Port St. Lucie Wrongful Death Lawyer
Vehicle collisions and other such incidents often cause catastrophic injuries, such as head wounds. Tragically, many victims do not survive these injuries. Some pass away almost immediately. Others linger for weeks, months, or even years. Even more tragically, most car crashes and other incidents are preventable.
The nature of a wrongful death claim demands an experienced Port St. Lucie wrongful death lawyer from Smith & Ball Injury Law. If the case settles too early, the settlement might not reflect all past, present, and future damages. On the other hand, if the case settles too late, the victim might go through unnecessary stress. Our Port St. Lucie wrongful death attorneys know when to compromise and when to stand firm during settlement negotiations.
Types of Wrongful Death
In most cases, what statisticians call “accidental death” is not “accidental.” Instead, negligence is usually to blame. Some examples include:
- Poisoning: The opioid epidemic has caused drug overdose deaths, mostly as a result of prescription painkiller misuse, to skyrocket. There is plenty of blame to go around in this environment, and third party negligence usually bears at least part of the blame.
- Swimming Pool Drowning: Florida is usually ground zero for swimming pool drownings. These incidents are the leading cause of death for children under five. Nevertheless, pool owners often neglect their responsibility to keep swimmers safe.
- Fall: On the opposite end of the age spectrum, falls are the leading cause of unintentional death for people over 70. These individuals usually have pre-existing conditions which increase the risk of a fall and/or the injuries they sustain.
- Motor Vehicle Collision: Car crashes kill tens of thousands of Americans every year. Some do not make it to the hospital. Others struggle with lingering injuries for months or years before they finally succumb to them.
Compensation is available in these cases if victim/plaintiffs establish negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. Evidence is a wrongful death claim usually includes the police accident report, witness statements, and medical bills.
Your Claim for Damages
Procedurally, only the decedent’s personal representative may file a wrongful death claim in Florida. If the decedent’s will does not designate such a person, the court typically appoints one. The Sunshine State’s law also limits the people who are entitled to compensation. Generally, only a close relative, like a spouse or child, is eligible for compensation.
This compensation is typically limited to pecuniary losses. In Florida, this broad category includes damages like:
- Funeral and burial costs,
- Medical bills related to the decedent’s final injury or illness,
- Loss of future financial support,
- Pain and suffering the decedent endured, and
- Loss of future emotional support.
A fair amount of compensation is often difficult to determine in many of these categories, especially if the decedent was a child. Port St. Lucie wrongful death lawyers typically partner with accountants or other financial professionals in these situations.
Wrongful death claimants might also be eligible for compensation for their own grief and suffering, under a theory like negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Contact a Savvy Port St. Lucie Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful death survivors are often entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Port St. Lucie, contact Smith & Ball Injury Law. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.