When a family member dies, it can change the lives of everyone around them. Facing the results of their death can be incredibly difficult, especially if the deceased was responsible for supporting their family, cared for young children, or was a close companion to their family members. The harms, both economic and intangible, can be extremely severe.
If a member of your family was killed in an accident or died because of someone else’s negligence, contact Bay Harbor Islands wrongful death attorney Prosper Shaked today. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA represent the survivors of victims of wrongful death and fatal accidents, and our lawyer helps these families fight for compensation for their loss. To set up a free legal consultation, call our office today at (305) 694-2676.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Bay Harbor Islands
Accidents can happen in many ways. Car crashes, negligent medical care, slip and fall injuries, and defective products can all cause debilitating injuries or even death in many cases. The surviving family of someone killed through wrongful death can bring a lawsuit for the damages they face because of the death.
Under Florida Stat. § 768.16 and the following sections, the only people who can bring a lawsuit for a family member’s death are the spouse, kids, and parents of the deceased. However, other blood or adoptive family members can also bring the lawsuit if they are dependent upon the deceased, such as stepchildren, siblings, or cousins that the deceased cared for.
The deceased’s “personal representative” brings this lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s survivors or estate. The personal representative is similar to an “administrator,” and is usually identified in the deceased’s will or appointed by the court. Talk to an attorney about how to file this claim in your case.
Damages for Wrongful Death
Surviving family members face a great deal of financial and intangible harms from the death of a loved one. Many of these harms can be compensated by filing a lawsuit. Financial compensation can help your family move on after a death, and it can help hold the responsible party accountable for their errors.
Any family members in the same household as the deceased can recover compensation for the deceased’s “support and services.” This “support” means any financial support they provided as well as emotional support, guidance, and other intangible benefits. “Services” includes the household tasks and chores that the deceased performed, which can be as advanced as household repairs or as mundane as cleaning and childcare. The value of all of this lost support and service can be claimed to cover both what the family members have already lost and what they will continue to lose in the future because of the death.
Spouses can receive compensation for the losses particular to them. Spouses should be companions, confidants, and friends for their whole lives, and the harm caused by a death can be substantial.
Children can also receive compensation for the loss of companionship and support from a parent. Likewise, parents can receive compensation for the emotional distress and pain caused by losing a child.
Lastly, the surviving family can receive compensation for the cost of funeral and burial expenses. These costs can be incredibly high, especially if there was no life insurance or other death benefits to help cover these costs.
Courts may also award other damages related to the death, but many of these damages may be limited. Talk to an attorney about what your wrongful death lawsuit might be worth and what additional damages you may be entitled to claim, either on your own behalf, on behalf of other family members, or on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
Proving Fault in Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Bay Harbor Islands, FL
One of the purposes of a wrongful death lawsuit is to hold the responsible parties accountable for the harm they caused your family. A negligent driver that causes a car accident or a negligent manufacturer that creates dangerous products should not be permitted to continue to harm others, and paying damages can help punish them for the harm, prevent future harm, and seek justice for your harm by exposing the defendant’s negligence to the public. However, you must first prove the defendant was at fault for the death before a court can hold them accountable.
Proving fault in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit means proving that the defendant failed to use the proper care or skill. In most cases, the claim is that the defendant killed your family member through negligence, rather than intentional acts. However, you can also sue for wrongful death in murder cases by proving intentional harm.
The “burden of proof” in these cases is on the plaintiff, meaning you must convince the judge or jury that the death was the defendant’s fault. Rather than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard in criminal cases, the standard here is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This is commonly defined to mean that you must prove that it is “more likely than not” that the defendant was responsible for your family member’s death.
Proving the case often requires presenting witness testimony, documentation of the damages, medical records, and other evidence of the defendant’s fault and how the death occurred.
Call Our Bay Harbor Islands Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Case Consultation
After a death in the family, consider talking to a wrongful death lawyer about filing a lawsuit for your loved one’s death. Our Bay Harbor Islands wrongful death attorney, Prosper Shaked, may be able to take your case and fight for justice for your loved one’s death and compensation to help support your family going forward. To schedule your free consultation, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today at (305) 694-2676.