Our Miami wrongful death attorney here at Beharry Law Firm helps family members who have lost a loved one due to another person's negligent acts. We file Miami wrongful death lawsuits and fight to obtain financial compensation for our clients to help them ease their financial burdens after the untimely death of a family member.
Although we know that compensation can never replace the loss of life or the pain after death, we recognize that is a type of justice. Therefore pursuing legal action following a wrongful death in Miami, FL can benefit your family as well as help to prevent other people from suffering the same harm and pain.
Wrongful death is considered to have occurred in Florida when an individual is killed due to the wrongful act or negligent act of another person, according to the Wrongful Death Act (740 ILCS 180). Most wrongful deaths in Miami are caused by accidents such as workplace accidents, medical malpractice, and motor vehicle accidents.
The entity or person responsible for the wrongful death may be sued. However, the plaintiff has the burden of proof since they need to prove that the victim's death was caused by the defendant's negligence.
Wrongful death lawsuits are civil lawsuits. That means these are non-criminal cases that are brought against an entity or person for compensation to be paid.
A wrongful death lawsuit only can be filed by the deceased's personal representative. The representative may be the surviving spouse or other close family members such as parents, children, or other blood relatives. A wrongful death attorney in Miami will help you file a case as an individual plaintiff or estate.
In some situations, the beneficiaries and heirs may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, if the deceased was responsible for their death as well then circumstances change - it is referred to as a comparative factor.
If a victim was over 50% responsible for their own death, then the estate or survivors may not be able to recover damages. However, if a victim was less than 50% at fault, the estate and survivors have a better chance of being able to recover damages. The damages will be reduced by the court based on the proportion of the decedent's fault.
In Miami, there is a statute of limitation for claiming wrongful death. It is the period of time that a person has to file a wrongful death lawsuit legally. The statute of limitations in Florid is two years from the death of the decedent.
However, there are some expectations.
In medical malpractice, for example, survivors may bring a claim within two years after the injury is discovered. The discovery rule is applied to these cases. The claim needs to be filed within four years or less after the act of omission or negligence occurred.
If it is a government agency that you are filing a wrongful death claim against, your wrongful death claim must be filed within a year. The best thing to do is to consult with a wrongful death attorney in Miami to guide you through the notice requirements and your case.
In situations where there is a minor survivor, a wrongful death claim can be filed within two years after the minor turns 18.
There are laws in the State of Florida that allow compensation to be recovered by surviving family members following the wrongful death of their loved ones.
Florida's Wrongful Death Act: This law allows surviving family members to file wrongful death claims so they can recover the financial compensation that they need to move forward with their lives following their loved one's wrongful death. These damages may include loss of companionship, consortium, emotional support, and loss of the loved one's share of income. Those damages are experienced by surviving family members instead of the decedent.
Florida's Surviving Act: Under this law, deceased individuals are able to recover the monetary damages that a deceased individual might have recovered during their lifetime. Most important of all, the focus of the statute is on the wrongful death victim. A legal claim is pursued by the deceased person through their estate.
When a survival claim is filed, an executor is appointed by the probate court for the decedent's estate. Then a claim is filed by the executor under the Survival Act in order to recover damages that the victim might have claimed during their lifetime. Those damages might include losses, medical expenses, and lost earnings at the time of death.
The plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit must prove that the death was caused by the defendant's act. The act can be wrong or negligent. Four elements must be met in order to prove a Miami wrongful death claim.
Duty: The plaintiff is required to prove that the defendant, whether a government, company, individual, or employer, had a duty with the decedent. For example, a person is obligated to responsibly ride their motorcycle and not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Breach: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant did not fulfill their duty. If an individual drives while under the influence or does not drive responsibly, their duty to others has been breached.
Causation: The plaintiff must prove that the lack of action or negligent action of the defendant caused the death of the decedent. A head-on collision, for example, would not have taken place if the defendant had not driven their motorcycle while under the influence.
