Miami Wrongful Death Attorney
There is nothing in life that is quite as painful as losing a loved one. Sudden death due to a freak accident is particularly jarring especially if the accident could have been avoided. Losing a loved one at the hands of someone else’s negligence is emotionally and financially devastating to a family.
Each state has different laws pertaining to wrongful death causes of action. When pursuing a wrongful death claim in Florida, it is imperative that families seek the advice of an experienced wrongful death attorney. If you have lost someone due to the negligent actions of another person, call the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today to have your questions answered and to develop a plan of action to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Who Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Action?
The first claimant who is entitled to sue under Florida’s wrongful death statute is the personal representative of the deceased victim’s estate. This person may file suit on behalf of any and all estate beneficiaries.
The personal representative may also file suit on behalf of the survivors of the deceased victim. Some survivors may already be named as the beneficiaries of the estate. Florida’s wrongful death statute defines “survivors” as:
- The decedent’s spouse
- The decedent’s children
- The decedent’s parents; and
- Any blood relative or adoptive sibling who was dependent on the decedent for support or other services.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Action in Florida
In determining the amount of damages to be awarded to the survivors of a deceased victim, a court will consider a number of factors. Some of these factors include:
- The amount of the decedent’s net income available to the survivor
- The relationship between the survivor the decedent
- The life expectancy of all parties
- The replacement value of the decedent’s services
There is one important aspect of wrongful death actions to note regarding the type of damages the adult children (over the age of 25) can recover. If the decedent has no surviving spouse, adult children can recover damages for lost parental companionship, instruction and guidance. If the decedent does have a surviving spouse, adult children may only recover these types of damages if the claim was centered around medical negligence.
Survivors in a wrongful death suit can receive compensation for a variety of financial and emotional losses. Some of these include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of decedent’s earnings
- Loss of love, care, and companionship
- Present and future financial losses
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Children’s loss of guidance and supervision
Punitive damages may be awarded if a court finds that the defendant’s actions were intentional or particularly outrageous or egregious. The purpose behind the awarding of punitive damages is to “throw the book” at the defendant and make an example out of him or her. This is done in an effort to deter people from committing similar acts in the future. A plaintiff may recover punitive damages in the form of three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $500,000, whichever is greater.
The Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Similar to personal injury suits, in order for a plaintiff to recover damages for a wrongful death based on a theory of negligence, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a legal duty of care to the victim, the defendant breached the duty of care, and as a result of the breach, the victim suffered injuries and/or death.
There are many types of accidents that can cause fatalities. Some of the most common accidents causing wrongful death include:
- Birth Injuries
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace injuries
- Truck accidents
- Acts of violence
- Unsafe products
Florida Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Actions
The Florida wrongful death statute states that a victim’s family or family member has a two year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. This means that the victim’s family has two years from the date of the victim’s death to file the claim.
Call a Miami Wrongful Death Attorney
Coping with the loss of a loved one while also financially recovering can be too much for one person or family to bear. When another person’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness caused a premature death, the victim’s family should be fairly compensated for the losses they have endured. Consulting an experienced and knowledgeable wrongful death attorney is the best option for family members who want to effectively and efficiently pursue a wrongful death cause of action.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person, retain the services of a skilled wrongful death attorney. The Law Offices of Prosper Shaked handle these cases with compassion and sensitivity as well as tenacity to ensure that a victim’s loved ones receive just compensation for their emotional and financial losses. Call the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 690-0244 for a free and confidential consultation.