You may feel overwhelmed at the loss of a loved one, and the last thing on your mind is to begin a lawsuit. However, you may be facing astronomical medical bills and lost wages due to your loved one’s death as a result of someone else’s negligence. You have the right to receive compensation when facing financial difficulties as a result of someone’s intentional or negligent act. Contact the team of Pembroke Pines wrongful death lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (844) 638-1822 to understand how you may be able to receive compensation on behalf of your loved one.
This legal term describes a civil action made by the survivors of a loved one who has passed away due to the misconduct or negligence of another person. The law in the state of Florida allows these family members (called “distributees’) to legally file a wrongful death claim for monetary awards. This compensation provides financial assistance to the decedent’s loved ones who depended on this person for emotional and financial support. It is important to note that wrongful death claims are not criminal cases. There are circumstances under which a person may bring both a wrongful death claim and a criminal charge against another party, but both cases will appear before a court independently and not affect the other.
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Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
As previously stated, a wrongful death occurs when a person would not have died but for the negligence, deliberate, intentional, careless, or reckless behavior that resulted in the fatality. Negligence is when a person acted in a way that a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstance would not have behaved. The elements of a wrongful death case include duty, breach, causation, and damages. These terms mean that a person who has a duty of care to another breached that duty, and as such, directly caused injuries, losses, or the wrongful death of another person.
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Types of Wrongful Death Cases
If your loved one died due to another person’s negligence, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Some of the types of wrongful death cases that appear before a court could include deaths related to car accidents, truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, birth injuries in newborns, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, nursing home abuse or neglect, dog bites, or product liability cases.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims
Certain family members may bring a wrongful death case to court against a negligent party including spouses, children, and parents. Courts take many factors into consideration when making decisions regarding compensation in wrongful death lawsuits. Factors can include how close the relationship was between the decedent and the family member, the amount of the loved one’s income, the attempt to value the deceased’s services to a family member, and the life expectancy of not only the decedent but also the family member.
A surviving spouse of a decedent may receive compensation for not only medical bills and lost wages, but also future loss of wages, loss of companionship and protection, and for mental pain and suffering.
Minor children of the decedent may receive compensation for the loss of parental companionship, instruction and guidance they lost, and mental pain and suffering as well.
Parents of a deceased minor child may receive compensation for mental pain and suffering, and adult parents of an adult child may also receive compensation for mental pain and suffering.
Additional Parties and Compensation
There are also some cases of dependent blood relatives or children born outside of wedlock of the mother or father in the state of Florida that may have a legal right to file a wrongful death claim. Additionally, the state of Florida will allow family members to receive compensation for funeral expenses and the value of lost earnings the victim could reasonably have expected to make within their lifetime.
In some cases where severe, malicious, and egregious acts caused the wrongful death, a court may award punitive damages. These are damages that seek to punish the wrongdoer, and attempt to prevent future actions from others behaving in a similar way. A court awards punitive damages only in the most severe and heinous acts that result in wrongful deaths.
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Statute of Limitations
Every wrongful death case has a statute of limitations that is the time limit on the right to go to court and file a wrongful death claim. If this deadline passes, a family member will have no legal standing to bring a wrongful death claim in the state of Florida. The statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits in the state of Florida is two years from the date of your loved one’s death, according to the Florida statutes. If you are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your loved one, contact a Pembroke Pines wrongful death lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (844) 638-1822 to ensure that you do not miss the deadline to file your case.
Contact a Pembroke Pines Wrongful Death Lawyer
If your loved one died due to someone else’s negligence you may have the right to receive compensation on their behalf. While money will never bring your loved one back, you are likely facing remaining medical bills, loss of wages, and mental pain and anguish. Wrongful death lawsuits are long and oftentimes legally complex. Testimony is often needed from expert witnesses to prove your case. Oftentimes independent investigations must occur. Contact the Pembroke Pines wrongful death lawyers at Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (844) 638-1822 to help you build a strong wrongful death case to receive the compensation you deserve on behalf of your loved one.