Damages: Damages can be proven in two ways. A survival claim's damages compensate for the victim's losses, whereas survivors are compensated by wrongful claim damages.
When a wrongful death lawsuit is filed, the defendant might vary depending on the specific case. The entity or person whose wrongful act or negligence caused the death may be held responsible.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
In head-on collisions, drunk drivers can be held responsible for a motor vehicle accident that causes wrongful death. The type of accident will determine who the responsible party is. Motor vehicle accident examples include the following:
A pet owner who causes injuries that result in wrongful death may be held responsible.
The responsible party in medical malpractice is the healthcare provider who made an error during medication, surgery, or diagnosis. Claims can also be brought for missing details on an X-ray that result in cancer later on or misdiagnosing cancer. Claims can also be brought for medical errors that result in a condition worsening and causing death.
A wrongful death lawsuit can also be brought by parents against a negligent healthcare practitioner which results in birth injuries. An unborn fetus is considered to be a person in Florida. Therefore, death caused by any medical malpractice is considered to be claimable and wrongful.
Nursing Home Abuse
With nursing home malpractice, a wrongful death claim can be brought against the administrator or staff. For workplace accidents, the employer can be sued. The wrongful death can be the result of sexual or physical abuse.
A wrongful death claim in product defect cases can be brought against the company that is responsible for a malfunctioning car part that causes an accident or for toxic food.
Wrongful death can, unfortunately, be caused by police officers. A claim can be brought against responsible police officers and departments for the death of a loved one.
The kind of damages that can be recovered in a wrongful death claim will depend on the specific claim. For instance, wrongful death cases filed under the Wrongful Death Act may include damages for losses suffered by the victim's family members.
Wrongful death cases filed under the Survival Act, on the other hand, recover damages for the victim's losses. The damages in most cases include losses that took place between the time the victim was injured and their death.
The wrongful death attorney at Beharry Law Firm understands that the main goal of all families who have lost a loved one due to wrongful death is to pursue justice for the deceased victim. However, seeking damages for losses that have been incurred is just as important. Our skilled and experienced attorney will guide you through the entire process of your wrongful death claim.
Investigate: We will locate and compile the necessary evidence to prove causation, breach, and duty. Our qualified evidence team of experts gathers documents that relate to your case and helps to reconstruct events.
Insurance review: The amount that usually can be recovered for damages will be restricted by insurance coverage. Our experts will review all of the insurance companies that are involved in your case, including professional malpractice insurance, homeowner insurance, or driver's liability insurance.
Negotiate: Insurance companies will often try their best to pay the lowest possible settlement amount. Our lawyer will negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies to make sure you receive fair compensation.
Litigation: Our skilled and experienced trial lawyer are willing and able to take a case to court to ensure the highest compensation is received for your wrongful death lawsuit. In addition, we can defend or pursue any appeals that take place following the verdict.
Resolution: We can help with the collection and distribution of the compensation to ensure it is received by the appropriate parties.
All of us at Beharry Law Firm believe that the lack of funds should not prevent you from being able to file a wrongful death claim. Our wrongful death lawyer in Miami offers free consultations, and we work on a contingency. That means you do not pay s until we have successfully resolved your case.
We also understand that it can be hard to select a wrongful death attorney. The best thing to do is to choose a firm that has extensive experience in working on personal injury and wrongful death cases. It is also best if the law firm handling your case is financially stable.
The amount that is awarded by the court and juror or negotiated as a settlement will vary from case to case. Claims may be worth millions, thousands, or hundreds of dollars. The amount of the compensation will depend on the losses that have been incurred by the estate or survivors.
It is worthwhile to note that many wrongful death claim settlements do not happen because litigation is not pursued by survivors. It is essential to consult with a wrongful death lawyer in Miami to determine the worth of your case.
If you lost a loved one as a result of wrongful death, the Beharry Law Firm is here to help you. They will focus on the legal issues so you can grieve losing your loved one. Get in touch with us today for your free consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your case and determine the best way forward.