Wrongful Death Lawyers in Vero Beach, FL Obtaining Justice For Families of Wrongful Death Victims
One of the most devastating events any family will have to deal with is losing their loved one due to wrongful death. Sudden death can be brutal for any family, but if it was caused by someone else’s negligence or criminal action, the mental pain could be even worse, knowing the fatal accident was most likely preventable.
Surviving family members often have the right to file a wrongful death claim in Florida to recover damages related to funeral expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship, to name a few.
If you have lost a loved one due to what you believe to be wrongful death, you need to consult with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. A wrongful death attorney can assist you with filing a claim to obtain the financial compensation your family deserves after the unexpected death of your loved one.
Contact our law firm and ask to schedule a free consultation with an experienced wrongful death lawyer who will be happy to provide you with a free case evaluation. We understand how difficult this time is for you and your family members, and we pledge to help you pursue justice for your loved one.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Wrongful Death Cases?
Any number of factors may cause wrongful death situations. However, certain occurrences contribute more to fatal injuries. Some of the most common wrongful death claims are the result of the following:
- Car accidents
- Commercial vehicle accidents
- Workplace fatalities
- Trucking accidents
- Accidental shootings
- Negligent supervision of minors
Losing a loved one can cause a family to experience immense emotional distress and grief. The state of Florida considers it to be a wrongful death when an individual dies due to another person’s negligence, violation of a warranty or contract, or wrongful action, including criminal actions that led to the death.
If the loss of your loved one fits the specified legal criteria, you are legally permitted to file a civil lawsuit to recover wrongful death damages. Contact our law firm and ask to schedule an appointment for a free case review. One of our wrongful death attorneys will be happy to meet with you, answer your questions, and determine if taking legal action is appropriate for your case.
Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Under Florida law, only a personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate is legally permitted to file a wrongful death claim. This personal representative can be an individual whom the deceased chose prior to their death or can be appointed by the court after the wrongful death has occurred.
Many individuals are unaware that wrongful death claims are a form of a personal injury lawsuit. Claims on behalf of surviving family members can be pursued by the personal representative.
The primary purpose of the representative is to ensure that the interests of the deceased are addressed. Therefore, the representative is legally obligated to list all surviving family members with a potential interest in a wrongful death lawsuit. These family members include:
- A surviving spouse
- Minor children, defined as those under the age of 25
- Adult children, under some circumstances
- Parents of the deceased, under some circumstances
The representative may also file a claim for any funeral expenses, lost wages, or medical expenses the deceased may have incurred due to their fatal accident.
What Types of Damages Can be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If you have lost a member of your immediate family, you may be able to recover compensation, also known as compensatory damages, for both economic and non-economic damages.
Some of the most commonly awarded economic damages in wrongful death lawsuits include:
- Funeral and burial expenses paid directly by a family member.
- Medical bills directly related to the deceased’s fatal injuries.
- Lost wages from the time the deceased was injured until the date they passed away.
- Loss of future earnings that the deceased would have been entitled to, such as bonuses, commissions, or savings they could have reasonably accumulated over their lifetime.
- Loss of financial support for the family. This is especially important if the deceased was the family’s primary income source.
- Economic losses the deceased provided, such as childcare, transportation, or home maintenance.
Unlike economic damages with a set value attached, non-economic damages typically depend on the facts and unique circumstances surrounding your loved one’s wrongful death case. These monetary damages are meant to compensate family members for intangible losses and significantly differ in every wrongful death claim.
Some of the most commonly awarded non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering, also commonly referred to as mental anguish, may be granted for the emotional loss family members have endured after a wrongful death.
- Loss of companionship as the deceased can no longer offer guidance and protection.
- Loss of enjoyment of life by surviving family members.
- Loss of consortium may also be claimed by the surviving spouse or the decedent’s children due to the loss of emotional support, love, or companionship.
Punitive damages can be granted in wrongful death lawsuits; however, they are rare compared to other commonly awarded damages. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages provide financial compensation to family members, and punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party for their wrongful acts. Punitive damages may also be granted in an effort to warn others that the actions that contributed to the wrongful death will not be tolerated.
Should I Take an Initial Settlement From the Insurance Company?
Often after an individual dies due to wrongful death, the insurance company may reach out to you or other surviving family members and offer them a financial settlement. Although it may be tempting to accept such an offer, it may not be in your family’s best interest to do so. After you have lost a loved one due to what you believe to be wrongful death, it is highly recommended that you obtain legal representation immediately. Unfortunately, insurance companies rarely have your family’s best interests in mind when offering financial compensation.
Therefore, one of the best steps to protect yourself and your family members is to hire a wrongful death attorney who can advise you of any potential legal action you may need to take. Often, insurance companies will make an initial offer that, on the surface, seems to be acceptable. However, because of their grief and emotional despair, many families do not realize that they may be entitled to significantly more compensation based on the facts surrounding the wrongful death case.
At Grall Law Group, our wrongful death attorneys will act as your personal liaison when it comes to dealing with the insurance company. We can review their offer and determine if it is necessary to seek compensation more in line with your family’s needs and the circumstances surrounding your wrongful death claim.
Is There a Time Limit For Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
The statute of limitations in Florida permits families up to two years. It is important to understand that the clock does not begin to run on the statute of limitations until the date an individual passes away. In some instances, an individual may suffer fatal injuries but not pass away until a later date.
Do not wait to seek legal representation if you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death. Although two years may seem like a great deal of time, if you allow the specified time limit to expire, you will most likely not have the court agree to hear your case.
The wrongful death lawyers of Grall Law Group are dedicated to helping the grieving families of Vero Beach, FL, and the surrounding areas pursue compensation for the sudden loss of their loved one. Regardless of how your loved one died, our law firm is committed to obtaining maximum compensation for your family.
Contact our law offices by calling 772-773-6697 and ask to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney today. We look forward to serving you in your time of need.