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It’s normal to experience overwhelming emotions and confusion after the death of a loved one. Grieving can be one of the most difficult experiences a family can endure, especially if the passing is sudden or unexpected. Losing a loved one can be even more challenging to process when wrongful death issues are involved.
Wrongful death claims involve an untimely death caused by another person or entity’s negligence. In such cases, it may be necessary to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the responsible parties accountable and obtain justice for the surviving family members.
At Osborne & Francis, we understand the deep, emotional nature of wrongful death claims. We know that seeking legal assistance can provide families with tremendous healing and closure during difficult times.
Since our founding, we have helped numerous families who have been impacted by wrongful death due to the negligence of others. Contact a wrongful death attorney today at (561) 293-2600 for legal assistance with a wrongful death lawsuit. Our consultations are free of cost and held in the strictest of confidence.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Florida’s wrongful death statute, a wrongful death happens when a person dies due to someone else’s negligence or legal violation. When this occurs, a civil claim can be brought in order to recover monetary damages for the losses associated with the person’s death. This is what a wrongful death lawsuit is.
Wrongful death situations can occur in basically any situation where injury or harm is involved. Wrongful death lawsuits are essentially personal injury cases where negligence has caused a person’s death. Common examples of such situations include deaths associated with medical malpractice, defective products, dangerous drugs, car accidents, and other causes.
What Do Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim Cover?
Damages available for the estate of the deceased in a wrongful death case can cover:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Mental pain and anguish
- The value of lost support and services
- Funeral expenses and other costs
It is also possible to recover the projected value of earnings that the deceased person was expected to receive. Another type of damage is called “prospective net accumulations of the estate.” This includes the value of earnings that the person’s estate would have received if they continued living.
The amount recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit can depend on many factors, including the person’s age, occupation, how their death occurred, and the skill or experience of the attorney handling the case.
It is important to know that a wrongful death claim is about more than just a financial payout; it is about holding a negligent party accountable so the same situation does not occur again. Taking these steps in hiring a wrongful death lawyer can bring change such as improved industry safety standards and help make the situation safer for others.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim? When Must They File?
Under Florida law, only a personal representative of the deceased’s estate is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit on the person’s behalf. This representative may be listed in the deceased person’s estate plan or in their will. If there is no will or such plan, the court will appoint a representative.
The personal representative must present the court with a list of names of family members that have an interest in the claim. The following family members can recover damages in a Florida wrongful death claim:
- The spouse, children, or parents
- Blood relatives
- Adoptive siblings
- Adult children (if there is no spouse)
- Parents of minors
It is important to contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to get the process started. Once the filing window is closed, you may lose your opportunity to recover damages.
When to File a Wrongful Death Claim
The statute of limitations (filing period) for wrongful death cases in Florida is within two years of the date of death for most cases. Thus, it is important to contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to get the process started. That way, you and your family won’t miss the time period for filing a claim. Once this filing window is closed, you may lose your opportunity to recover damages and other legal remedies for the case.
If you have any questions about a potential wrongful death case, don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as possible at (561) 293-2600. We will ensure the process is started promptly so you meet all court requirements.
How Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Work?
If you and your family decide to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, it makes things much easier if you understand how such suits work and the way they are proven. Understanding these basic requirements and elements of proof can greatly help you cooperate with your lawyer as they handle your case.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the attorney will need to provide evidence that proves and supports the following points:
- Duty of care: It must be proven that the other party had a duty of care toward the deceased person. An example of this is how a manufacturer owes a duty to consumers to create and produce products that are safe to use.
- Breach: The evidence must then show that the liable party somehow violated their duty of care or failed to uphold it. Using the manufacturer example above, this might happen for instance if the manufacturer doesn’t follow proper testing protocol for safe products.
- Cause: The breach of duty must also be the direct cause of the loved one’s death.
Proving these points can be challenging, but understand that it is the attorney’s job to gather evidence and prepare it for trial, not yours or your family’s. They will also be responsible for formulating a trial strategy that proves the liability of the other party.
For these reasons, it is advantageous to hire a lawyer for a wrongful death case, and not try to handle it entirely on your own. That way, your family can focus on emotional healing and recovery.
Obtain the Guidance You Need From a Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer
The pain, grief, and trauma from losing a loved one can be confusing and overwhelming. On top of that, having to sort out legal issues can create added stress for the surviving family.
One of the main hesitations people have in filing a lawsuit is that they believe it may create more work for them. However, it is our job to ensure that all the details and requirements needed to obtain justice are fulfilled, and to help lift these burdens off your shoulders.
At Osborne and Francis, we completely understand how difficult it can be to face such situations. We have extensive experience litigating wrongful death cases, and we know exactly what is needed to put you on the right path for recovery and justice.
Get in touch with us today at (561) 293-2600 for a free, no-obligation consultation. During that time, you can speak with us freely and learn about your legal rights and options. Our attorneys are on hand to guide you through the process and meet whatever needs you and your family are facing.
Our case results speak for themselves. They are the fruit of our many years of experience and dedication to our clients. A few notable settlements include:
$1,000,000 Settlement in a Wrongful Death Negligent Security Case Against Trailer Park
Our client was tragically shot and killed while living in her rented trailer park home. Our team’s investigation revealed that the owner failed to properly address a significant violent crime problem on the premises.
Joseph Osborne Secures Multi-Million Dollar Settlement Trasylol Settlement With Bayer Pharmaceuticals for $9.475 Million
Joseph A. Osborne was appointed to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee for the Trasylol Multidistrict Litigation. Trasylol is a drug used to limit bleeding during heart surgery and marketed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals.
In a two-year period, Trasylol caused approximately 22,000 deaths and numerous catastrophic injuries. Through aggressive advocacy and unparalleled dedication to his clients, Joseph was pleased to announce a settlement of $9.475 million with Bayer to resolve its Trasylol claim.
Read what our clients have to say about the legal services provided by Osborne & Francis:
Dennis and the other Osborne & Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. Everyone on our case did their part by putting all the puzzle pieces together. We were given step by step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made we received a timely response...You are appreciated!
Quick and fair resolution to a unique case. On advice of my own attorney, I engaged Joseph Osborne of Osborne & Francis of Boca Raton, FL. Mr. Osborne had considerable experience in cases such as mine and the results showed that. Mr. Osborne and his staff were very helpful, kept me up to date, and listened to my input. The settlement was very fair as far as I am concerned.
“Dennis and the other Osborne & Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. Everyone on our case did their part by putting all the puzzle pieces together. We were given step-by-step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made, we received a timely response. God forbid we end up in another ‘pickle’ but if we do, we know exactly who we’ll come to! Thanks for your diligence and attention to the small details that impacted the outcome of our case. You are appreciated!”