Under common law, a legal claim for personal injuries resulting from death of an individual was not available after the death of that individual. Today, however, each of the fifty…
Miami Wrongful Death Lawyer
If a family member of yours dies as a result of an accident caused by the fault of another person, our Miami wrongful death lawyers at the office of Suarez & Montero understand the difficulty your family is experiencing, and want to help you recover compensation. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that can be pursued when a person’s death is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another. A Miami wrongful death lawyer from Suarez & Montero can guide you through this difficult time and offer sound legal advice in order for you and your family to move forward.
Florida's Wrongful Death Act
Wrongful death actions arise as a result of the death of the plaintiff from injuries sustained in an accident. The Florida Wrongful Death Act creates a right of action for wrongful death in favor of statutorily designated beneficiaries that was not recognized at common law. The theory on which the common law denied recovery for wrongful death was that by reason of the death, the civil injury was merged in the felony of homicide. By contrast, the Florida Wrongful Death Act provides, generally, that when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, then the person that would have been liable in damages if death had not ensued will be liable for damages as specified in the Act, notwithstanding the death of the person injured and although death was caused under circumstances constituting a felony.
Common Accidents and Wrongful Death Cases in Miami, FL
Our Miami wrongful death attorneys have handled numerous claims for family members who lost a loved one due to an accident, negligence or crime. A death is “wrongful” when it occurs due to the negligence of another person which is defined as the failure to act with a reasonable degree of care or the wrongful act of another party. The most common wrongful death cases in South Florida include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian crashes
- Medical malpractice
- Injuries from defective products
- Slip and fall accidents
- Premises liability accidents
Wrongful Death Claims: The Procedure
Florida law says that when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract” of another person or some other entity, the estate of the deceased person may bring a civil lawsuit in Florida’s courts, seeking a legal remedy for that death and the losses stemming from it. A wrongful death lawsuit begins when a representative files a legal action on behalf of the estate) of the deceased victim. The person or persons are the “real parties of interest in the lawsuit. Many wrongful death lawsuits that are based on theories of negligence are brought after someone dies as a result of a car accident or medical malpractice. In those types of wrongful death cases, the law in Florida requires there to be a showing that the person who died must have had the right to sue the person who caused the incident that led to his or her death. For example, this means that in the context of motor vehicle accidents, the representative for the deceased must prove that the at-fault party owed a duty of care to the person who died, and they breached or failed to meet that duty of care, causing the death. On the other hand, if someone dies as a result of medical negligence, a lawsuit against the doctor for wrongful death would have to meet each of the requirements of investigating and proving a medical malpractice claim. These requirements are laid out in various Florida Statutes and rules of procedure.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida
Each state has passed laws that set time limits on your right to go to court and file a lawsuit. This kind of law is called a statute of limitations, and most states have passed a separate statute that covers wrongful death lawsuits. A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida must be filed within two years of the date of death in most cases, according to Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(d). The deadline may be “tolled,” or postponed, under a few very specific circumstances. It’s important to understand and follow the deadline set by the statute of limitations, otherwise you could lose your right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Cases
It goes without saying that no compensation is sufficient to mitigate your loss, but at the very least, you should not have to worry about covering medical and other expenses associated with the death. With the expert legal representation of a wrongful death lawyer during this difficult time, you can hold the responsible party to account. The damages one may seek in a wrongful death claim vary, but most commonly include: pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before succumbing to their injuries, medical costs incurred by the deceased as a result of their injuries prior to their death, funeral costs, loss of the deceased individual’s expected income or potential lost wages, loss of care or guidance that the deceased would have provided had they not died, and loss of companionship due to the loss of the deceased.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Wrongful Death Suit?
In Florida, an action for wrongful death is solely a creation of the legislature. Therefore, the right to bring an action for damages for wrongful death exists solely by virtue of statute; all claims for wrongful death are created and limited by the Florida Wrongful Death Act. The reason for the existence of the Florida Wrongful Death Act is to provide a separate and independent cause of action since the original cause of action for personal injury does not survive the death of the injured party. In a wrongful death action, the family of the deceased can obtain damages for medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of the victim’s future earnings, loss of benefits such as pensions and insurance, loss of inheritance and loss of goods and services. These types of damages are known as economic damages due to the fact that that financial loss from these events can be quantified.
Additionally, there are other types of damages, non-economic damages that can be awarded in a Miami wrongful death lawsuit. These include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of care, guidance , love, society, consortium and companionship. These types of damages are harder to determine than economic damages because an exact dollar amount cannot be placed on them. In order to ensure you and your family receive the compensation you deserve following the loss of your loved one, contact an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney from Suarez & Montero!
How can our Lawyers help You File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident and are seeking coverage under an automobile policy, there is no replacement for quality legal advice. The car accident attorneys at Suarez and Montero would love to have an opportunity to explain the law in Florida to assist you in presenting a strong claim against the at fault party. Every firm is distinctive and auto accident victims have needs that are also distinct. needs are different. The Florida wrongful death attorneys at Suarez & Montero encourage you to reach out so that we can explain more about the different ways that our law firm and attorneys can provide legal help and guidance after an auto accident. Make an appointment with us at one of our many locations. Remember, we work on a contingency basis so you will owe us nothing If we are unable to obtain successful results for your case. The attorneys at Suarez & Montero can meet with you to discuss further. always available to talk with you and answer your questions.
Our skillful attorneys are genuinely committed to our clients. We will fight to make sure that you get the maximum amount of compensation owed to you. Let us help you get the medical care you need and fight to make sure you are compensated for your injuries! Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights. Call our Wrongful Death Lawyer for a FREE Consultation Today.
A wrongful death action is a legal action for damages due to the death of another person. Wrongful death occurs when a victim dies because of the injury or toward…
A large number of wrongful death cases arise out of situations where the wrongful conduct and death occur in different states. These cases raise the issue of which state law…
Frequently Asked Questions
A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury claim that is filed when the wrongful act or neglect of one party leads to the death of another. The purpose of a wrongful death action is to compensate the deceased’s estate and the deceased’s beneficiaries for losses they have suffered, and would not have suffered but for the victim’s passing.
The elements of a wrongful death suit are very similar to those of a personal injury claim; the plaintiff must prove:The defendant owed the decedent a duty of care; The duty of care was breached (via a wrongful or negligent action); The breach of the duty of care was the direct cause of death; and Damages have been suffered by the estate/beneficiaries as a direct result.
Placing a monetary value on a human life is incredibly hard. However, there are some common factors which may be considered to help determine the value of the settlement. Below is a breakdown of some of those factors:
-Age of the deceased person
-Earning capacity of deceased person
-The deceased’s state of health
-Income of the deceased person at the time of death
-Medical bills and other expenses incurred for the deceased person
-Funeral expenses incurred for the deceased person
When another person’s negligence or misconduct causes someone’s death, the decedent’s family members can sue for damages under Florida law. The court determines whether that person is legally liable for the death, and if so, what type of damages should go to the survivors and/or the estate. Every state has its own wrongful death statutes, which constitute a set of civil rather than criminal guidelines. Typically, civil statutes do not have as stringent a standard of proof as criminal proceedings. Due to the technical nature of liability lawsuits, however, seeking a qualified wrongful death lawyer is your best course of action under such circumstances.