Stuart & Treasure Coast Wrongful Death Lawyer
It is devastating when a family member is killed because of another person’s negligence or error. Nothing can return your loved one back into your life, but a wrongful death claim can help reduce the financial burden put on the family after death. A wrongful death claim allows the family to seek compensation when a person’s death is caused by the “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract” of another party. The Stuart & Treasure Coast wrongful death lawyers at Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers understand how traumatic this time is for the surviving family members and we also know the importance of obtaining compensation to help the family continue without the support of the deceased.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Florida a wrongful death claim must be filed by a personal representative of the estate. The deceased person may appoint a personal representative in their will or through other estate planning documents, but if not, the court will appoint a personal representative to the estate. A deceased person’s spouse, parent, or child may recover damages from a wrongful death claim as well as any blood relative or adopted sibling who depends on the deceased for services or support. There is one exception in Florida for recovering pain and suffering damages in medical malpractice cases that result in death. U.S. News reported that this medical malpractice loophole prevents adult children from filing a wrongful death claim if their parent has no spouse and prevents the next of kin from recovering damages if an adult child has no spouse or minor children. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to assess whether you should file a claim and can help get the process started. According to Florida Statute 95.11, survivors have a two year statute of limitations in which to file a wrongful death claim.
What Damages Can Wrongful Death Compensation Cover?
- Loss of companionship, protection, guidance, and instruction that the deceased person would have given;
- The value of lost support and services, both from the decedent’s injury to their death and the future loss from their death until the survivor’s predicted life expectancy;
- Mental pain and suffering;
- Medical and funeral costs can be recovered by a family member who covered the expenses or they can be recovered by the estate if the expenses were paid directly from the estate;
- The decedent’s estate may recover lost wages, benefits, and the value an estate could have increased over the decedent’s lifetime if they had lived.
If your family member’s death was caused by another person’s wrongdoing or negligence you should speak with an experienced attorney who can help determine if you have a wrongful death claim. Nothing can bring your family member back into your life, but receiving compensation can help ease the financial burden of their passing. A Treasure Coast wrongful death lawyer at Smith, Ball & Báez Injury Lawyers can advise you on what next steps to take. Contact our Stuart offices at 561-500-4357 to schedule an initial consultation.
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