If you are struggling through the sudden, tragic loss of a loved one upon whom you depended for emotional and financial support, worries about the uncertainty of you and your family’s future can be overwhelming. At the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A., we want you to have this time to mourn your loss without worrying about your financial future. We understand the financial hardship the death of a spouse, parent, or child imposes when that person provided the income on which the family depended. Fortunately, Florida law gives you the right to sue the person or entity causing your loss to hold them responsible to pay just and adequate compensation.
Our West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney helps people whose child, spouse, or other relative died through the negligence or intentionally wrongful conduct of another party. No matter whether the death was caused by a doctor’s malpractice or by a criminal act, our attorney makes the responsible party pay for the financial and emotional support that has been taken away from you.
Understanding the rights granted to you under Florida law
Holding people responsible when their actions cause someone to die is the basis behind the Wrongful Death Act in Florida. The law creates a right for certain family members to be compensated when a relative’s death is the result of negligence, a wrongful act, a default or breach of contract by another person or entity (such as the government, a business, or some other organization).
The claim for damages is brought as a lawsuit in civil court by the estate of the deceased individual. Even though it is filed by the representative of the estate, a wrongful death claim is actually brought for the benefit of relatives of the deceased, designated in the statute, as entitled to recover compensation:
- Child or children
- Blood relatives and adoptive brothers or sisters who, at the time of the death, depended upon the deceased for support and services
Florida wrongful death claims are complex legal proceedings, demanding the services of an experienced personal injury attorney with an insightful understanding of the law, to ensure compliance with the statute. For example, the time an injured person has to file a lawsuit against the party whose negligence caused the injuries is four years from the date of the occurrence. But this is not the case if the negligent conduct causes the victim to die. Wrongful death claims must be brought within two years to preserve your right to recover damages, so we get to work protecting your rights as soon as you ask us to represent you.
Wrongful death damages
A claim under the Florida Wrongful Death Act may arise through any of a number of different situations, including the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Physician and hospital malpractice
- Premises liability accidents
- Defective product injuries
- Intentional, wrongful acts, such as assault and other criminal conduct
Wrongful death claims provide monetary compensation for the loss suffered by family members as opposed to a criminal prosecution where the purpose is to punish the accused for criminal acts. It is our responsibility, as your attorneys, to gather evidence that proves the monetary losses you suffered as well as proving the death was caused by the party against whom the claim is made.
We take our commitment to you and your family seriously, and we thoroughly prepare each case as though it is going to trial. Thorough preparation lets insurance claims adjusters know we will not settle a claim when the amount offered fails to provide the compensation the law entitles you to receive, including:
- The support, including services, provided to you by your deceased family member.
- The companionship and guidance you received from your loved one.
- If the deceased was your child, the emotional pain and suffering the death caused you to experience.
- Reimbursement for medical expenses and funeral costs you paid on behalf of your deceased family member.
The Wrongful Death Act also allows for recovery of damages suffered by the estate of the deceased, such as past and future earnings lost by the deceased and medical or funeral costs paid by the estate rather than by a family member.
Speak with a West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney
When the death of a loved one turns your world upside down, the compassionate personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A., provides the skilled and aggressive legal representation you need to hold the responsible party liable to pay wrongful death compensation. While you mourn your loss, we go to work investigating the cause of the death and gathering the evidence to prove that you are entitled to recover damages. Call us now at (866) 943-5766, or use the online contact form to arrange for a free initial consultation with our West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney.