Broward County, FL Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a loved one is an overwhelmingly painful experience. The experience may be made even worse if the wrongful actions of another caused your loved one’s death.
While the loss of any person is a tragic event, not every death is considered wrongful. If you believe the loss of your loved one was wrongful, you should speak to an attorney about your legal options immediately. As a family member, you cannot bring a wrongful death lawsuit on your own. You need the personal representative of your loved one’s estate to file the lawsuit. While you should file the case as soon as possible, this is not always how things go. If you end up waiting to file, you must make sure to file the case before the statute of limitations expires. Damages will vary based on the circumstances but may include things like your loved one’s medical bills, funeral costs, lost support, and more.
If your loved one passed away because of someone else’s intentional or negligent actions, you should speak to our Broward County, FL wrongful death attorneys now. For a free case assessment, call The Carrion Law Firm at (954) 951-4828.
Determining Your Loved One Suffered a Wrongful Death in Broward County, FL
The loss of a loved one always seems to feel wrongful. However, certain legal criteria must be met for a person’s death to be considered wrongful under the law. According to Florida Statutes § 768.19, a wrongful death is caused by a wrongful act. This may include but is not necessarily limited to negligence, default, breach of contract, or criminal acts.
Determining that the loss of a loved one is actually a wrongful death is sometimes difficult if someone passes away sometime after the wrongful act. For example, suppose your loved one was unknowingly exposed to asbestos at their place of work and developed a very serious illness over time. If your loved one passes away several years after the exposure began, it might be easy to overlook the possibility of a wrongful death action.
The farther removed your loved one’s passing is from the defendant’s wrongful act, the harder it might be to prove your claims and get compensation for your damages. However, with strong evidence, our Broward County, FL wrongful death lawyers can help you hold the defendant liable for your tremendous loss.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Broward County, FL?
Contrary to what many people think, the deceased person’s family members and loved ones cannot actually file a wrongful death lawsuit. Instead, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate must be the one to file the case. A personal representative is often named in the deceased person’s will and may very well be another family member. If you are unsure who your loved one’s personal representative is, our Broward County, FL wrongful death attorneys can help you figure it out.
You might run into some difficulty if the personal representative of your loved one’s estate does not want to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This sometimes happens when loved family members are appointed as personal representatives. You might want to file a lawsuit and get justice for your loved one while the personal representative, another family member, would rather move on and forget about the whole thing. Our Broward County, FL wrongful death lawyers can help you get your case filed with or without the personal representative, but there may be added steps to the process.
Alternatively, there would be no personal representative to file a lawsuit if the deceased person leaves behind no estate. For example, there is usually no personal representative when children pass away. Parents often can file the case without a personal representative in such cases.
When to File a Broward County, FL Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Under Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d), the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is 2 years. Exactly when the statute of limitations begins counting down the deadline may vary from case to case. The general rule is that the statute begins to run on the date of your loved one’s wrongful death. However, the statute might instead begin to run on the date you realized someone’s wrongful act caused the death.
Wrongful deaths are not always obvious. A person’s death might be ruled accidental by medical examiners only to discover the wrongful act much later. In cases like these, the statute of limitations might begin to run on the day you realize the wrongful death. Another example is medical malpractice. It might be unclear if the cause of death was an illness or medical condition or if it was medical negligence from a doctor.
Our Broward County, FL wrongful death attorneys can assess the situation and determine whether you have a wrongful death claim if you are on the fence about your case. We can also help you file the case before the statute of limitations expires.
Damages Available in Wrongful Death Cases in Broward County, FL
Damages in wrongful death cases are different than damages in most other cases. Not only are you claiming your own damages for having to endure the loss of your loved one, but you can also claim the damages of the deceased person. How damages are awarded is also somewhat tricky. Some damages might go directly to you or other family members, while others are paid to the deceased person’s estate.
Damages in wrongful death lawsuits are explained under Florida Statutes § 768.21. Under the law, survivors can recover the value of lost support provided to them by the deceased person. Examples of support might be financial support, such as the income from the deceased person, caregiving services for an elderly relative, or parental support for a child.
A surviving spouse can recover damages for lost companionship and mental pain and suffering. Minor children of the deceased person can recover damages related to lost parental companionship and support and mental pain and suffering. Parents of minor children can also recover for mental pain and suffering, but parents of adult children may recover damages for mental pain and suffering only if there are no other survivors.
The above damages are typically paid to the survivors of the deceased person. Damages that the deceased person could have claimed had they survived their injuries are paid to the estate and then dispersed according to a last will. These damages may include any medical bills incurred by the deceased person, pain and suffering, the value of any lost property, and other damages.
Contact Out Broward County, FL Wrongful Death Attorneys
Our Broward County, FL wrongful death attorneys can help you get justice in this incredibly difficult and painful time for your family. For a free evaluation of your potential lawsuit, call The Carrion Law Firm at (954) 951-4828.