Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through. When someone else’s wrongful actions cause a family member’s death, you may have a legal right to seek justice. A wrongful death lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL, can help.
The South Florida lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine understand how you feel after a family member dies due to another person’s negligence. We represent clients in a variety of accident and malpractice claims. Our civil litigation team can determine if you have a wrongful death case and help you seek compensation for your tragic loss.
If you have a valid claim, we can represent you on a contingency basis. That means you do not pay our legal fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.
Which Family Members Can Bring a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida?
The Florida Wrongful Death Act requires the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file the lawsuit for the benefit of decedent’s survivors. Any of the following family members of the decedent could recover damages through a wrongful death claim:
- A spouse;
- Blood relatives or adoptive siblings who were dependent on the decedent;
- Children born out of wedlock to a mother; and
- Children born out of wedlock to a father who had recognized responsibility for the child.
The personal representative must bring the claim to recover damages for these parties. Often, the deceased’s last will and testament—or the court handling their estate administration—will determine your loved one’s personal representative.
Even if you are a relative who was not financially dependent on the decedent, you may still be eligible to receive damages. If your family member cared for you and you must now hire someone to take their place, for example, you might qualify for compensation for this loss.
Compensable Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
You may be able to recover several types of damages when a loved one dies due to someone else’s negligence. Our wrongful death attorneys can help you estimate your damages, which will depend on many different factors under Florida state law.
You may be able to seek compensation for any of the following damages in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Loss of support and services, depending on how much support or services the decedent provided you, their net income, your life expectancy, and the decedent’s life expectancy;
- Loss of companionship and protection—as well as compensation for mental and emotional suffering—for the surviving spouse;
- Loss of parental companionship, guidance, and instruction, as well as damages for mental and emotional suffering for surviving minor children;
- Parents of a minor child who dies may recover compensation for mental and emotional suffering;
- Parents of an adult child may recover for mental and emotional suffering, but only if there are no other survivors, such as a spouse or child; and
- A family member who pays for medical or funeral expenses of the decedent may recover these costs.
In addition, the decedent’s estate can recover several types of damages. This can include the expected value of the decedent’s lifetime accumulation of wealth if they would have lived to their normal life expectancy. Property of the estate will generally pass to the heirs named in their will, unless creditors of the estate have a right to this property.
Some of these damages have a specific dollar value, such as the cost of medical expenses. Other damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering, can fluctuate widely. After we investigate your case, we can offer you a better idea of the damages you might be able to recover through a wrongful death claim. It is important to note that these amounts can vary depending on settlement negotiations or, in the case of a lawsuit, what a jury decides.
How to Begin Seeking Compensation for a Wrongful Death
Florida’s statute of limitations gives you only two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If you wait too long, you may lose your legal right to seek compensation.
You can begin by requesting a free consultation with a member of our legal team. We need to learn more about your situation and establish whether you have a basis to bring a lawsuit.
We can evaluate your case to determine if another party’s negligence may have caused your loved one’s death. There are many different actions that can be negligent, including:
- Medical malpractice;
- Car accidents;
- Liability for making a defective product; and
- Criminal activities.
If you have a case, we can file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. In many cases, we can engage the insurer in settlement negotiations and attempt to reach a fair settlement to compensate for your injuries. If we cannot agree to terms on a settlement, our litigation team can file a wrongful death lawsuit and take your case to trial.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Fort Lauderdale.
Let the wrongful death attorneys at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine evaluate your case during a free initial consultation. If we decide to take your case, we will represent you on a contingency basis. This means you will not have to pay any legal fees unless you receive compensation.
We help clients throughout Florida seek compensation for injuries, including the loss of a loved one. Call us at 1-800-747-3733 to schedule a free case evaluation at our Fort Lauderdale office.