The death of a loved one is always devastating, but it can particularly traumatic if they died due to someone else’s negligence. Not only have you been left with unimaginable grief, but you are also likely to have the burden of worrying about your finances. Loved ones are often left with expensive medical bills and the loss of the financial support that the deceased provided prior to their untimely death.
Our team of Port Charlotte wrongful death attorneys understand that no amount of money can make the pain of such a loss go away. However, we also understand that you need to think practically and do everything you can to protect your financial future. We are here to help you protect your legal rights and receive adequate compensation so you can move on with your life in the best way possible.
So don’t hesitate, call The Law Place today at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation with a Port Charlotte wrongful death lawyer. Our team has more than seventy-five years of combined experience in handling wrongful death lawsuits and all other types of personal injury cases. Let our law firm fight for the compensation that you and your family deserve.
Wrongful Death Claims In Port Charlotte, Florida
When a person loses their life because of the carelessness of another person, that person could be liable for negligence. For example, if someone is killed in a car accident that wasn’t their fault, the surviving family members could be entitled to make a claim against the responsible party compensate for financial and emotional losses. This is known as a wrongful death lawsuit.
In the state of Florida, the law states that only the personal representative (or “executor”) of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is explained under Florida Statute 768. 20.
Personal representatives who file wrongful death lawsuits are acting on behalf of the deceased person’s estate and must take into account any surviving family members. They are required to list all possible beneficiaries when filing the claim, and this could include:
- The victim’s immediate family members such as their spouses, children, and adopted children.
- Parents, if their child was under 25-years-old.
- Adult children who were dependent on their deceased parent for financial support.
- The victim’s distant family members, such as their grandparents and siblings, when partly or wholly dependent on the deceased.
- Domestic/life partners.
- Any other financial dependents who have suffered financially because of the death.
If you are unsure about any of the laws regarding wrongful death lawsuits in Port Charlotte, Florida, call us to schedule a free consultation, and we can tell you whether you are entitled to file a claim.
Establishing Negligence in a Port Charlotte Wrongful Death Case
To win this type of case, our Port Charlotte wrongful death lawyers will seek to prove that the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased victim and that this duty of care was breached. They will need to prove that the fatality was the direct result of their negligent actions.
The term negligence in terms of personal injury law refers to negligent conduct as well as any behavior that is considered careless or reckless. There are four elements of negligence under Florida’s personal injury law. All of these elements must be established for a successful compensation claim:
- The victim was owed a duty of reasonable care from the other party;
- The responsible party (the defendant) breached this duty of care;
- This breach of duty directly caused the victim’s death; and
- You suffered damages and losses as a result of the victim’s untimely death.
Florida’s Comparative Fault Doctrine
Proving the above elements of negligence is only half the battle in personal injury cases. There is a chance that your compensation amount could be reduced if the other party can prove that your deceased loved one contributed to their death in some way. This is because The State of Florida follows the comparative fault doctrine, which can reduce any recoverable damages based on the percentage of fault that is ultimately assigned to them.
This is why it is so important to hire a Port Charlotte wrongful death lawyer who can establish the four elements of negligence beyond any reasonable doubt and maximize your total amount of compensation. They will do this by using their skills to challenge the other party’s claim that the victim was partially at fault for their injury and death.
To find out more about how we can get the maximum amount of compensation for you following the wrongful death of your loved one, call The Law Place for a free consultation.
Grounds For Wrongful Death Claims in Port Charlotte, FL
Whether you have lost your loved one in a car accident or due to medical malpractice, if they lost their life due to the negligence of another person, you may have reasonable grounds to file a Port Charlotte wrongful death lawsuit. Some of the most common types of Port Charlotte wrongful death claims include the following:
It is common for a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed following a conclusion of a criminal case involving murder. Even if the defendant in a murder case is not convicted, any surviving family members can still file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, civil lawsuits like this are very complex and require the skill and knowledge of an experienced Port Charlotte wrongful death lawyer.
Fatal car accidents are another common example of reasonable grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, as long as it can be established that the other party was reckless or careless in some way. Examples of negligent behavior that can result in a fatal car accident include driving under the influence (DUI), driving whilst distracted (e.g., texting or eating), faulty car parts, car manufacturing defects, bad road design, and reckless driving (e.g., speeding). If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, it is very likely that you are entitled to compensation.
Injuries at Birth
If a medical professional is shown to have failed to provide adequate prenatal care or to have made unprofessional errors during delivery, they can be held accountable. If you lost your baby at birth due to the negligence of a trusted medical professional, you may have a wrongful death claim and can be awarded compensation for your emotional trauma as well as for any additional medical bills.
Serious workplace accidents can result in death, and if they occur due to the negligence of another person, such as an employer, a wrongful death claim can be filed. These accidents can occur as the result of poor health and safety standards and improper training. Workplace accidents are common for truck drivers, construction workers, and factory workers, among others.
When truck accidents happen, they are usually quite serious due to the size and weight of commercial vehicles, and fatalities are common. If you have lost a loved one in a truck accident, you may be entitled to financial damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. In this case, there are many different parties who could be held accountable for negligence, including the truck driver themselves, the trucking company, and anyone involved in loading or repairing the vehicle.
