Because of something someone did or did not do, you’ve suffered a tragedy and lost someone that you loved. Losing a loved one is devastating enough, but when a person’s death is caused by negligence, the grief and anger are monumental.

Maybe the loss was sudden due to a car or truck accident or an accidental drowning at a neighbor’s unfenced pool. Or maybe it happened slowly. The doctor’s diagnosis of your husband’s medical condition was wrong and it was too late to start proper medical treatment. When something like this happens, you need time to mourn and get your affairs in order—not worry about a wrongful death claim. That’s where we can help.

We’ll be your trusted advocate and take charge of your case and manage every detail while you tend to personal matters. Wolf & Pravato will provide compassionate counsel and aggressive representation to get you the compensation you deserve.Boca Raton Auto Accident and Wrongful Death Lawyers

At the law firm of Wolf & Pravato, we understand value of family, and we are sorry for your loss. That’s why our wrongful death compensation attorneys will do everything possible to help you through this dark time. If your loved one was taken away and you want to bring a wrongful death claim, call Wolf & Pravato for a free consultation.

Our lawyers have handled wrongful death claims involving:

Our personal injury attorneys have decades of experience handling insurance companies who want to pay you as little as possible in your wrongful death claim case. With our team of attorneys and experts, we will fight to protect your interests. Don’t face them alone. We know that compensation will not bring your loved one back to life. But it may offer you the closure that you need. With our attorneys on your side, you have a fighting chance to get the compensation you deserve.

If you are struggling through the loss of a loved one, schedule a free consultation to discuss the matter with a wrongful death attorney at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato. A skilled personal injury lawyer can investigate your case and provide clear direction about your legal options.

Call us at 1-954-633-8270 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Eric RosadoBoca Raton Auto Accident and Wrongful Death Lawyers
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What Happens During A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Florida?

For many people, it’s the worst thing that they can possibly imagine: having a loved one tragically taken from them in the prime of their lives. This can occur in a myriad of ways, but when it happens due to the actions of another person or persons, then it can couple the feelings of grief and loss with those of anger and despair. If someone has wrongfully caused the death of a loved one, there is a means of seeking justice in civil court—the wrongful death suit. This is a complicated and involved process, but it is one of the surest ways to gain restitution for your loss and justice for your lost loved one.

What is wrongful death?

Wrongful death is when someone is killed by another person or persons either through the negligence of those individuals or through their intentional actions or conduct. This can include a variety of negligent actions including medical malpractice, auto fatalities, or criminal attacks (which can also be prosecuted under criminal law). In order for a death to be considered wrongful, the action leading to a person’s death must be either negligent or intentional. Under this guideline, a person who murders someone could also be sued for wrongful death but not if the person intentionally killed someone in self-defense. If you are facing a wrongful death contact our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer at the law offices of Wolf & Pravato.

Specific examples of wrongful death claims

Although the types of wrongful death suits are wide and varied, there are some very common examples that are seen time and time again. These include:
Car accidents—This can be where a person is killed due to the negligent driving of another. Negligent driving could include speeding, texting while driving and drinking and driving.
Defective products—This could include, for example, a company that knowingly manufactured defective car brakes which then leads to a car crash with fatalities. It can also cover other defective products including tainted food, toxic substances such as asbestos or lead-based paint, and medicines that injure people with dangerous side effects.
Medical malpractice—Another very common form of wrongful death suits, a medical fatality could be caused by a careless doctor who either mishandled a surgical procedure or who completely misdiagnosed a fatal illness.
Unsafe premises/work conditions—This is a two-fold area, although closely related. If a landlord does not maintain the property or provide security in a common area, then he can be responsible for fatalities caused by his negligence. Likewise, a business owner who sends his employees into unsafe working conditions could be held liable if they die during the course of their work.
Suicide—In some extreme cases, a person who fails to follow through with a standard of care could be held responsible if the person in their care commits suicide. This is especially true for therapists and doctors.

What happens in a wrongful death suit?

Wrongful death settlement is a very long and complicated affair that often take place in offices instead of courtrooms. This is not the dramatic court case that you see on a TV drama or movie with screaming attorneys and histrionic testimony from surprise witnesses. The claim can actually often be negotiated by attorneys without having to go to trial at all. However, should the suit move forward, it will follow a general pattern including:
Filing the lawsuit. Once a lawsuit is filed in court and the defendants are notified, they usually have about 30 days to reply to the lawsuit including providing an outline of their defense;
Discovery. The discovery period is where evidence is gathered by both sides including interviews and formal depositions as well as the exchange of documents.
Pre-Trial Motions. These are argued before a judge and maybe about formalizing what evidence can and cannot be presented during the actual trial.
Trial/Appeal. A plaintiff can opt for either a jury trial or one to be decided by a judge. Even when the verdict is issued, the trial is not over as the defendant has the right to appeal the decision to a higher court. This can continue the process for several years as the case is retried.
Collection of damages—The final step is to actually collect the damages from the defendant. This may also be a complicated process as it may be necessary to seize assets from the defendant including savings or property.

