Palm Beach County Wrongful Death Lawyer
The most terrible accidents, the worst mistakes people can make—like drunk driving or releasing a dangerous product into the marketplace—can result in the death of an innocent victim, whose family members must pick up the pieces in the wake of tragedy. At Smith & Ball Injury Law our Palm Beach County wrongful death lawyers help surviving family members obtain compensation for wrongful death, understanding how difficult it is to suddenly lose a spouse, parent, or child. Life will never be the same, but, at the very least, you should be able to carry forward in the best financial position possible, instead of being forced to bear a heavy financial burden placed on you by another’s negligence or misconduct.
Florida Wrongful Death Law
Under Florida law, a wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that may be brought to court when a person’s death is caused by the “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract” of another party. The compensation recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit is primarily for the benefit of the deceased person’s surviving family members; however, Florida law requires the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file the wrongful death claim. The personal representative may be named in the deceased person’s will or estate plan, or—if there is no will or estate plan—the personal representative will be appointed by the court.
Wrongful Death Compensation
As part of the wrongful death claim, the personal representative must name every surviving family member who has an interest in the case. In Florida, these family members include the deceased person’s spouse, children, and parents, as well as any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.” The damages that surviving family members may recover in a wrongful death case are:
- The value of support and services the deceased person was providing to the surviving family member
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased person
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss of a child
- Medical or funeral expenses any surviving family member has paid for the deceased person
The deceased person’s estate may also receive certain types of damages, which will become part of the estate to be distributed to beneficiaries and/or heirs. These include:
- Lost wages, benefits, and other earnings, including the value of lost earnings that the deceased person could reasonably have been expected to make if he or she had lived
- Lost “prospective net accumulations” of the estate, or the value of earnings the estate could reasonably have been expected to collect if the deceased person had lived
- Medical and funeral expenses that were paid by the estate directly
Find Out If You’re Entitled to Wrongful Death Compensation
If you lost a family member in an accident caused by another’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to wrongful death compensation. Find out today, and take steps toward obtaining the recovery you need and deserve to move forward after tragedy.