Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through. The grief and emotional toll can be overwhelming, and on top of that, the thought of navigating the legal process of a wrongful death claim can seem like an insurmountable task. However, having the right attorney by your side can make all the difference. A wrongful death attorney can not only help you understand your rights and options, but also guide you through the complex legal process, and fight to secure the justice and compensation that your family deserves.
In this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into the importance of having a wrongful death attorney on your side, and what you can expect from the process.
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death attorney has the responsibility of establishing that the surviving relatives have a basis to pursue damages in a case against the negligent party. A wrongful death claim requires that the decedent be able to file a personal injury claim if they survive. The circumstances of the accident would have allowed the decedent to file a personal injury claim.
Who Can File a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Florida law only allows the personal representative of an estate or heir to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A person may be named in the will of the deceased to serve as a personal representative. The court will appoint a person to represent the estate in the absence of a will.
After the personal representative has been identified, they can contact a wrongful death attorney to file a civil suit. The personal representative files the wrongful death suit on behalf of the deceased and their surviving relatives.
The person filing the wrongful death suit is responsible for providing names of survivors who could benefit from any settlement. We can file a wrongful death lawsuit for the benefit of a surviving spouse, parent, child, or blood relative who was financially dependent on the deceased. Typically, spouses and children are the primary beneficiaries. If the parent who died before the birth contributed to the support, the unmarried child may also benefit.
Does Legality Play a Role in Determining Liability?
Let’s take, for example, the liability in a fatal Florida automobile accident that involved a drunk driver. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, more than 3,000 people died in traffic accidents in 2018, with 10% of those deaths caused by drunk drivers.
Driving while impaired is legal. Consciously choosing to drive after having consumed alcohol or other drugs is putting others in danger. An impaired driver could be responsible for the death of another person in a car accident. A criminal conviction could give credence to civil personal injury lawsuits.
But, the criminal liability of the responsible party is not required to establish responsibility in a case. Even though medical malpractice cases are not crimes, civil liability is common. A physician might have missed a diagnosis of cancer or delayed treatment, leading to the death of a loved one.
Failure to diagnose cancer by medical staff is not a crime. The treatment providers could be civilly liable for the expenses and losses that result from the death of a patient.
A Wrongful Death Must Prove the Chain of Causation
While criminal negligence is not required for a wrongful death claim, you must prove that the person’s reckless, intentional, and negligent behavior led to their death. You must also prove that your loved one was killed by the negligent, reckless, or intentional behavior of the other person.
Also, you must show that the death caused damage to your family members. You must prove that the responsible party for the death committed negligent conduct.
What Is Considered Reasonable Care in a Personal Injury Claim?
Reasonable care is when a person acts in a way that would have been expected of them under similar circumstances. The driver may slow down the vehicle until the pedestrian crosses the road. In these situations, reasonable drivers will slow down the vehicle until the pedestrian is safely off the roadway.
A distracted driver who isn’t paying attention and texting but doesn’t see the pedestrian at the crosswalk is not acting reasonably. Texting while driving can be considered negligent behavior, as a reasonable person would understand that inattentively operating a motor car is dangerous and irresponsible.
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Connect Negligence to Accident Injury in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death attorney must prove that negligent behavior caused the death of your loved ones. The driver was texting and didn’t see the pedestrian. Instead of slowing down the vehicle, they struck the pedestrian, resulting in their death.
The pedestrian was killed by the negligent driving of the driver. This situation could be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. The person who caused the death will not be held responsible if it is not proven.
A physician would not be held responsible for the death of a patient if they refuse treatment after diagnosing them. The physician is not liable if the patient dies from cancer. Because the patient refused treatment, the doctor was not responsible for the patient’s death. There would not be a basis for a wrongful death lawsuit in this instance. The third step is to prove that there was damage resulting from the death of a family member.