Our Experienced Lawyers At The Law Office Of Wolf & Pravato Can Help!

Many people may question whether they should bring a wrongful death suit because it will ultimately not bring back the loved one they’ve lost. But it can provide you with the compensation and financial security that you may lack from this personal loss. The Florida wrongful death attorneys of the law office of Wolf & Pravato are here to assist you during this difficult and trying experience.

We also help the victims of wrongful death in the following cities:

Eric RosadoWhat Happens During A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
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Palm City Woman Had BAC Three Times the Legal Limit When She Struck and Killed Motorcyclist

A 24-year-old Palm City woman had a blood alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit when she struck and killed a motorcyclist with her car on September 7.

The woman, Amanda McClure, and two of her friends were in her Lexus ES350 after leaving a Palm Beach Gardens bar. She hit a 1984 Harley Davidson from behind while driving about 75 mph. The motorcyclist, John Henry Regan, aged 58, died at the scene of the accident.

Both passengers in the Lexus said they were looking at their phones at the time of the accident and did not see what happened. Investigators at the scene said that McClure’s eyes were red and her speech was slurred. A blood test showed that her blood alcohol level was .24%. The legal limit in the state of Florida is .08%.

McClure apparently refused to speak with investigators at the scene, and turned her back on troopers when they tried to ask questions about the crash. Records indicate that McClure was convicted of DUI in March of 2009.

Statistics have shown that the number of fatal car accidents as well as DUI accidents in West Palm Beach are consistently higher than those for the state of Florida as a whole. In 2010, 123 traffic-related deaths occurred in Palm Beach County alone. Along with two other counties, Palm Beach County is one of the top four counties in South Florida for numbers of vehicular fatalities in the state of Florida. In 2010, Florida saw an average of 645 car crashes per day.

In addition, there are nearly 31,000 motorcyclists registered in Palm Beach County. Even though the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has been working toward stemming the number of motorcycle fatalities across the state, motorcycle accidents resulting in injuries and wrongful deaths are still occurring on a regular basis. In fact, motorcycle fatalities in Florida alarmingly rose by almost 30% from 2009 to 2010.

DUI accidents are 100% preventable. If you or someone you love has been injured due to a drunk driver, it is imperative that you speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. In addition to the criminal charges the drunk driver will be facing, they can also be subject to a civil lawsuit brought by the victims of the accident or their families. In addition, it is possible for an establishment that served alcohol to be held liable if their patron then got behind the wheel of a car and caused injuries to others. For more information regarding your rights if you or someone you love is the victim of a drunk driving crash, contact the DUI injury attorneys from the law offices of Wolf and Pravato at 1-954-633-8270.

Eric RosadoPalm City Woman Had BAC 3 Times the Legal Limit When She Killed Motorcyclist
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A bipartisan bill proposed this week would allow state traffic engineers to decide where speed limits on Florida highways can be increased and by how much. According to an article in the Sun Sentinel, if the bill is passed, the Florida Department of Transportation will study the state’s highways and determine their safe minimum and maximum speed limits. The agency will then be able to raise the maximum speed limit to 75 mph along highways that are currently at 70 mph.

A report in the Tampa Bay Times shows that the speed limit is currently 70 mph on 1,472 miles of Florida interstate highway. The bulk of these miles are located in Central and North Florida on Interstate 10, I-75, Florida’s Turnpike, I-95, the Suncoast Parkway and parts of I-4. The speed limit is 65 on highways with divided medians and 60 miles per hour on other roads that Florida DOT oversees.

The intent of this bill is to speed up to commute for drivers who use Florida’s long rural roadways, rather than those commuting in more urban areas. In fact, according to the bill’s co-sponsor Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, most of South Florida would likely be excluded. This is because the region’s urban population results in usually packed highways. However, the changes proposed in the bill may apply to Alligator Alley, the part of I-75 that has many long and wide-open stretches through the Everglades.

The stretches of highway that could be impacted by the bill include long stretches of interstates 10, 75 and 95 as well as parts of Florida’s Turnpike. Clemens believes that the changes proposed in the bill would simply adjust speeds to be what motorists are driving at anyway. Additionally, sixteen other states have raised speed limits above 70 mph. Utah allows speeds of 80 mph, while Texas allows 85 in certain areas.

