Nothing can be more devastating than the sudden death of a loved one. If you have lost a family member due to someone else negligence, not only are you left behind to cope with grief, but you may also be worried about your financial future. While no legal action can erase the emotional pain you are feeling, speaking with an experienced West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Attorney can help you understand your rights. An attorney can help you hold the responsible party accountable and recover the compensation you need to support your family.
At Felice & Ehrlich, we can help you understand your rights and pursue compensation especially if the untimely death was caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party and was entirely preventable. We understand the difficulties families face as they try to move forward from the sudden death of a loved one.
For this reason, we offer you free consultations and a no-win-no-fee service so that you don’t have to worry about the legal world and the costs involved in making a claim. Contact us at (561) 444-8822 to learn how we can help recover compensation for the loss of your loved ones.
Wrongful death is a tort claim that arises when a party (an individual, business or government) causes the death of a person. The legal definition of wrongful death is contained in Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, which can be found as part of Florida statutes, in sections 768.16-768.26 of the Florida statutes’ chapter dealing with Negligence. The act allows someone to can file a claim against the opposite party when any death is caused by default, negligence, wrongful act or breach of warranty or contract.
Wrongful death claims can be confusing and complicated for loved ones attempting to file a claim. It is highly advisable to seek the services of a seasoned Wrongful Death Lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL. Our attorneys understand this process intimately. We have helped many families recover compensation after the death of their loved ones due to someone else’s actions.
Whenever an attorney files an action for wrongful death in Florida, they must establish that your case satisfies the definition of wrongful death. This entails establishing the four critical elements of a wrongful death case, or your case may be dismissed. These four critical elements that must be met in accordance with Florida’s Wrongful Death Act include:
Of course, strong evidence is needed to prove the wrongful conduct of the at-fault party and how it directly caused your loved one’s death. You will also require evidence of you and your family members’ losses. Our West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Attorneys will help you gather sufficient evidence to prove each of these elements in order to recover compensation.
One of the most important factors to consider when initiating a wrongful death claim in Florida is to determine who can bring the claim successfully. The Florida Wrongful Death Act, under Section 768.20, clearly states that only the deceased’s personal representative is eligible to file a claim. The personal representative files the claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
If the claim is successful, the damages recovered are then distributed to the eligible beneficiaries. The following groups of people are eligible to receive wrongful death compensation:
The Florida statutes do not allow uncles or aunts, cousins, grandparents, half or stepsiblings to initiate a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent.
Each wrongful death case is unique, and the recoverable compensation varies greatly depending on the unique facts and circumstances involved. A wrongful death takes into account the full value of the decedent’s life. Thus, it is possible to recover the following types of damages in a wrongful death case:
These are awarded to the survivors to help them recover any losses incurred due to the untimely death of a loved one. Under section 768.21 of the Florida Wrongful Death Act, survivors can recover the following damages in a wrongful death claim:
The damages available to the estate in a wrongful death claim are listed under the Florida Statutes Section 768.21. They include:
The court may also impose punitive damages in situations where the defendant was intentionally or recklessly negligent and caused death. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the at-fault party and discourage others from behaving in a similar way. Damages recovered can be used to compensate for the loss of the decedent or support a family deprived of its breadwinner. Either way, it helps to ensure that justice has been served.
Our West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Lawyers will help the decedent’s estate representative calculate a reasonably accurate estimation of the amount of compensation owed to the family and estate. They will then gather sufficient evidence to prove your case. All this will help increase the odds of getting a rightful compensation.
With every lawsuit, there is a specified timeframe within which the claim must be filed. This time limit is called the statute of limitations, and it may be different for each state and each type of lawsuit. In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of the decedent’s death. However, it is recommended that to file the case before this deadline, as trying to bring a claim after the expiry of this time limit is usually impossible.
Depending on the circumstances, the timeframe can longer or shorter. One of the most common reasons is related to the discovery rule. If it was not immediately clear that the decedent’s death was due to someone else’s action or negligence, the two-year time limit may begin when that cause is discovered. There are other reasons why the statute of limitations may be stopped or tolled, such as:
Although tolling the statute of limitations is extremely rare, it is imperative you consult our West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Attorneys about your unique case. The lawyers have adequate knowledge of the legal process involved with successfully filing a claim and understand the elements needed to build a strong case. They will also make sure that all legal documents are completed and correctly filed within the time limits.
Wrongful death claims can arise in any situation where a person or entity does something careless, negligent or in breach of their legal obligation and the negligent or wrongful action is the direct cause of death. Some common situations that might lead to a wrongful death claim include:
Every year, thousands of traffic accidents occur in the United States. According to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2018. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reported that there were 402, 592 crashes that resulted in more than 3,000 deaths. Most often, traffic accidents in Florida are caused by negligent drivers. Negligent driving behavior may include:
All these conditions and more can make roads in Florida dangerous, and even the smallest car accident can result in severe injuries and even death.
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. A recent study has shown that medical negligence accounts for as many as 251,000 deaths annually. Any time a healthcare provider or a doctor offers substandard care to a patient, they can be held legally accountable for the consequences. Some of the different types of situations they can lead to medical malpractice deaths include:
Most of the medical malpractice deaths occur as a result of the failure by primary care doctors to diagnose a medical condition. Surgeons, on the other hand, have reportedly been known to make errors like operating the wrong patient or body part or leaving surgical instruments inside of patients.
Employers are expected to provide their employees with a safe environment when at work. If employers fail in their duty, accidents can occur causing injuries and even death in the workplace. Certain occupations, such as electricians, truck drivers, metalworkers, loggers, miners, and construction workers are considered high-risk occupations and come with a higher percentage of workplace deaths. If it is proven that improper training or faulty equipment caused the accident resulting in death, the employer can be held liable.
More than 1 million people visit the emergency room every year as a result of slip and fall accidents, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries and may even be fatal, especially if the victim is an elderly person or a young child. Slip and fall accidents occur for many reasons, often they could have been prevented if they were not caused by hazardous conditions. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
These are just some of the common causes of wrongful deaths. Other causes can include pedestrian and bicycle accidents, boating accidents, swimming pool accidents, and product liabilities.
If you lost a loved one due to a fatal accident, the West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Attorneys at Felice & Ehrlich will thoroughly review your circumstances and advise you of your rights and options under Florida’s wrongful death law. If necessary, we will help you set up an estate so you can claim proper compensation as stipulated in the state’s probate law.
Wrongful death can strike at any time. Regardless of what causes this type of situation, the family is left to grieve their loss as they look for answers. The untimely death of a loved can also bring a significant financial burden on a family. At Felice & Ehrlich, we can help ease some of this burden by ensuring you receive the financial compensation you deserve.
We don’t charge upfront fees for wrongful death cases that we take on. That means you do not have to pay anything unless we obtain a financial recovery that you approve.
3 Harvard Circle West Palm Beach,
Kelsey Burke is an amazing attorney.. she was very helpful with the both of my cases. She always stayed in touch with me and always kept me updated with was going on every chances she got. Thank you !!
Ken and his staff were amazing they won my case and every request I made was met with speed and professionalism!!!
I never would have thought that adversarial litigation would be so stress and worry free! Felice and Ehrlich were professional, courteous and understood my stress. I would recommend Felice and Ehrlich to anyone!
It was a pleasure working with all of FELICE / EHRLICH handling my case. I want to thank everyone for their professionalism and courtesy and honesty in dealing with all of the obstructions and uncertainties. I especially want to thank Ken. In the beginning, I was told he was the best and that is a fact. Thank you, Ken. I also want to thank Janie for guiding and directing and making me feel comfortable through the process. Thank you all it was a pleasure working with you. Mr Hall
I appreciate Ken Ehrlich’s straightforward approach and also listening to my concerns. It is not easy navigating legal issues that effect your future and having an experienced, compassionate advocate on your side is well worth the time and expense to help with those intricacies. Many thanks for your guidance and assistance in a field in which you are an expert.