Miami Wrongful Death Attorneys
Helping Families Obtain Justice
Trying to cope with the sudden death of a loved one can almost be too much to bear. This is especially true when there are medical expenses, funeral expenses, and arrangements to handle after losing someone so close to you.
It’s important to develop a support system that can help you accomplish the tasks that must be accomplished after a death in the family. Hiring a compassionate and experienced wrongful death attorney, like those at Amanda Demanda Law Group, can help.
We understand that no amount of legal action or financial compensation can make up for the terrible tragedy you have endured. However, by filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you can not only work to hold the liable party accountable but also seek the justice you and your family deserve. A fair settlement or jury verdict can provide the financial resources you need to manage unexpected costs and begin navigating the healing process.
Our Miami wrongful death attorneys are here to help you and your family during this difficult time. Call us at (305) 998-6953 to schedule a free consultation. Hablamos español.
What Is Wrongful Death?
The Florida wrongful death statute defines “wrongful death” as the death of an individual caused by the “legal fault” of another person or party.
Wrongful death lawsuits can arise from the following types of incidents:
- Motor vehicle accidents, unsafe property conditions, and other negligence-based incidents
- Medical malpractice, including misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, birth injuries, and more
- Defective products, including defective drugs and medical devices, consumer goods, and more
- Manslaughter, homicide, murder, and other types of violent crimes
When someone’s negligent or wrongful conduct causes the death of your loved one, it is important to call on a skilled and knowledgeable wrongful death attorney who has experience with these types of cases. Not only will your attorney provide emotional support, but they can also help you fight for the compensation that you and your loved ones need to move forward.
It’s not all about money. The goal of a wrongful death claim is to allow surviving family members time to grieve and get over the shock, sadness, and financial problems that follow death.
How Common Is Wrongful Death?
Many people do not realize just how common wrongful deaths are, but millions of people die due to preventable accidents, tragedies, and acts of violence every year. Thousands of defective consumer items are recalled annually, often only after fatal accidents have occurred. Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. In Florida alone, medical malpractice is the cause of more than 10,000 deaths every year.
Even more shocking, tens of thousands of Americans lose their lives each year as a result of alcohol-related vehicle collisions. And, in 2021, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 42,915 people died in traffic accidents nationwide, alcohol-related and not. This marked a 16-year high for accident-related fatalities in the U.S.
Almost all of these fatalities are what the law in Florida considers “wrongful” deaths.
The loss of a loved one causes profound anguish in any family. Many of us don’t know where to turn at such a difficult time—or how to acquire the resources to move ahead with our lives. But know that the team at Amanda Demanda Law Group can help. Based in Miami, we serve clients throughout South Florida, providing compassionate and client-focused support every step of the way. We are here to answer your questions and provide the information you need to navigate the healing process.
Why Should a Family File a Claim for Wrongful Death?
Filing a claim for wrongful death cannot assuage the grief your family will feel if you suddenly lose a loved one. However, a wrongful death claim can help survivors pay their unexpected expenses and avoid sudden financial hardship.
A successful wrongful death case can also bring about a much-needed sense of justice for surviving family members and loved ones. This is especially true if the person or party that caused the death did not face any criminal consequences. It is important to note that criminal prosecutions are entirely separate legal proceedings, and the outcome of a criminal case against the defendant does not necessarily affect the outcome of your civil wrongful death claim.
Who, exactly, may bring a claim for wrongful death in this state? What kind of compensation should they hope to receive? What is the deadline for filing a claim for wrongful death? If you’ll continue reading, you will learn the important answers that Florida families need to know.
What Is the Process of Filing a Wrongful Death Claim?
Many states let any dependent or immediate relative file a claim for wrongful death. Here in Florida, however, a wrongful death action must be initiated by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate.
A person’s estate includes everything the person owns. Your estate is passed on to those who are named in your will. In the absence of a will, your estate goes to your spouses and/or children, or to other relatives if you have no spouse or children. If you have no relatives, it goes to the state.
If no representative was designated by the decedent in his or her will or another document, a Florida court will name a personal representative. Whether he or she is named by a judge or by the decedent, a personal representative will usually be an immediate relative of the decedent.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Florida has laws regarding who can actually file a wrongful death claim. The only person with this right is the personal representative of the victim’s estate. This may be someone appointed by the victim before their death or someone appointed by the court after the victim’s death.
The personal representative may file the wrongful death claim, but they do so on behalf of all surviving family members of the victim.
What Does It Take to Win a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death claims in this state are comparable in many ways to personal injury claims.
The plaintiff (that is, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate) and the plaintiff’s lawyer must prove these “elements” of their claim (much like personal injury plaintiffs):
- The injured plaintiff was owed a “duty of care” by the allegedly negligent defendant
- The defendant breached the duty of care with negligence
- That negligence constituted a direct cause of the decedent’s death
- The survivors’ losses are quantifiable and demonstrable, and they should receive damages in that amount
How Is the “Duty Of Care” Defined?
The duty of care is the legal “duty” we each owe to one another, but the degree of care will differ in different circumstances. A driver, for example, has a legal responsibility to others on the road to drive prudently and safely.
Along with compensatory damages, in some cases, a Florida court may order a negligent party to pay punitive damages to surviving family members. Punitive damages are intended as punishment so that the negligent behavior doesn’t happen again. Such damages are typically only awarded in cases involving an egregious violation of the duty of care, gross negligence, or intent to cause injury or death.