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Wrongful Death

At Britto & Herman Injury Lawyers, we help individuals and their families in Jupiter and all Florida counties seek appropriate compensation for their suffering and expenses through wrongful death lawsuits after they have lost a family member in a fatal accident caused by another person’s negligence.

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Wrongful Death Lawyers in Jupiter, Serving All Florida Counties

The death of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence in Florida is undoubtedly a life-altering and devastating experience. Such a tragedy can lead to significant life changes for those left behind, impacting relationships, family dynamics, and daily routines. The aftermath of a fatal accident often involves a myriad of frustrations, emotions, difficulties, and significant expenses, not to mention responsibilities to handle following your loved one’s passing. If a careless or negligent party caused your loved one’s fatal injury, you may file a wrongful death claim that may potentially yield lost wages and coverage for final expenses. An experienced Florida wrongful death lawyer can guide you through this difficult time, helping to shoulder some of the responsibility to respond to these circumstances.

Given these challenges, it’s crucial for the decedent’s survivors, such as spouses, children, parents, blood relatives, and adoptive siblings affected by such a loss to promptly seek the assistance of an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney. Contact us today at Britto & Herman Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation so we can assess your case and help you strategize your next steps.

Though we can’t bring your family member back, we may be able to seek financial compensation for the loss of your loved one. We will provide you the essential guidance, support, and advocacy you need to navigate the legal system and seek appropriate compensation.

We Have Helped Many Families Like Yours in Palm Beach County and Throughout Florida

The emotional toll of losing a loved one is profound. Grief can manifest in different ways, including shock, sadness, despair, loneliness, isolation, irritability, and anger. This emotional distress is often exacerbated when the loss is sudden and due to another party’s negligence.

The financial implications of such a loss can be substantial. This can include medical bills incurred before the death, funeral and burial costs, and the loss of the deceased’s income.

Pursuing a wrongful death claim can be a complex and frustrating process. Florida law allows accident victims to seek compensation for pain, suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish, but a wrongful death claim in Florida must be filed by the decedent’s personal representative under the Florida Wrongful Death Act. Navigating these legal proceedings often requires the help of an experienced wrongful death lawyer.

Defining Wrongful Death in Florida

In Florida, a wrongful death claim is a legal action brought by the survivors or the estate of a person who was killed due to the negligent, intentional, or reckless behavior of another person. It’s a civil (non-criminal) legal action that allows surviving family members or the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to seek compensation (damages) for the loss of a loved one.

The essential elements and concerns in a Florida wrongful death case include:

  1. Death of a Person: The decedent died in connection with an incident that occurred in Florida.
  2. Proof of Negligence: The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence was the cause of the death.
  3. Loss Caused By the Death: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the survivors have suffered measurable damages due to the decedent’s death.
  4. Appointment of a Personal Representative for the Decedent’s Estate: Wrongful death lawsuits in Florida must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate.

The survivors in these cases could be entitled to various forms of damages, including medical and funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of future income and support. However, the specifics of who may be included in the filing and what damages they may seek can depend on several factors, making it important to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney.

At Britto & Herman, our experienced Florida wrongful death lawyers are prepared to assess whether these essential elements are present if you seek to pursue a Jupiter wrongful death lawsuit. We serve residents in all Florida counties.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Florida

Different types of car accident or automobile accident cases, premises liability cases, and work accident cases involving a victim’s death account for a large number of wrongful death cases in Florida.

The following types of scenarios may involve a death caused by another person’s negligence or fault:

Contact a Florida wrongful death lawyer at Britto & Herman Injury Lawyers today if you have lost a loved one due to any of the above causes. We are prepared to help surviving relatives such as the decedent’s spouse, a surviving parent, or the decedent’s children seek justice through financial compensation in coordination with Florida’s probate law if a negligent party was responsible for your loved one’s death.

There are important deadlines and considerations involved when you seek to file a Florida wrongful death lawsuit. With Britto & Herman Injury Lawyers, your first step is a free consultation to review the details of your case with one of our Florida wrongful death lawyers.

Types of Damages in a Florida Wrongful Death Case

In Florida, damages available in a wrongful death claim can be categorized into economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages for a Wrongful Death in Florida

Economic damages refer to objective, quantifiable financial losses that the decedent’s estate or family members have suffered. These may include:

  • Medical Expenses: These are costs associated with the decedent’s final illness or injury, including medical bills related to hospitalization, surgery, and medication.
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses: Reasonable costs incurred for the decedent’s funeral expenses and burial.
  • Lost Earnings: This includes the loss of the decedent’s expected earnings and benefits, such as pensions, from the time of their death until their expected retirement. Your attorney will take steps to estimate the decedent’s probable net income and the lost wages they otherwise would have been able to contribute if they had lived.
  • Loss of Support and Services: The value of support and services the decedent would have provided to their survivors.

Non-Economic Damages for a Florida Wrongful Death

Non-economic damages compensate for subjective, non-monetary losses. These may include:

  • Pain and Suffering: Mental anguish, sorrow, and emotional pain suffered by the survivors due to the decedent’s death.
  • Loss of Companionship and Protection: Compensation for the survivors for the loss of the decedent’s companionship, protection, and guidance.
  • Loss of Parental Companionship, Instruction, and Guidance: Available to minor children of the decedent, and all children if there is no surviving spouse.

You may also seek compensation for the suffering your loved one experienced due to the injury before they died, in what would resemble the damages of a personal injury claim they might have pursued if they had survived. This is known as a Survival Action.

It may appear difficult to assign a dollar value to lost support from wrongful deaths, but the attorneys in our experienced legal team have established methods for doing so. Note that you may also be able to seek compensation for the pain and suffering the decedent suffered from an accident before their injuries proved fatal. This essentially resembles what a personal injury claim might have been like had the decedent survived.