The change in speed limits would require approval by the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott in next spring’s 2014 session.

Accidents caused on a highway due to excessive speed can be catastrophic or even fatal. Whether adding 5 mph to the speed limit in certain areas of Florida’s highways will impact the number of accidents in unclear.

For more information regarding your rights following a South Florida car accident, contact a Fort Lauderdale car accident attorney from Wolf & Pravato at 1-954-633-8270.

Eric RosadoFL Senators Want to Increase Speed Limit to 75 MPH
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Can I Sue If I Was Injured on an Airplane?

When people think of airplane accidents, it is likely they imagine the tragic, dramatic crashes that injure or kill many people at once. However, it is possible to become injured on an airplane that hasn’t crashed, simply through the negligence of the pilot or other airplane staff. A number of airline passengers each year suffer minor, severe or sometimes fatal injuries caused by events in-flight. Passengers who are injured in-flight may have legal claims against the airline, the airline’s employees, aircraft and equipment manufacturers, or even the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Types of In-Flight Injuries

Many in-flight injuries are caused by luggage falling from overhead bins. Rolling food carts can injure seated passengers by ramming shoulders, elbows, etc. Additionally, these carts can injure passengers who are moving about the cabin. Slip and fall accidents can also occur while passengers are moving about the cabin. Severe turbulence can cause in-flight injuries if the pilot or other staff fail to warn passengers that they need to sit down and fasten their seat belts. According to the FAA, almost 58 passengers are injured each year due to turbulence while not belted in.

Who Can Be Held Liable for In-Flight Injuries?

Airlines are considered common carriers. This means that they owe a high standard of care to their passengers. Because of this, they can be liable for damages if they fail to properly train their staff. This standard of care extends to all staff members as well. An airline employee can be liable for injuries caused by negligence. This can include the pilot, flight attendants, ground crew, maintenance staff, and others. A negligent act can include a flight attendant improperly latching an overhead bin, allowing the luggage inside to fall out.

The FAA, which is responsible for controlling air traffic, can be liable for damages if an air traffic controller causes an accident between two planes on the runway. The FAA is a federal agency and special rules and procedures will apply to that lawsuit.

It is also possible that a manufacturer of airplanes or airplane parts can be held liable for damages. If a passenger is injured in an accident caused by a defective piece of equipment or a design flaw, then the injured party may have a product liability claim.

Additionally, there could be several combined factors that lead to an in-flight injury. For help in investigating your claim, it is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.

For more information regarding your rights following an in-flight injury, contact the personal injury attorneys from Wolf & Pravato – 1-954-633-8270.

Eric RosadoCan I Sue If I Was Injured on an Airplane?
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Can I Sue a Hospital for Medical Malpractice?

A victim of medical malpractice can be left with heavy financial burdens from medical expenses and an inability to work. Additionally, a medical malpractice victim may be left with emotional pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life that may not have occurred had he or she received proper treatment in the first place.  If you received negligent care while at a hospital, you may be left wondering what parties can be held accountable and what damages you may be able to receive.

Typically, a hospital can be held accountable for the negligent actions of its staff. If someone is an employee of a hospital, the hospital is can he held liable for damages if that employee hurts a patient by acting incompetently. In other words, if the employee is not reasonably cautious when treating or dealing with a patient, the hospital is responsible for any resulting injuries to the patient.

Generally, nurses, medical technicians and paramedics are hospital employees. As long as the employee was doing something within the scope of employment when he or she injured the patient, the patient can file a lawsuit against the hospital. For example, if a nurse improperly administers medication and that results in an injury to a patient, then the hospital can be held liable for the nurse’s negligence.

Also, if a hospital employee commits malpractice while under a doctor’s supervision, the patient can sue the doctor, while the hospital may not have any liability. Whether an employee is under the supervision of the doctor when the misdeed occurs depends on whether or not a doctor was present at the time and whether or not the doctor could have prevented the action. For instance, a surgeon may be liable if a nurse incorrectly counts the surgical sponges, resulting in the surgeon leaving one of the sponges in the patient.

However, if a doctor makes a mistake and injures a patient while working in the hospital, the hospital will not be liable for the doctor’s negligence unless the doctor is an employee, which is unlikely in most cases. Whether or not a doctor is a hospital employee depends on the nature of his or her relationship with the hospital. A doctor is more likely to be employed by a hospital if the hospital makes the doctor’s schedule and controls vacation time, or the hospital determines the fees the doctor can charge. Otherwise, doctors are considered independent contractors, which means that the hospital cannot be held responsible for the doctor’s medical malpractice, even if it occurred in the hospital.

