Florida Wrongful Death Lawyers
A wrongful death lawsuit claims that the victim was killed as a result of negligence (or other type of unjust action) on the part of the person or entity being sued, and that the victim’s survivors are entitled to monetary damages as a result of the improper conduct.
In a wrongful death case, the personal representative of the estate of a deceased person (the victim) is authorized to file a lawsuit against those responsible for the person’s death. Liability may arise for both negligent, reckless and intentional acts. A wrongful death action is separate and apart from criminal charges, and neither proceeding affects nor controls the other. This means that a defendant acquitted of murder may be sued in a civil action by the victim’s family for wrongful death.
An action for wrongful death may be brought for either an intentional or unintentional act that causes an injury that results in death. A blow to the head during an altercation that later results in death is an injury that is intentionally caused. The driver of an automobile who unintentionally causes the death of another in an accident may be held liable for Negligence. An individual who, in violation of local law, neglects to enclose a swimming pool in his yard can be held liable for the omission or failure to act if a child falls into the pool and subsequently drowns.
Wrongful death statutes do not apply to an unborn fetus, as an individual does not have a distinct legal status until he is born alive. If an infant is born alive and later dies as a result of an injury that occurred prior to birth, an action may be brought for wrongful death .
One unfortunate aspect of wrongful death cases is that there is sometimes jockeying between relatives to control the personal representative of the estate, such that they get to select the attorney and have greater influence over the distribution of any award of damages. It can be very disruptive and unpleasant when families seem more concerned about how to divide the award of damages, than they are with the fact that they lost a loved one.
Damages permitted in a wrongful death case typically include:
- Medical, hospital, funeral and burial expenses;
- Compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering, during any period of consciousness between the time of injury and death;
- Losses suffered by the decedent’s spouse, children, or next of kin, including:
- loss of financial support
- loss of service
- loss of gifts or other valuable gratuities
- loss of parental training and guidance
- loss of society and companionship
We Represent Families in Florida Wrongful Death Cases
The attorneys at Wolf and Pravato are based in South Florida and help families of victims throughout the state of Florida. If a family member or another loved one has suffered a wrongful death in Fort Lauderdale, please contact one of our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorneys for a consultation. Justice is not automatic, so we are prepared to fight for you: 800-428-3476.