Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things a person can endure. But when that tragedy could have been avoided, it adds another layer to the pain you’re already feeling.
At Sunshine State Law Firm, we understand that legal action is likely the last thing on your mind when you’re grieving. However, we also know how important it can be to retain the expertise of a wrongful death attorney when the unthinkable occurs.
What is “Wrongful Death”?
Losing a loved one is never easy, but people pass on every day and—many times—nobody is legally responsible for their death. Often, death is a matter of illness or age and nothing more.
“Wrongful death” however, refers to instances in which a death could have been prevented had one or more people made different choices.
If it can be proven that the actions of another person were negligent, reckless, or deliberate, and led to the death of your loved one, you and your family could be eligible to receive compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.
Not everyone is eligible to file a wrongful death claim. In most cases, these lawsuits are filed by spouses and/or children who relied on the deceased for financial and emotional support.
A wrongful death claim is a civil action. It requires that survivors show the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased and that their action or inaction directly caused the person’s injury or death.
If this can be accomplished, the court will ensure they receive compensation for their losses, financial and otherwise.
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Common Causes of Wrongful Death
There are many instances in which someone else’s behavior could lead to the death of a loved one. Some of the most common instances in which wrongful death lawsuits are filed include:
- Vehicle accidents
- Injuries that occur during a birth
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Premises liability
To determine wrongful death damages, the court takes into account a number of factors, including the life expectancy of the deceased and his or her survivors, their relationship to the deceased, the financial contribution to the family the deceased would have provided had he or she lived, and the mental and emotional pain created by the deceased’s death.
Additionally, funeral and medical expenses can also be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit.
It’s also possible for the court to determine that punitive damages are appropriate. This typically occurs when there is evidence the defendant’s actions were intentional, reckless, or grossly negligent. Punitive damages are intended to punish the responsible party and discourage others from acting in the same way.
Why File a Claim?
Filing a lawsuit can be time-consuming even under the best of circumstances. If you’re suddenly plunged into mourning, seeking compensation is probably the last thing on your mind.
But in many cases, losing a loved one means also losing the financial support that person provided.
Whether your spouse was the main breadwinner or took over household duties such as childcare, they were an essential piece of the well-oiled machine that made your living situation work. You may be without a source of income, saddled with debt from funeral or medical expenses, and no way to dig yourself out of that hole.
The compensation available from a wrongful death lawsuit can ease this financial burden, allowing you time to grieve without having to worry about important practical issues like housing, insurance, and other expenses.
When to File a Wrongful Death Claim
Time is limited after a loved one dies to submit a wrongful death claim. If the statute of limitations expires before you file a legal claim, you can lose out on money to which you are legally entitled.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is only two years. This means you have just two years from the date of the death of your loved one to take legal action.
Should You Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney?
Deciding whether or not it would be appropriate to contact a wrongful death attorney can be a difficult decision.
At Sunshine State Law, we understand it’s a sensitive decision and we want to ensure you that we’ll do whatever we can to put you at ease and help you through this difficult experience.
We’ve worked with family members throughout Florida who are struggling with the loss of a loved one and who have questions about whether or not someone is responsible for their loved one’s death. We provide services in both English and Spanish, and we’ll do everything we can to help you feel comfortable and confident working with us.
While no amount of money can ever replace your loved one, working with a wrongful death attorney can help manage the practical aspect of supporting your family day-to-day.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Sunshine State Law Firm at 407.627.1414 or by email at Simon@SunshineFirm.com.