funeral expenses may be awarded to the estate, along with compensation for the estimated amount of money the deceased person would have accumulated throughout their life if they had lived.
The deceased person’s survivors may be granted damages as well for the loss of the services and support caused by the deceased person’s death. They may also be granted remuneration for the emotional trauma caused by the deceased person’s passing. It is important to note, though, that only those individuals that are defined as survivors under the Act, such as a child or spouse, may be awarded damages.
Speak to a Seasoned Florida Car Accident Attorney
The death of a loved one may not only cause grave emotional harm but may be financially devastating as well. If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by another person’s carelessness, it is prudent to consult an attorney to discuss whether you may be able to file civil claims. The seasoned personal injury attorneys of Winegar Law, P.A. are mindful of the devastation caused by an unexpected loss, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly to help you pursue any damages you may be owed. We regularly represent parties in wrongful death lawsuits following fatal accidents in West Palm Beach and in Miami, where our offices are located. You can request a FREE Consultation online or give us a call at 561-717-0447 to schedule a consultation.
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