Wrongful death lawsuits involving medical malpractice happen when a medical professional’s actions or inactions directly cause a patient’s death. It can happen at any point whilst receiving medical care. For example, the patient could have been misdiagnosed, a mistake could have been made during surgery, or they may have been given the wrong treatment.
All medical professionals have a legal duty of care towards their patients, and when they breach this duty, they can be held accountable. By filing a claim, you can play a part in preventing the same mistake from happening again.
It is crucial that you hire a Port Charlotte wrongful death lawyer as soon as it becomes feasible after a death involving negligence. So that an attorney can investigate the case straight away before any evidence is lost or destroyed. Call The Law Place today to schedule your free consultation.
Damages in a Wrongful Death Case in Port Charlotte, Florida
If your Port Charlotte wrongful death case is successful, the defendant will be ordered by the court to pay a certain number of “damages” to compensate you for the death of your family member.
According to Florida Statute 768.21, all damages available in a wrongful death case are split into two categories: the damages that are awarded to the deceased person’s family and the damages that are awarded to the deceased person’s estate.
Damages that are paid to the victim’s family will usually include money that is intended to compensate for the following:
- Mental anguish (pain and suffering).
- Any medical and funeral expenses that surviving family members have paid for.
- The loss of services and support that the deceased person provided to family members prior to the untimely death.
- The loss of companionship and protection that the deceased person previously provided.
- The loss of parental companionship, guidance, and instruction.
Damages that are paid to the victim’s estate will usually include money that is intended to compensate for the following:
- Any wages, benefits, and any other earnings that have been lost from the date of the person’s death or even the date of their initial injury.
- The full value of benefits and earnings that the deceased person could reasonably have been expected to retain if the victim had lived.
- All medical bills incurred as a result of the victim’s injuries.
- Any funeral expenses that were paid by the estate.
Punitive damages seek to punish defendants for serious wrongdoing and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. They do not seek to recover extra damages for the plaintiff. Therefore, punitive damages are only rewarded in egregious wrongdoing cases that are perhaps not covered by Florida criminal law but still constitute a public wrong. Usually, the defendant would have had to exhibit a reckless disregard for another person’s life.
It is common for punitive damages claims to be appropriate in wrongful death cases due to the fact that they usually involve allegations of gross negligence and intentional misconduct. According to Florida Statute 768.72, a defendant can be held liable for punitive damages if clear and convincing evidence proves that the defendant was personally guilty of the victim’s death.
These claims must be substantiated by strong evidence and put forward by an experienced wrongful death lawyer. Call our law firm today to find out more in a free consultation.
Statute of Limitations in a Port Charlotte Wrongful Death Case
Like other types of lawsuits in The State of Florida, wrongful death claims must be filed within a set period of time. This is according to a law called “The Statute of Limitations.” The statute of limitations for most wrongful death lawsuits in Florida is two years from the date of the victim’s death (Florida Statute 95.11). If the claim is not filed before this deadline, the deceased’s personal representative will likely lose their right to file the claim.
However, in some cases, a wrongful death claim may be brought at any time, for example, in the case of murder or manslaughter. This rule applies even if the accused has never actually been arrested, charged, or convicted of murder or manslaughter (Florida Statute 95.11).
We know that taking legal action will be the last thing on your mind, but because of this short time limit, it is crucial that you contact a Port Charlotte wrongful death attorney for legal counsel as soon as it is feasible.
What a Port Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do For You
Personal injury lawyers have many important duties. Every state has very complex and specific laws, and Florida is no exception. A high-quality personal injury lawyer like one from our law firm knows the ins and outs of Florida’s personal injury laws and how they relate to your case.
A good personal injury lawyer will:
Provide Essential Advice
An attorney can help to guide you through the legal system, tell you what to say, what not to say, and how to give yourself the best shot at a positive outcome in your case. But, more importantly, at a time like this, they can provide support when you need it most.
Explain Your Legal Rights
Your lawyer will explain how what rights you have as the victim’s estate or surviving family member. With the help of a lawyer, you can receive a compensation settlement that is reflective of your emotional suffering and financial losses. Without this support, it is likely that you will be pushed into accepting a much lower settlement and be left to struggle financially.
Represent You in Court
Court trials can be very daunting, but a personal injury lawyer can act as your representative and speak for you in court. Even though many wrongful death cases are settled before they reach court, it is possible that you will need to face a full civil trial to secure personal injury compensation. Litigation is very complex, and only a professional lawyer who knows the correct rules and procedures will know how to handle your wrongful death case in court.
An experienced personal injury lawyer from our law firm will help you recover compensation that will enable you and your family you move forward as you recover from your loss. Call us today for a free case evaluation.
Call Today For a Free Consultation With a Port Charlotte Wrongful Death Lawyer
The personal injury lawyers at our law firm have decades of combined experience in handling wrongful death lawsuits in Port Charlotte and every other county in Florida.
Call The Law Place today for a free consultation with one of our friendly and knowledgeable attorneys who can tell you if you are entitled to compensation for your losses. We can provide you with much-needed guidance and ensure that you and your family are awarded fair and full compensation following the loss of your loved one.
Our telephone number is (941) 444-4444, and the phone lines at our law firm are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.