However, misdiagnoses can be a common occurrence in an emergency room. If this is the case, then a hospital may be liable for the mistakes made by emergency room staff, which can include doctors in certain circumstances. For more information regarding your rights in emergency room malpractice claims, consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

As with any medical malpractice claim, expert witness testimony will be required in order to show that any reasonable medical professional under similar circumstances would not have made the same mistakes. Medical malpractice claims often involve complex medical and legal issues. If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, you need to assistance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Remember that, in Florida, there are limits on how much you can receive for non-economic damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order to get the compensation you deserve, contact a Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice attorney from Wolf & Pravato – 1-954-633-8270.

Eric RosadoCan I Sue a Hospital for Medical Malpractice?
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Drunk Driving Accident FAQ

Are drunk driving accidents common in Florida?

Florida DMV records show that there were 33,625 DUI convictions in Florida in 2011. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 716 alcohol-related driving fatalities that year, which accounted for nearly 30 percent of total driving fatalities in Florida.

How are drunk drivers punished in Florida?drunk drive

Florida Statute Section 316.193(3) states that any person who causes serious bodily injury while driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance can be charged with a Third Degree Felony. This is punishable in Florida with a $5,000 fine and/or up-to 5 years imprisonment.

DUI Vehicular Manslaughter in Florida is a second-degree felony punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and/or 15 years imprisonment. If the drunk driver knowingly leaves the scene of an accident and fails to give information or report the accident for law enforcement and medical assistance, then the suspect may be guilty of a first-degree felony punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and/or 30 years imprisonment.

Any offender whose driving privileges had been suspended for DUI Manslaughter or Vehicular Homicide is guilty of a 3rd-degree felony, punishable by both jail time up to 5 years and/or a fine no more than $5,000.

What should I do if I was involved in an accident with a drunk driver?

The most important thing is to get medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you do not have visible cuts or bruises, you should still be checked out by a doctor in the event of any internal injuries. You should also have a follow-up exam within a few days of the accident in case any injuries you sustained did not present themselves immediately.

If you are not seriously injured, you need to get the name of the other driver as well as his or her contact information, license plate number and the name of the driver’s insurance company and policy number. You should also try to collect the contact information of any witnesses. If you have a camera or camera phone available, take pictures of the accident scene.

Can I sue a drunk driver in civil court for damages?Drunk Driver

Yes. If you were injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, that driver may be held liable if it can be proven that his or her intoxication caused the accident. An experienced Fort Lauderdale drunk driving accident attorney from the law offices of Wolf & Pravato can work with you to investigate the accident and prove negligence on the part of the other driver.

If the other driver is found to have caused your accident, he or she may be required to compensate you for your medical expenses, lost wages, future loss of earnings, property damage, pain and suffering, etc.

Can I sue a bar or restaurant for serving too much alcohol to a driver?

Dram shop laws govern the legal responsibility of an individual or establishment that serves alcohol to a person, who then causes an injury due to his or her intoxication. Florida dram shop law, however, is very limited. In the State of Florida, people or establishments that sell alcohol are not held liable for accidents caused by the people they served unless the individual is a minor or if the person is known to the “habitually addicted” to alcohol.

If a family member was killed by a drunk driver, can I file a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death claim can be filed by the survivors of a person killed in an accident caused by a drunk driver. A family (spouse, children, next of kin) can be compensated for medical and funeral expenses, as well as a loss of financial support, companionship, parental guidance, etc.

Contact The Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato:

The law offices of Wolf & Pravato is a personal injury law firm with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Tampa, and Boynton Beach.

Call us at 1-954-633-8270 or fill out our online contact form.

We also help the victims of a car accident in the following cities:

Eric RosadoDrunk Driving Accident FAQ
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New Ban on Texting & Driving Impact Roads in Florida

The long sought after ban on texting while driving goes into effect today, October 1. The new law makes texting while driving a secondary offense, meaning that a driver may only be ticketed if he or she is pulled over for other infractions. Additionally, the law provides exemptions for the use of GPS devices, talk-to-text technology, and reporting criminal behavior. It also allows texting while stopped, such as at a red light.

According to a preliminary report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 256,443 reported crashes in Florida in 2012. In 4,841 of those crashes, a driver had been texting or otherwise using some kind of electronic communication device while driving.

Police will not be able to pull a driver over simply for texting. Rather, the law enforcement officer will have to witness another traffic violation occur, such as the running of a stop sign. In addition to a ticket for that offense, the officer can add on a texting while driving violation.

