The loss of a loved one takes a toll on surviving family members, but the pain and hardship is even greater when the death is the result of the wrongful conduct or negligence of another party. Florida law grants the representative of the estate of a deceased person the right to seek compensation from the party responsible through a wrongful death action.
We understand how difficult the death of a family member can be, so we are here to help you get through it. At the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A, we give you the freedom to grieve for your loved one by removing the burden of gathering and preserving evidence, and we deal with the insurance companies and the claims adjusters to take this burden off your shoulders. Our compassionate Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer uses his years of experience successfully representing families in wrongful death claims to make the party responsible for the death of your loved one pay the compensation you deserve.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act
When a person’s death is caused by the intentional or negligent act of another party, the Florida Wrongful Death Act allows the creation of a civil claim on behalf of certain members of the family of the deceased to recover compensation. Common causes of death giving rise to a wrongful death claim include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including vehicles colliding with pedestrians and bicycle riders
- Premises liability, such as slip-and-fall accidents and dog attacks
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Boating and aviation accidents
- Public transit accidents
Murder, manslaughter, and other criminal offenses that cause the death of a victim can be the basis for a wrongful death claim as well.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act defines the claim as valid when a victim dies as a result of the following conduct of another person or entity:
- Wrongful acts
- Breach or default of a contractual obligation
- Breach of warranty
The insightful knowledge of the statute, possessed by a skilled Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney, is essential for identifying when a wrongful death claim could benefit a family. For example, the death of a family member caused by the explosion of a defective consumer product could give rise to a wrongful death claim based upon a breach of warranty by the manufacturer.
Family members entitled compensation
A wrongful death claim is a civil action brought by the representative of the estate of the victim on behalf of family members identified in the statute. Only the following relatives of the deceased may benefit from a wrongful death action:
- Blood relatives, including brothers and sisters of the deceased, who depended upon the person for support
Our Ft Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer aggressively pursues all damages available to family members under the Florida wrongful death statute, including:
- The income and support family members would have received from the deceased.
- The emotional pain and suffering of the spouse caused by the loss of the companionship of the deceased.
- The loss by minor children of their deceased parent’s guidance and companionship. A minor child under the statute is defined as someone younger than 25 years of age.
- Parents may recover damages for the mental anguish and emotional suffering they suffered from the loss of a minor child. If the deceased was an adult, the parents may recover damages for pain and suffering only when no there are no other relatives eligible for compensation.
- A family member who paid medical expenses related to the injuries suffered by the victim, or who paid funeral costs, may recover them in a wrongful death action.
Our commitment to advocating on your behalf includes conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your family member’s death. When the facts and the evidence support it, courts have the power to award punitive damages to send a message in cases involving extreme conduct that is intentional, reckless, or grossly negligent.
We handle more than wrongful death claims
Our full-service personal injury law firm also handles the following legal matters:
- Slip & fall accidents
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Workers’ compensation
- Nursing home abuse
- and others
Ft Lauderdale wrongful death attorney protecting your right to compensation
It is common for families confronting a sudden loss to be confused and uncertain about what to do or who to contact for help. At the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A, we want you to understand your rights and what is involved in a wrongful death claim. Taking the time to answer your questions, or address any concerns you might have about how the death of your loved one has affected your life, is one of the many ways we strive to help during this difficult time in your life. Call us now at (954) 530-8077, or complete the online contact form to schedule a free consultation with our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney.