It could have been your mom, your child, your husband. Losing any family member in an accident is devastating. What South Florida Families Need to Know About Wrongful Death

If a loved one has suffered a premature death due to the negligence or misconduct of another then you may be entitled to wrongful death and survivor’s benefits. These benefits may include final medical expenses, funeral costs, pain and suffering, loss of future earnings, and emotional distress for the loss of the loved one. Wrongful death claims may arise as a result of automobile accidents, defective products, dangerous premises, falls, drowning, electrical shock, burns or any other accidental or intentional cause. Florida’s Wrongful Death Act governs lawsuits and damages recoverable by those who have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence.

In order to bring a successful wrongful death cause of action, the following elements must be present:

• The death of a human being;
• Caused by another’s negligence;
• Loss as a result of the death, and;
• The survival of family members or others entitled to sue

 

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Claims may be filed by a spouse, children or other surviving next of kin. Wrongful death claims may involve complex legal, liability and insurance law issues, including the necessity to work with the Probate Court in most cases involving surviving minor children or other estate issues. The outcome of a wrongful death claim is likely to be a major factor in the standard of living for the surviving children and family. Having a knowledgeable attorney working with you may make all the difference in the final outcome.

Frequently soon after a death the insurance company begins building their defense to your claims. Do not delay or put off hiring an attorney to protect you and your family’s rights. The insurance company has lawyers at their fingertips. So should you.

All personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation and so does our firm, but we also offer you FREE INFORMATION that you can study in your own home. If you’re interested in any of the free information on our website just call our toll-free line, 800-363-8182, leave your name, address and email address and we will send you a FREE PACKAGE OF GOOD INFORMATION that will help you decide if you actually need an attorney. Some cases you may be able to handle yourself; however, if you do want to speak with a personal injury attorney at the South Florida Personal Injury Center, you will be provided with a free consultation and will not be charged any fees unless money is recovered. If you have endured the loss of a loved one or pain and suffering due to serious injuries, rehabilitation, physical therapy, counseling, lost wages, loss of services, replacement services, medical bills, and hospital bills, you may be eligible to receive compensation. You need an attorney who will work hard for you, making sure you receive the highest possible settlement for your case.

Attorney Virginia Drogo, an experienced South Florida serious injury lawyer, represents injured victims of South Florida in the cities of Hollywood, Naples, Miami, Miami Gardens, North Miami Beach, South Miami Heights, Del Ray, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Margate, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Tamarac, Sunrise, Davie, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Hialeah, Leisure City, Kendall, Kendall Lakes, Homestead, Pinecrest, and Princeton.

To Schedule a Free Consultation With Attorney Virginia Drogo Call: 888-Your-Claim (888-968-7252)

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“One Fatal Mistake Could Destroy Your Accident Case”

This guide may help you in avoiding possible mistakes that can jeopardize your potential accident claim.

WRONGFUL DEATH ACT
The following is a brief overview of the Florida Wrongful Death Act, found in Chapter 768 of the Florida Statutes

PURPOSE:
To shift the losses from the survivors of the decedent to the wrongdoer when a wrongful death occurs.

DEFINITIONS:
The following definitions apply for the purposes of this Act SURVIVOR

The decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. It includes the child born out of wedlock of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.

MINOR CHILDREN
Children under the age of 25

SUPPORT
Includes both contributions in-kind and monetary contributions.

SERVICES
Tasks [typically household tasks] that were regularly performed by the decedent that will be a necessary expense to the survivors of the decedent. These services may vary according to the identity of the decedent and survivor and are determined under the particular facts of each case.

NET ACCUMULATIONS
The part of the decedent’s expected net business or salary income, including pension benefits, which the decedent probably would have retained as savings and left as part of her or his estate if the decedent had lived her or his normal life expectancy.

 

“Net business or salary income” is the part of the decedent’s probable gross income after taxes, excluding income from investments continuing beyond death, which remains after deducting the decedent’s personal expenses and support of survivors, excluding contributions in kind.

RIGHT OF ACTION:
When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those occurring on navigable waters, and the person injured would have been able to maintain an action and recover damages himself if he had lived, the person or watercraft that would have been liable in damages if death had not occurred is to be liable for damages as specified in this act notwithstanding the death of the person injured, although death was caused under circumstances constituting a felony.

WHO CAN SUE:
The decedent’s personal representative who shall recover for the benefit of the decedent’s survivors and estate all damages, as specified in this act, caused by the injury resulting in death. When a personal injury to the decedent results in death, there can be no separate action for the personal injury of the decedent.

 

If the wrongdoer dies before or during the action: The wrongdoer’s personal representative shall be the defendant.

 

A defense that would bar or reduce a survivor’s recovery if she or he were the plaintiff may be asserted against the survivor, but shall not affect the recovery of any other survivor.

DAMAGES:
The following damages may be awarded in a wrongful death suit:

Each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death.

 

The surviving spouse may also recover for loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.

 

Minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.

 

Each parent of a deceased minor child may also recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.

 

Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death may be recovered by a survivor who has paid them.

 

The decedent’s personal representative may recover for the decedent’s estate the following:

Loss of earnings of the deceased from the date of injury to the date of death.

 

Loss of the prospective net accumulations of an estate, which might reasonably have been expected but for the wrongful death, reduced to present money value, may also be recovered:

If the decedent’s survivors include a surviving spouse or lineal descendants; or If the decedent is not a minor child, there are no lost support and services recoverable, and there is a surviving parent.

 

Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death that have become a charge against her or his estate or that were paid by or on behalf of decedent

 

LITIGATION EXPENSES:

Attorneys’ fees and other expenses of litigation shall be paid by the personal representative and deducted from the awards to the survivors and the estate in proportion to the amounts awarded to them, but expenses incurred for the benefit of a particular survivor or the estate shall be paid from their awards.