The fine for texting and driving for first-time violators is $30. Any violations after that will be $60. Also, second and subsequent violations committed within a five-year period will be considered moving violations, which will put points on a driver’s license and make it easier for insurance companies to recognize high-risk drivers. This will allow insurance companies to either raise premiums or drop the drivers entirely. If you’re involved in an accident while texting and driving, your phone records can be pulled and used as evidence and six points will be added to your license.

Florida is the 41st state to place a ban on texting and driving. It has taken about five years to pass a texting while driving law in Florida, and many traffic safety experts are criticizing it as weak.

For those who have been involved in accidents caused by distracted drivers, you need the help of an experienced car accident attorney. Although there is finally a law in place to try and prevent people from texting and driving, it may not be enough.

Victims of distracted driving accidents may be eligible for damages due to the negligence of the distracted driver. Contact the car accident attorneys from the law offices of Wolf & Pravato at 1-954-633-8270 or fill out our online contact form. Justice is not automatic; we will fight for you.

Eric RosadoHow Will the New Ban on Texting and Driving Impact Roads in Florida?
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In some personal injury cases, it may be necessary to file your claim against a government entity. Personal injury claims against the government may include accidents with some forms of public transit, such as a municipal bus. Slip and fall incidents at a government agency and dangerous roads also also examples of when a personal injury claim may need to be filed against the government. However, even though it is difficult to go up against the government in court, it is not impossible. If you’re taking on a government entity in a personal injury claim, it is important to obtain the assistance of a personal injury attorney from Wolf & Pravato.

While government entities at the local, state and federal levels have “sovereign immunity” that protects them in liability lawsuits, this does not mean that they are immune from all claims. Your personal injury attorney can help determine if you have a valid case against a government entity.

You should file a notice of claim as soon as possible after your accident. If you don’t know which branch of government can be held responsible for your accident, it is in your best interest to send notice to any agency you feel may be liable. Your claim notice should make the government aware that you sustained an injury. Be clear that you are filing this notice against a public body. Give a description of the time, place, and circumstance surrounding your accident and be sure to include your contact information so that the government entity may respond to your notice. Generally, the government will deny your claim. If this is the case, you may then file a lawsuit against the government entity in civil court.

In the state of Florida, you can have as little as 30 days from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim, depending on the government entity you are filing against. Claims against the government have a filing deadline of anywhere between 30 and 180 days from the date of the accident. In order to file your claim on time and to ensure that your rights are protected, contact a personal injury attorney from Wolf & Pravato as soon as possible after your accident.

The complexity of claims against the government entity makes the hiring of an experienced personal injury attorney of the utmost importance. In addition to the time constraints that complicate the filing of your claim, you will be going up against government lawyers if your case goes to court. Do not go it alone. Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Wolf & Pravato. You can call us at 1-954-633-8270 or fill out our online contact form.

Eric RosadoHow Do I File a Personal Injury Claim Against the Government?
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What Should I Do if I Need to File a Personal Injury Claim In Florida?

The first thing you need to do after you’re injured is to seek medical attention. Failing to get proper medical attention after an accident can sometimes reduce the number of damages you can recover. It is up to you to mitigate your losses, and have your injuries addressed and documented by a medical professional is extremely important to your case.

Filing a police report can help to ensure that you will have records of important information that can be used in court. This can include the names and contact information for anyone involved.

Additionally, you should keep accurate records of all costs and expenses related to your injury. Keep all medical bills, diagnosis statements, bills for property damage and insurance records. You should also keep records of lost wages if your injuries caused you to miss work.

There are many aspects of personal injury claims for which it would be extremely beneficial to work with a personal injury attorney. It is important to exercise caution when dealing with insurance companies. Often times, they are more concerned with their own bottom line than with getting you fair compensation for your injuries.

Avoid settling with the other party or their insurance company on your own. If you are unsure of what you are doing, it would be in your best interest to hire an attorney. This can help you to avoid costly mistakes.

Additionally, do not sign any forms or documents unless you understand them perfectly. Have your attorney from Wolf & Pravato read any paperwork or documents given to you regarding your injury.

Be aware of filing deadlines. The state of Florida has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. An attorney can make sure that your claim is filed in accordance with state law. Your attorney can also advise you on any basic guidelines for personal injury claims in order to make to process less complicated.

Having the right personal injury attorney is critical in order to receive the compensation you deserve. The West Palm Beach personal injury law firm of Wolf & Pravato can guide you through the often complicated process of filing a personal injury claim.

You can contact the law offices of Wolf & Pravato by email, by filling out our online contact form, or by calling us Toll-Free at 1-954-633-8270.

Eric RosadoWhat Should I Do if I Need to File a Personal Injury Claim, FL?
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