Punitive Damages in Response to a Wrongful Death

Punitive damages are not awarded in every case but are meant to punish the defendant for particularly egregious or reckless behavior and deter similar conduct. In Florida, punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.

Ask your Florida wrongful death lawyer whether it may be reasonable to seek punitive damages in your wrongful death lawsuit.

How To Prove a Wrongful Death Case

In Florida, proving a wrongful death case requires establishing certain elements beyond a preponderance of the evidence, which means that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s negligence caused the decedent’s death. This is a lower standard compared to criminal cases, which require proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

The key elements that need to be proven in a wrongful death case in Florida are:

  1. Duty of Care: The plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the decedent. This can vary depending on the situation. For example, a driver has a duty to operate their vehicle safely to avoid a car accident.
  2. Breach of Duty: The plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the defendant breached this duty. In the driving example, this could mean the defendant was speeding or driving recklessly.
  3. Causation: It must be shown that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the decedent’s death.
  4. Damages: Finally, the plaintiff must prove that they have suffered damages due to the death, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of income.

Given the complexity of wrongful death claims, it is vital to start gathering evidence and building a case as soon as possible. This may include securing eyewitness accounts, retrieving video surveillance, collecting medical records, and securing expert witnesses to testify about the cause of death and other technical aspects of the case.

Working with an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney is crucial in navigating this process. At Britto & Herman, our knowledgeable wrongful death lawyers can help you understand the legal requirements, gather necessary evidence, coordinate with expert witnesses, and ensure that your claim is filed within Florida’s statute of limitations for wrongful death, which is generally two years from the date of death.

How Damages are Determined in a Florida Wrongful Death Claim

In determining damages in a wrongful death claim in Florida, several factors are considered. These include the decedent’s age, character, life expectancy before the incident, and their responsibility with money.

  • Decedent’s Age: The age of the deceased can significantly influence the calculation of economic damages. Younger individuals typically have more potential earning years ahead of them, which can lead to higher awards for lost income and support.
  • Character of the Decedent: The character of the deceased, particularly their financial responsibility, can also impact the determination of damages. If the decedent was known to be financially responsible and diligent in providing for their family, this could increase the amount awarded for loss of support and services.
  • Life Expectancy: The decedent’s life expectancy prior to the wrongful death is another critical factor. If the decedent was expected to live a long life, the financial loss to the survivors could be substantial, increasing the potential damages.

An experienced wrongful death attorney typically works with expert witnesses to help determine these damages in a Florida wrongful death suit. Economists or financial experts can provide detailed analysis of the decedent’s earning capacity and probable net income, considering their age, occupation, and life expectancy.

Medical experts might testify about the decedent’s health and projected lifespan prior to the incident. These expert testimonies are crucial in establishing the extent of financial loss and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, experienced by the survivors.

Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Cases in FL

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida is two years from the date of death. This means that the decedent’s estate or family members must initiate legal action within this time frame. If they fail to do so, they may lose their right to seek compensation for the wrongful death.

Potential Extension of Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Caused by a Criminal Act in Florida

It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to this rule, which could extend or shorten the two-year window. For example, if the wrongful death is due to a criminal act, the statute of limitations may be extended until the criminal case is resolved. Discuss this matter with our wrongful death attorneys at Britto & Herman Injury Lawyers if you wish to file a wrongful death claim in Florida that may have occurred due to criminal acts.

Given the complexity and specific time constraints associated with wrongful death cases, it’s wise to consult with an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to help you navigate the legal process, ensure all deadlines are met, and advocate for the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act

Florida only allows one person to bring a wrongful death action on behalf of the survivors. A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida can typically be filed by the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate. This person is often designated in the decedent’s will or estate plan. If there is no designated representative, the court may appoint one.

Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, the decedent’s personal representative files the wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person’s estate and surviving family members. The lawsuit should list all survivors who have an interest in the case, which can include:

  • The surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased.
  • Any blood relatives or adoptive siblings who were partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.

Note that specific rules apply to which family members can seek to recover damages and what types of damages they can seek in a wrongful death suit. For instance, minor children may seek to recover damages for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance in addition to loss of financial and educational support, while all children may seek to recover such damages if there is no surviving spouse.

Schedule a Free Consultation for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Britto & Herman Injury Lawyers in Jupiter, Florida

At Britto & Herman Injury Lawyers, our experienced Florida wrongful death lawyers provide invaluable assistance to families during challenging times. We aim to learn how we can be of service to you if you have lost a family member due to the careless actions of another in Florida and you wish to explore a wrongful death lawsuit.

Take advantage of our free consultation today by calling us at (561) 835-5555(561) 835-5555 or completing our online form. We will review the unique details of your case, assess the viability of a wrongful death claim, and determine the next steps in your legal strategy. We serve residents in all Florida counties. Allow us to fervently fight on your behalf for the compensation and justice you need following the untimely death of your loved one.

Given the time sensitivity of wrongful death cases, acting swiftly is crucial. The Florida wrongful death attorneys at Britto & Herman Injury Lawyers are here to offer unwavering support and guide you through the legal process, seeking to ensure the protection of your family’s rights following a wrongful death in Florida.

The Voice for Florida Injury Victims

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Auto Accident
Palm Beach County

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$950,000.00

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$625,000.00

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$400,000.00

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$330,000.00

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$225,000.00

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$210,000.00

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$200,000.00

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$360,000

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Questions or Schedule An Appointment? Call Us: (561) 835-5555

Questions or Schedule An Appointment? Call Us: (561) 835-5555

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