Common Causes of Florida’s Wrongful Deaths
Wrongful death can be caused by many different types of accidents and incidents. Sometimes, an accident causes death immediately. Other times, victims may suffer injuries that eventually lead to their death. These can happen in one instance or over multiple exposures.
If the victim had survived, they would have been eligible for compensation for medical bills, lost wages, or other damages directly related to the accident. The family might be eligible to receive compensation for losses in a fatality.
Here Are Some Examples of Wrongful Death Causes:
- Manslaughter and murder: Family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim if a physical attack results in the victim’s death. If the victim had not died, they might have been able to file a personal injury suit. The victim could be eligible to receive medical bills, lost time from work, and potentially punitive damages.
- Medical malpractice: If a doctor performs unnecessary surgery, and the victim dies, they may be subject to a wrongful death claim. If the victim had survived the surgery, they could have filed a civil suit. A personal injury lawsuit would hold the doctor responsible for their errors.
- Traffic accidents involving negligent drivers: This is one of the most common causes of wrongful death. Truck drivers who fail to adhere to safety guidelines or secure their loads can be held responsible for any wrongful death. The same applies to drunk or distracted drivers.
- Other negligent acts: There are many types of accidents that can allow the surviving family members, to file a claim for wrongful death. Accidents on construction sites that are unsafe, accidents involving defective products, or neglectful premises are just some examples.
A personal injury lawyer is recommended for anyone who believes that their loved one’s death could be prevented. A skilled accident attorney can assist you in navigating your claim.
Wrongful Death Attorneys Can Help With Important Administrative Tasks
The process of a wrongful death lawsuit is complex. A lawyer can help you navigate it. Florida law requires that a personal representative file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased and their loved ones. It is necessary to identify the executor or administrator for the estate of the deceased.
Your personal injury lawyer or you must then determine if a personal representative was appointed by the court or if they were named in the will. You must also consider the statute of limitations when you file a wrongful death lawsuit. The statute of limitations is the time limit you have to file a lawsuit following the death of a close family member.
The circumstances surrounding the death of your loved ones will determine the time frame. A wrongful death lawsuit arising from a fatal car accident, for example, must be filed within 2 years of the death. You may have up to 4 years to file a personal injury lawsuit if your loved one was killed by medical malpractice. An attorney who specializes in personal injury can help you set important deadlines for your case.
Why Should I Choose The Black Law Company as My Legal Representative?
It is crucial to hire the right wrongful death attorney. You want someone who will represent your best interests. The Black Law Company will be your advocate and help to you decide the best course of action. Our legal knowledge, trial experience, and work ethic are all that we need to do the job.
Many cases involving personal injury, especially those involving car accidents, and medical malpractice cases, are resolved outside of court. Many wrongful death cases, however, go to trial. A personal injury lawyer with experience in presenting cases before a judge or jury is necessary. The Black Law Company won’t pressurize you into settling if you don’t receive a fair settlement offer.
Our team will instead work to maximize your compensation for your wrongful death claim. We can help you seek maximum compensation if you need an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer.
The Black Law Company Can Help You Today With Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The Black Law Company’s wrongful death attorneys understand that no amount of money can replace the loss of a loved one. We believe that you shouldn’t have to deal with the financial and emotional aftermath of someone else’s reckless or intentional death.
These consequences can include unexpected medical expenses, lost wages, funeral, and burial costs, as well as the loss of companionship. The Black Law Company knows that you are going through a lifetime of loss and pain. Even if it means going to court to bring your wrongful death lawsuit, we will do everything in our power to help you get back on track.
Other Services We Offer:
- TRUST AND ESTATE PLANNING
- PERSONAL INJURY
- CRIMINAL DEFENSE
- CIVIL LITIGATION
- CIVIL RIGHTS
- NURSING HOME ABUSE
- And more…
Areas We Serve:
- St Petersburg
The Black Law Company can help you if you feel that a loved one would have survived if the responsible party had acted in a reasonable manner. Our wrongful death lawyers will review your case and determine the best course of action.