Losing a loved one can cause unimaginable pain for surviving family members—especially if you suspect a wrongful death. While pursuing legal action may not be at the top of the list of priorities for those who have lost a loved one, it is important for survivors of the decedent to consider their options as soon as possible. In addition to the already significant emotional trauma that comes with losing a loved one, families can also face considerable financial difficulties without the support of the deceased.
Many states, including Florida, have statutes that allow beneficiaries to file a claim and recover damages in the case of a wrongful death. This law is essential to surviving family members who find themselves faced with a financial burden after a death caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another.
In the event of an accident that causes you to lose a loved one, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer, one who can help you understand your monetary compensation options and advocate for you. The attorneys at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA, are here to guide you through the process of a wrongful death lawsuit with care and compassion.In the event that an accident is serious enough to cause catastrophic injuries or even death, it is crucial to contact a skilled personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the legal process. An experienced wrongful death personal injury Lawyer can help you understand your options for monetary compensation.
When the negligence or intentional actions of a person causes the death of another, the surviving immediate family members would be considered beneficiaries eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Florida statute 768.19 states that if a person’s death is caused by a wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty, the estate of the deceased may bring such a lawsuit.
There are a number of occurrences that can cause the death of another person. Clients trust us to remove as much of the legal burden off their shoulders as possible, freeing them to grieve for as long as necessary.
Here are some of the most common wrongful death claims we’ve dealt with in the past:
One of the most common types of wrongful death claims involves fatal automobile accidents. Depending on the severity of the collision and the resulting injuries, an accident can ultimately prove fatal. Wrongful death can result from motorcycle accidents, boat accidents, or truck accidents. It is the job of your personal injury attorney to provide the necessary strength and guidance as you face a challenging and emotional time in your life.
Not just anyone is able to submit a wrongful death claim. In Florida, the law requires a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file the wrongful death claim. This representative may be named in the deceased person’s will or estate plan. However, if no individual is named in either, a representative will be appointed by the court.
Despite being filed by a personal representative, a wrongful death claim is made on behalf of the surviving family members and the deceased’s estate. The representative must list every survivor who has an interest in the case. There may be several family members who are able to recover damages in a Florida wrongful death case, including the deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents, as well as any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.
In the case of a child born to unmarried parents, the child is entitled to recover damages if their mother dies. However, if the father dies, the child is only able to recover damages if the father formally recognized the child as his own and was obligated to contribute to the support of the child.
In the case of a wrongful death, the at-fault party must be proven negligent or wrongful in their actions, and that negligence or act must have been what caused the death. Negligence is particularly difficult to prove, so having a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer on your side will increase your chances of reaching a favorable outcome in your case.
If you are unable to prove negligence, then your chances of receiving compensation may decrease. In order to prove negligence, there must be certain elements present:
One of the most commonly asked questions we receive concerns the length of time it will take to settle a wrongful death case. Unfortunately, there is no set timeline for these types of cases, and the amount of time that will pass before a verdict is reached can differ greatly depending on the unique circumstances of each case.
The key to a smooth and quick settlement lies in the hands of your lawyer. What this means is that you’ll want to hire an attorney who possesses an in-depth understanding of the legal landscape when it comes to wrongful death lawsuits.
Because every case is unique, settlements can vary. In a wrongful death suit, there are certain types of damages that can be awarded. The different forms of damages that are allowed to be recovered are set out under Florida statute 768.21. Both surviving family members and the estate are able to recover damages.
In the state of Florida, there is a limit to the amount of damages claimed that do not have a direct financial impact on beneficiaries, such as loss of companionship. There is a $1 million limit on pain and suffering for cases involving medical malpractice, but for those cases that aren’t due to medical malpractice, the limit increases to $1.5 million.
However, the amount of punitive damages that can be claimed is not capped by the state of Florida. Punitive damages are often ordered by the court in order to discourage parties from continuing the negligent behavior that caused the wrongful death in the first place.
There can be several layers to the types and amount of damages that are awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit. This is why it is imperative to speak with a reputable personal injury lawyer in order to receive the maximum amount of compensation available.
Economic damages in a wrongful death claim in Florida can include:
In every state, there exist laws that set a limit on how much time can pass before you are unable to pursue legal action. This is known as the statute of limitations. Often, states have separate statutes that pertain to wrongful death lawsuits. In the state of Florida, according to statute 95.11(4)(d), a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of death in most cases. However, there are specific circumstances that can extend this deadline. A knowledgeable wrongful death attorney with experience handling these types of cases will be able to help you determine exactly when the statute of limitations expires for your specific case.
At Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA, we have extensive experience representing clients through even the most complex personal injury cases. When you have lost a loved one due to an accident, it can be an emotionally challenging time in your life. When a family wage-earner is lost, it is necessary to consider the financial impact. A knowledgeable Florida attorney can guide you through the process of a wrongful death lawsuit while you focus on grieving your loss.
Met with Robert after I had a car accident in Pembroke Pines. Very nice man. Nice staff who answered my questions and got a good settlement.
Great lawyers, great attention to detail, great trial strategies. I am a trial consultant who has worked with the top attorneys in the United States. NKP are the best of the best.
Amy Singer, Ph.D, Trial Consultant
Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA handled my case against Uber for me and got me a great settlement after I was involved in an accident. They handled all of the negotiations with my doctors and with the other lawyers to get me the best deal possible. I definitely recommend their services!
Daniella Di Prizio
The death of a loved one can be an emotionally challenging time in your life, and you and your family need the time and space to heal—without undue financial burdens hanging over you. The attorneys at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA, can assist you with your wrongful death claim, allowing you the space and time to grieve without the added stress of navigating legal affairs on your own. We will work to help you understand your options and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
We have extensive experience representing clients through even the most complex personal injury cases. Our goal is to shoulder as much of the legal burden as possible for each and every client. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you in your wrongful death case.
If you have questions regarding wrongful death in Florida, we encourage you to contact us at Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA. All cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis — if there is no recovery, you do not pay. Evening and weekend appointments are available for the convenience of our clients. Services offered in English, Spanish and Creole.
All Consultations Are Free of Charge
While we are proud to call Miami and Aventura home, we are also more than happy to help injured people living anywhere in the Sunshine State. In fact, we’ve even been known to travel all around the country just to meet our clients’ needs.
We are here to help the residents of:
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