Boca Raton Wrongful Death Lawyer
Not everyone survives a bad accident. Indeed, thousands of people die every year, leaving behind a grieving spouse, children, and parents. At Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers, our Boca Raton wrongful death lawyer has represented many family members in wrongful death lawsuits against the people or entities responsible for their loved one’s death.
When accident victims die, their lawsuit fortunately does not die with them. Instead, certain family members can “step into the shoes” and bring a civil lawsuit for compensation. We will gladly analyze whether you can bring one of these claims.
When a Death is “Wrongful”
Not all accidents are wrongful under the law. Instead, our statute identifies a wrongful death as one caused by the following:
- Wrongful act
- Breach of contract
Most wrongful death cases that we handle involve negligent or reckless conduct, such as driving carelessly or dangerously. Whenever someone fails to exercise due care and a death results, they might be responsible for a wrongful death.
Some wrongful deaths are also criminal. For example, if a loved one is shot to death, you might be able to sue the defendant even though it was also a crime. However, wrongful deaths apply to all kinds of conduct that is not criminal, such as mere negligence.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Suit
Surviving family members receive any compensation in a wrongful death suit. However, the estate’s personal representative is responsible for actually filing the lawsuit in court. If your loved one left behind a will, then the personal representative should be named in it. If there was no will, then the probate judge can appoint someone, usually the spouse or another family member.
Wrongful death cases are civil, not criminal, so the prosecutor is not responsible for filing. Meet with an attorney if you have questions.
Compensation for Your Losses
Our lawyers understand that no amount of money can replace a loved one. Nevertheless, the death of a loved one can have dramatic financial repercussions, and family members should be protected. Fla. Stat. § 768.21 provides that family members might qualify for the following money damages:
- The value of the services a loved one provided. For example, a spouse might have cleaned and cooked for the family, and surviving relatives can receive money to make up for this loss.
- The value of financial support. When the family breadwinner dies, our clients experience a dramatic drop in income.
- The loss of guidance, companionship, and protection provided by a loved one.
- Any medical or funeral expenses paid by a family member for the deceased.
- If a child dies, then any emotional/mental pain experienced by the parents.
The estate can also bring suit to recover certain losses, such as:
- Medical and/or funeral expenses that the estate paid
- Lost wages or income that the deceased reasonably could have earned had he or she lived
Get the Legal Help You Need in this Difficult Time
Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers has represented many spouses, children, and parents in wrongful death cases. Please contact us today for a free consultation. We can explain the steps necessary and begin building a case for compensation. We are often able to negotiate a favorable settlement with the person or entity to blame for your loved one’s death.
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