Palm Beach Gardens Wrongful Death Lawyer
When a family member passes away, it’s an emotional and challenging time for everyone. However, when your loved one died because of someone else’s reckless behavior, negligence, or intentional acts, it’s understandable that you may be angry. Many clients come to us after a loved one is killed to find out their legal options. While filing a wrongful death lawsuit won’t bring your loved one back, it may help with the unexpected financial strain you’re suddenly facing. If you need assistance after a family member was killed, contact a Palm Beach Gardens wrongful death lawyer right away.
At Scott Smith Injury Law, our Florida personal injury attorneys are here to help. We understand what a traumatic time this is for you and your family. We will do our best to help build a strong case and fight for the compensation your family deserves.
Who has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
Florida has strict laws on who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family. While you might be the deceased’s spouse or child, only the personal representative of the estate can file the lawsuit. The personal representative is someone that the deceased named in their will or trust to handle probate and distribution of their assets.
Don’t despair, though, as the personal representative is just the one who files. It does not mean they will get any monies recovered. The money recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit would go to the victim’s spouse, children, parents, dependents, etc.
Types of Damages Recoverable in Wrongful Death Cases
Florida allows for the recovery of various types of damages in a wrongful death case. Some of the most common ones include:
- Lost support and services, including future losses until the survivor’s death;
- Loss of companionship, instruction, and guidance;
- Your mental pain and suffering;
- Lost benefits, wages, and the increased value of the estate had the deceased still lived;
- Funeral and burial costs.
Wrongful death cases are about the survivors’ pain and suffering, not what the deceased went through before they passed away. There is a secondary claim called a survival action that allows the personal representative to file a lawsuit to collect for damages the victim could’ve pursued themselves. Damages in a survival action include:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Physical damages; and
- Pain and suffering.
Like a wrongful death claim, the personal representative is the one who brings the survival action. Any recovery in a survival action would be distributed to the estate’s beneficiaries, subject to intestate laws. Intestate laws determine how assets are divided when someone dies without a will or trust in place.
Contact a Palm Beach Gardens Wrongful Death Attorney
Pursuing a wrongful death claim is complicated. If you believe your family might have a valid case, it’s imperative to speak with an experienced attorney first. As this is understandably stressful and emotional for your family, it’s better to retain a lawyer who can navigate the legal system’s challenges. While no amount of compensation can bring your loved one back, let us help you hold the negligent party responsible. Contact Scott Smith Injury Law today to schedule an initial consultation.