Miami Wrongful Death Attorneys
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida
The death of a loved one is arguably the most difficult experience any of us can go through. Your family is now missing a member, and it can feel nearly impossible to overcome that loss. Worse, you may have reason to believe that someone was careless or even tried to harm your loved one—and that carelessness resulted in death.
At Fischer Redavid PLLC, our attorneys understand that it can be difficult and painful to recover from a wrongful death claim. If your family is suffering, reach out to a Miami wrongful death lawyer at our firm to help you with your claim.
Contact us online or give us a call at (954) 800-2155 to speak to a compassionate member of our team. Your initial consultation is free.
What Is Classified as Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death includes claims where an individual or entity causes death through negligence, criminal activity, or a wrongful act. State laws determine the specifics, but a wrongful death claim results from a death that could have been avoided if the other party had exercised the standard of care people are expected to maintain.
Common causes of wrongful death include but are not limited to:
- Motor vehicle accidents involving cars, motorcycles, or trucks
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Medical malpractice and nursing home abuse
- Dangerous and defective products
- Accidents resulting from unsafe property conditions
- Improperly maintained workplace conditions
- Recreational accidents, including boating accidents
- Intentional actions, such as homicide or murder
- Criminal conduct, including manslaughter
If you are unsure if your loved one’s death was the result of a wrongful act or negligence, it is a good idea to check in with reliable legal counsel to explore your options. We offer free, no-obligation consultations where we can discuss your case, explain your rights, and help you understand what steps to take next.
Who Is Liable for a Wrongful Death?
When a loved one has died because of the negligent acts of another, the first step in holding them accountable is to determine who or what is liable. Often, this depends on what happened and who caused the injury or illness.
For example, your loved one may have died during what should have been a routine surgery. Their death may have been caused by malpractice if the doctor was careless and didn’t act within a reasonable standard of care. If the doctor is part of a medical group, though, then the hospital might be the liable party, not the doctor.
This can get confusing quickly. When you’re not sure who is liable for your loved one’s death, you may need to talk to an experienced lawyer about identifying the liable party and pursuing a claim against them. We invite you to reach out to Fischer Redavid PLLC today to learn more.
What Evidence Should You Gather?
It is important to provide as much documentation as you can when filing any sort of lawsuit. For wrongful death cases, being thorough is vital.
If possible, you should try to obtain the following evidence:
- A death certificate
- Police records of the incident that led to the death
- Copies of medical records
- An autopsy report (if applicable)
- Evidence of a duty of care relationship between the negligent party and the deceased
- Financial records indicating losses associated with the death
- Family records
- Any physical evidence
- Relevant photos or videos
- Statements from witnesses
If you have a form of evidence or documentation that may be valuable, but you are not sure, it is always better to bring it to your attorney instead of letting it sit and gather dust. Even if you don’t see where it fits in, it may prove to be valuable in getting justice for your loved one.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
The complex parts of your wrongful death claim aren’t over when you identify the liable party. Unfortunately, you may not be the eligible party to file. Florida law limits who can file for a wrongful death claim, as the injured party is unable to file themselves.
Specifically, only the personal representative (or “executor”) of the deceased’s estate may file a claim. However, while the personal representative must be the one to initiate legal action, they do so on behalf of certain surviving family members, heirs, and beneficiaries.
In Florida, the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents are eligible for compensation. If you lost a parent, their marital status will matter, too. If your parents weren’t married and your father didn’t formally recognize you as his child, you may be unable to seek compensation for his wrongful death.
Any dependent family members of the deceased can also seek recovery through a wrongful death lawsuit. If you have any doubts about who should file the claim, though, talk to your wrongful death lawyer. Your lawyer can minimize the time you spend worrying about your claim and work to maximize the compensation you receive.
Contact a Miami Wrongful Death Attorney for Help
When you’ve lost a loved one, you and your family are in a difficult situation. It takes time to grieve and recover from a loss such as this. Unfortunately, death can also be costly, but you and your family shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s negligent or wrongful conduct.
At Fischer Redavid PLLC, we understand how difficult it can be to deal with a claim like this, which is why we offer free consultations and compassionate, personalized legal representation. We’re here to listen, and we’re here to offer you and your family your options, support, and guidance.
If you’re looking for answers, reach out to the team at Fischer Redavid PLLC today for a free consultation. Call (954) 800-2155 to get started.
Compensation for Grieving Families
When you’ve lost a family member, money may not be the first thing on your mind. However, the expenses will build up fast, and you shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s wrongful actions. Your Miami wrongful death attorney can help you seek the compensation your family needs.
That should include both economic and non-economic damages, which your wrongful death lawyer can help you calculate. A loved one’s death can be both expensive and life-altering, so reach out if you’re not sure how much your claim is worth.
If you’ve lost a loved one because of someone’s carelessness, you may be eligible for compensation for any of the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of support
- Emotional trauma
- Funeral expenses
- Mental pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship, protection, guidance, and instruction
Furthermore, the estate may recover certain damages, such as lost income, wages, earnings, and benefits between the time of the deceased’s final injury or illness and their death. The estate could also recover the value of benefits and earnings the deceased would likely have earned or retained on behalf of the estate had they lived, as well as any medical or burial expenses paid directly by the estate.
Punitive Damages in Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you’ve lost a loved one because someone was careless, you may be eligible for compensation that covers your losses. If the liable party was especially dangerous or intentionally hurtful, your lawyer may request punitive damages.
Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are difficult to seek. They’re meant to punish the liable party, and they’re capped at $500,000 or three times your compensation. Although these damages can be tough to get, they can give you and your family some peace of mind if you’re eligible, and they can help to deter others from being as dangerous and careless.
Wrongful Death FAQ
Wrongful death attorneys, like those at Fischer Redavid PLLC, provide legal services on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay upfront or out-of-pocket legal fees. Instead, your attorney will only collect legal fees and litigation-related costs if they secure a settlement or verdict on your behalf. At this point, your legal expenses will be paid via a percentage of your total recovery.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Florida is shorter than the statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Rather than four years, as you would have for a personal injury lawsuit, you only have two years from the date of death to bring your wrongful death claim.
If your loved one would have had grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit had they lived, you likely have a wrongful death case. Another way to look at is to ask yourself, was someone else responsible for the incident that led to your loved one’s death? Was someone negligent? Did your loved one pass away due to the wrongful or intentional acts of another? If so, you likely have a claim. If you are still unsure, we recommend that you reach out to an experienced wrongful death attorney, like those at Fischer Redavid PLLC, for a complimentary case evaluation.