Lake Worth Wrongful Death Lawyers
Few things in life are as painful as the loss of a loved one. Knowing that your loved one died due to another’s wrongful actions only compounds the campaign. While no amount of money in the world can replace the love, friendship, or companionship you get from a loved one, financial compensation in the cases of wrongful death can be very important. This is especially true when the loved one was one of your family’s providers. After all, in addition to all of the emotional pain that comes with death, the death of a loved one can be financially disastrous to a family that relies upon that person’s income.
One of the biggest disservices our society does to grieving families is when it judges people for filing wrongful death lawsuits quickly. While your first thought may not be of filing a lawsuit when a loved one has died, you are going to be dealing with statutes of limitations that can mean that waiting to file a lawsuit until you feel like you have a handle on your grief may keep you from being able to recover. That is why, even if you do not quite feel emotionally up to the challenge of a wrongful death lawsuit, if you think someone else is responsible for the death of your loved one, you should contact our Lake Worth wrongful death attorney to have your case assessed. Even if you choose not to proceed, at this time, our attorneys can advise you about any applicable statutes of limitations, so that you can know what deadlines are applicable.
In fact, at Demand the Limits, we believe that one of the most important functions we can perform is providing you with the information you need to make the best decisions for your family. Dealing with an unexpected death means dealing with unexpected emotions. You may find yourself having a hard time making decisions or, in the alternative, rushing into decisions. We bring our experience handling grieving people to every wrongful death case, and we offer our counsel in addition to our legal experience, to hopefully provide you with the guidance you may need in this difficult time.
If you are contemplating a wrongful death lawsuit, you probably already know that they are often motivated by multiple factors. You may have a need for financial compensation because of the loss of a wage earner, but few wrongful death plaintiffs have purely financial motives. Instead, many have mixed motives. Many people file wrongful death lawsuits in order to achieve some type of justice for their loved ones.
At Demand the Limits in Lake Worth, our wrongful death lawyers know how to get compensation in wrongful death suits. All of our wrongful death cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means that we do not get a fee unless you recover. If there is no recovery, then you pay no legal fees. This is important in most types of personal injury lawsuits, but becomes particularly important in wrongful death cases.
It is important to know that not all deaths qualify for wrongful death lawsuits; you have to meet all of the same qualifications as for any other type of personal injury lawsuit. In addition, you have to demonstrate why the loved one’s death qualifies as a loss to you and why you should be compensated for the death. If you do not know whether the circumstances of your loved one’s death qualify as negligence or whether you can recover for the loss of your loved one, you can schedule a free consultation with our Lake Worth wrongful death attorneys.
Florida law determines who can bring a lawful death suit. Florida law dictates that immediate family members of the deceased person can bring a wrongful death lawsuit and defines immediate family as: spouses, children, parents, and siblings. While those relationships are usually biological and do not generally include step-family, they do include adopted and biological children. The one exception to the immediate family rule is if you relied upon the deceased for financial support, then you may be able to bring a wrongful death suit even if you are not an immediate family member. This would mean that step-children, step-parents, and live-in-partners might be able to bring wrongful death suits, but that is going to depend on the financial relationship between the parties.
During a free consultation, we can look at your particular family relationship and tell you whether or not you would be able to recover in a wrongful death suit. This is going to depend upon your relationship with the deceased and whether you can prove that relationship. Part of that is going to depend on how local judges interpret family. Since our practice is focused in South Florida, we have experience with how the judges in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties interpret family and can let you know whether your relationship is likely to qualify.
We can also discuss the possibility of competing claims. For example, a new spouse and the minor children of a deceased would both have cause to bring a wrongful death suit. In an ideal world, those suits might be brought together, but things are not always ideal. We can advise you about proceeding with a wrongful death suit when another party has already filed suit or when you believe another party is going to file suit.
Establishing a family relationship is only one part of a wrongful death suit. Once that is established, you then have to prove the elements of a negligence lawsuit. In a negligence lawsuit you have to establish: (1) the wrongdoer owed a duty to the deceased; (2) the wrongdoer was negligent in his duty; and (3) that negligence was the proximate cause of the deceased’s death. Sometimes there are multiple wrongdoers, and you can choose to file suit against one or all of them, but you have to be able to prove that their wrongdoing was the cause of the deceased’s death.
Many people do not know what type of compensation they can seek in a wrongful death suit. Like any personal injury lawsuit, you can seek compensation for money that you had to pay because of the deceased’s injuries and death, such as: medical bills, death-related expenses, and funeral costs. You can also seek money for lost income and benefits that are the result of the death. However, you are not limited to compensation for financial expenses, you can also seek money for the deceased’s pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of companionship, loss of consortium, and the loss of emotional support.
However, not all claimants can receive all types of compensation. In fact, the type of compensation available depends on a number of different factors and can be relatively complicated to determine. Determining loss of income and benefits is relatively simple. However, the judge or jury also has to place a monetary value on the loss of companionship. If you are estranged or have a rocky relationship with the deceased, it can impact the amount of your recovery. At Demand the Limits, we know what factors the courts will consider, so we can advise you whether a settlement offer is reasonable or unreasonable.
One of the questions that many of our potential customers have is whether they can recover punitive damages in a wrongful death claim. The answer is yes, but not under all circumstances. If the wrongful death was due to simple negligence, then you probably will not be able to recover punitive damages. However, if the death was the result of behavior that was not simple negligence, but was reckless, intentional, or gross negligence, then the court may decide to punish the offender with punitive damages.
Many people wonder if a death qualifies as a wrongful death. If something could be the basis of a personal injury lawsuit, then it could probably support a wrongful death claim. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death lawsuits are: car, truck, and motorcycle accidents; medical malpractice; defective products; dangerous drugs; and accidents at work.
While not as common as accidental death scenarios, wrongful death suits may also be brought when a person is accused of criminally causing a deceased’s death. These lawsuits can be a very effective way of getting justice for a family, especially if there has been no criminal conviction. However, it is very important to make sure that your wrongful death suit does not interfere with any criminal prosecution. At Demand the Limits, we make sure to communicate with law enforcement and prosecutors to ensure that we protect your rights and do not interfere with the criminal justice process.
Every loss is painful. While not every loss meets the qualifications for a wrongful death claim, at Demand the Limits, we can promise you a free consultation where we evaluate your case in a respectful and courteous manner. Contact our wrongful death lawyers today for a free consultation, today.