Miami Wrongful Death Attorneys
Helping Victims of Wrongful Death Throughout the State of Florida
There are few things in life more painful than losing someone you love. When a family member dies due to the negligence, recklessness or other harmful conduct of a person or corporation, your grief can be compounded by shock and confusion over what caused the death and how it could have been prevented.
For bereaved survivors seeking answers and accountability for the wrongful death of their loved one, Florida law provides a way to pursue justice. A wrongful death claim can hold the responsible parties legally accountable and may allow you to obtain substantial compensation for your tragic loss.
At Boyers Law Group, we understand that when you come to us after having lost a precious member of your family, you want far more than financial compensation. You want answers, accountability, justice and compassion. We strive to meet these very real needs.
We have been fighting for justice on behalf of families throughout Florida who have lost loved ones due to negligence and other forms of lethal conduct for many years. We have litigated and tried wrongful death cases arising out of medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, dangerous premises, defective and dangerous products, negligent security, tractor-trailer crashes, cruise line negligence and civil rights violations, among other causes of premature and preventable death.
Our dynamic and experienced team of trial lawyers, investigators, paralegals and experts pay attention to every detail and leave no stone unturned in trying to bring some measure of comfort to our bereaved clients who need and deserve answers and justice. If you have lost a beloved family member due to another party’s negligence or wrongful conduct, please contact our experienced Miami wrongful death attorneys for the compassionate understanding and legal advice you need to achieve a sense of justice.
What Is Considered a Wrongful Death in Florida?
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, F.S. 768.16 – 768.26, defines wrongful death as the death of a person that is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any other person. Wrongful deaths can occur in many different types of situations, including but not limited to:
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability accidents
- Negligent Security injuries
- Defective product injuries
- Car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents
- Nursing home negligence
Whatever the cause of the preventable fatality, a wrongful death claim must meet the legal standards of proof for negligence. The specific standards vary with the type of negligent or wrongful act and resulting fatal injuries, but in all cases, your attorney has to be able to prove that
- The negligent party or parties had a legal duty to the deceased victim. For example, physicians have a duty to provide care to their patients that is at the level of care accepted by other reasonably prudent physicians practicing in the same or in a similar field of medicine; people driving cars have a duty to follow traffic laws and drive with due regard for others on the roads; property owners have a duty to maintain their property so that is reasonably safe for invited guests and visitors; commercial property owners in high crime have a dut to provide adequate security to protect invitees or patrons from foreseeable crime.
- The negligent party or parties failed to meet their legal duty. If, for example, a physician’s care is substandard or negligent, someone operating a motor vehicle is driving recklessly or someone’s property is dangerous due to uneven pavement, poor lighting or other hazards such as that posed by foreseeable violent criminal activity, they have failed to meet their legal duty.
- The negligent party or parties’ failure to meet their legal duty caused fatal injury to your loved one. A patient who dies due to a surgical error, a driver who is fatally injured when someone is driving while intoxicated and crashes head-on into his vehicle and a customer who suffers a fatal head injury from falling due to uneven pavement outside a retail store or is killed due to a criminal attack at a mall, bank, gas station or in a property development, are all examples of negligent parties causing fatal injuries.
Whether their actions were intentional or not, it is necessary to prove that the negligent, party (an individual, individuals, a corporation, or another type of organization) was directly responsible for your loved one’s unexpected death. This may involve collecting evidence from sources such as police reports, medical records, eye witnesses, experts and other sources.
Identifying liable parties and collecting this evidence can get complicated. However, the Boyers Law Group legal team is adept at finding and amassing the evidence necessary to prove wrongful death. We have the experience and resources you need to skillfully prepare your case during this difficult time.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
The Florida Wrongful Death Act clearly delineates who can file a wrongful death claim and recover compensatory damages. According to the Wrongful Death Act, the decedent’s personal representative (we can arrange to have an authorized representative, who would typically be a surviving family member, appointed) must be the one to initiate the claim, but both the estate and survivors may be entitled to recover damages.
The damages awarded to the estate are designed to provide compensation for injuries that occurred prior to death and/or are related directly to the death, such as medical and funeral expenses. The decedent’s legal survivors can also pursue other damages to compensate them for the devastating emotional effects and other losses associated with their family member’s death, such as loss of companionship, support and assistance.
When the deceased was a child under the age of 25, parents are entitled to recover wrongful death damages. In wrongful death cases that do not involve medical malpractice, where a deceased person is an adult, a surviving spouse and children under the age of 25 have the first right to damages, followed by adult children of the deceased. If there is no spouse or children, then the parents of the decedent may be entitled to recover wrongful death damages. Additionally, any blood relative and adoptive brothers and sisters who were dependent on the decedent for support or services may also be entitled to recover damages. In the case of wrongful death arising out of medical malpractice, Florida law is more restrictive regarding who can recover, so it is essential to speak with an expert medical malpractice wrongful death attorney to know your rights.
How Much Compensation Can Survivors Receive from a Florida Wrongful Death Claim?
The amount of compensation survivors can recover depends on many different factors, including how much time passed between the deceased’s injury and death and the deceased’s income prior to the injury. However, the amount given to the decedent’s estate, which is ultimately distributed to the beneficiaries and/or legal heirs of the estate, usually includes compensation for:
- Lost income (i.e., income the deceased person could reasonably have been expected to make if he or she had lived).
- Lost net accumulations of the estate (i.e., the value of earnings the estate could reasonably have expected if the decedent had lived).
- Medical and funeral expenses that were paid directly by the estate.
Survivors can also recover compensation for damages such as:
- Loss of spousal companionship. A surviving spouse may be able obtain compensation for the loss of companionship, protection and support.
- Loss of parental companionship. Minor children may receive compensation for their loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance.
- Loss of support and services. The value of support and services the deceased would have provided to the surviving family member(s) from the time of the injury until his or her death, as well as in the future.
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss. Surviving spouses and minor children can receive compensation for the mental pain and suffering they experience due to the death. Except in cases involving medical malpractice, adult children can also receive compensation for their mental pain and suffering if the decedent did not have a surviving spouse. Parents may also obtain compensation if the victim was a minor child and, in many cases governed by the Act, even for the loss of an adult child.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions, our compassionate attorneys can help determine all of the damages you have suffered and the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled. We have the experience with wrongful death cases needed to help you understand and pursue the substantial compensation you deserve for your tragic loss.
How Long after a Wrongful Death Occurs Can You File a Lawsuit?
Wrongful death lawsuits must be brought within a certain period of time following the death. In Florida, this depends on the type of wrongful death claim you are filing; however, the statute of limitations for most of these lawsuits is two years from the date of death, according to section 95.11(4)(d), Florida Statutes.
For wrongful deaths resulting from medical malpractice, you have two years from the date you knew or should have known about the negligent or wrongful conduct that caused the death, with a maximum of four years from the date the medical malpractice occurred. For wrongful deaths resulting from nursing home abuse, you have two years from when you knew or should have known about the abuse, but no more than six years overall.
Getting help from a knowledgeable, experienced wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible is important to make sure your claim is filed on time. We understand how difficult undertaking a lawsuit can be when you are grieving the loss of a loved one and want to help you every step of the way.
Get Dependable Legal Help from the Experienced, Proven Team of Miami Wrongful Death Attorneys at Boyers Law Group
The wrongful death lawyers at Boyers Law Group have successfully litigated a substantial number of wrongful death cases over the years and have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Be assured, however, that we only handle a small number of cases at any one time in order to give each case and each client the full attention they deserve.
You can depend on our experienced team of trial lawyers, investigators, paralegals and experts to respond promptly to all questions and concerns and be completely prepared to successfully litigate your case. We will handle all aspects of the legal process and leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of justice, including:
- Identifying every liable party.
We will thoroughly investigate what happened to your loved one to make sure we have identified all parties responsible for your tragic loss.
- Determining the full, fair compensation you are entitled to under Florida law.
We will thoroughly review all expenses and losses that accrued between the time of the negligent or wrongful act and your loved one’s death, as well as your losses, pain and suffering, so we can advise you on the substantial compensation you should be able to recover.
- Handling all communication with insurance company representatives.
We will negotiate vigorously for the full settlement you deserve and handle all communications with the defendant’s insurance company. You do not have to worry about how to respond to settlement offers, delayed responses, denying liability and other tactics insurance companies use to get people to accept low settlement offers. You can be assured that we will not settle for less than you deserve.
- Completing and filing all forms and paperwork accurately and promptly.
Our legal team will make sure all necessary forms and paperwork are completed accurately and submitted on time so you do not have to worry about how to fill in forms or missing any deadlines.
- Fighting passionately for justice in court.
If the liable party’s insurance company does not offer a satisfactory settlement to compensate you for all damages, we will be well prepared to go to trial to fight for your right to substantial compensation. Our years of experience as trial attorneys means you get proven, powerful advocacy in court.
Meet with Experienced Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys
The Boyers Law Group legal team is committed to providing the compassionate, responsive legal help you need and passionately pursuing justice for you and your family. Please call us at 305.512.7600 or submit the “Tell Us What Happened” form on our website as soon as possible so we can get started working on your wrongful death case.