West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Attorney
If someone has died because of the negligence of another person, the surviving family members may be entitled to compensation. The West Palm Beach wrongful death attorneys at the law offices of Wolf & Pravato can handle the details of your wrongful death case, offer guidance throughout the suit and help you and your family to move forward.
A West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney from Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can help Florida families pursue legal claims after the loss of a loved one. Under Florida’s wrongful death laws, immediate family members have the right to recover compensation if their loved one died because of another person’s negligent act. This includes many types of careless, reckless, and intentional behaviors.
To learn more about how a West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyer can help your family after the death of your loved one, reach out to our team today for your complimentary consultation. We can assess your case for free, helping you understand your rights, legal options for filing a lawsuit, and the types of damages you may be able to recover. We will also answer your questions about the services and representation we provide.
We Work to Achieve Financial Security for Your Family
In addition to the economic damages you suffer due to the loss of your loved one, you may be eligible for non-economic damages as well. Economic damages refer to the calculable financial loss as a result of the unexpected death. Non-economic damages, while just as valuable, are the subjective and non-quantifiable emotional distresses suffered by your family.
- Economic damages – medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of victim’s expected earnings, loss of benefits (pensions, insurance, etc.), loss of inheritance, loss of goods and services
- Non-economic damages – pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of care, guidance, protection, love, society, companionship and consortium
Wrongful death claims can be filed by a representative to the survivors that have suffered damage from the death, or by the decedent’s heirs themselves. Wrongful death actions are separate from criminal charges, meaning that even if the party responsible for your loved ones death is acquitted of murder charges, a family can still sue that party for damages. Our West Palm Beach Wrongful death lawyer can help to file a wrongful death claim,
When Florida’s Wrongful Death Act Applies
There are many types of cases that may support a legal claim and a West Palm Beach wrongful death settlement.
A death may be considered “wrongful” when another person’s careless, negligent, or intentional actions led to the death of the victim. This means that almost any accident or incident that would support a personal injury case against the at-fault party, had the victim survived, will support a wrongful death claim.
Many accidental and preventable deaths will support a wrongful death action and financial recovery, as long as there is evidence to demonstrate that the person acted negligently, is liable, and the surviving family suffered losses as a result. Some common types of accidents that our firm pursues wrongful death cases for include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle collisions
- Pedestrian accidents
- Boat collisions and mishaps
- Drownings and other swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites and other animal attacks
- Medical malpractice, birth injuries, and pharmaceutical malpractice
- Defective products, including defective drugs
- Criminal acts, such as assault and battery, manslaughter, and murder
The best way to learn if a West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney from Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can help your family with a legal claim after the death of a loved one is to reach out for a review of your case. Call (954) 633-8270 now for your complimentary consultation with a team member.
Florida Wrongful Death Laws Limit Who Can File Legal Claims
Under Florida Statutes 768.20, a section of the Florida Wrongful Death Act, there are stringent limits on who the law permits to take legal action in these cases. Only the decedent’s “personal representative” can file a claim to seek wrongful death damages.
A personal representative is a legal term for the person tasked with managing the probate process after the decedent’s death. You may become a personal representative in one of two ways:
- The decedent named you as executor or estate administrator before their death.
- The court-appointed you as the point person for managing the decedent’s estate.
We cannot work with anyone except the personal representative to build a wrongful death case and make a legal claim for compensation. However, you can contact our team to learn more about the process if you are an immediate family member and your family wants to take legal action.
Who Can Qualify for Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
While there is only one person named as the personal representative of an accident victim, several more may qualify to recover compensation based on their losses. There are some situations in which the personal representative may not receive benefits from the wrongful death claim they file. In this case, their role is to act on behalf of the estate and those who qualify to recover a payout through a wrongful death action.
The immediate family members of the decedent are those most likely to qualify for damages. This includes:
- Their spouse
- Their minor or adult children
- Their parents
- Their siblings
- The other parent of any minor children
As Per Florida Statutes 768.21, the relationship between the decedent and the family member determines the type of damages the family member can recover through a wrongful death claim. This means the kinds of damages available to a surviving spouse will differ from those available to their children or the victim’s parents.
A West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyer from Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can help you understand your rights, including who qualifies to file a wrongful death case and who may be eligible to recover compensation through the claims process. Reach out to us today to speak to a team member. Call (954) 633-8270.
Recoverable Damages in a West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Case
The Florida Wrongful Death Act outlines the recoverable damages in these cases. This includes damages available for the estate and damages for the losses suffered by immediate family members.
The personal representative in a wrongful death case can seek to recover a variety of expenses and losses paid out per the victim’s estate plan or will. These are generally the losses they may have recovered if they survived and pursued a personal injury case. They include:
- Financial losses, such as those for medical treatment, hospitalization, and other care costs
- Property damage losses
- Loss of income between the date of their injury and the date of their death
- A payout for any conscious pain and suffering they endured before their death
Economic losses endured by the family due to their loved one’s injuries and death are also recoverable. These could include:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of future wages, benefits, and other income
- Loss of services typically performed by the decedent, such as childcare or household upkeep
Non-Economic Damages May Also Be Available to the Family
While it is much more difficult to calculate and value, it is also possible to recover compensation for the intangible losses of family members as a result of the death of their loved one.
This compensation may do little to heal the family’s wounds, but it can make life easier and prevent financial stress from causing an additional burden during this time. These intangible losses will depend on the familial relationship with the victim.
For example, children may be able to recover damages that include the loss of parental support, instruction, and guidance, as well as for their emotional distress. Meanwhile, the surviving spouse can recover damages that include the loss of companionship and protection, as well as damages for their mental pain and anguish.
Calculating a Fair and Just Settlement Following a West Palm Beach Wrongful Death
Putting an accurate value on your case is key to recovering a payout that ensures you are not left worrying about your family’s financial future and how you will make ends meet.
If you take legal action to pursue wrongful death damages based on the loss of your loved one, your West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney will determine a fair and just settlement value for your case. This value will come from the calculated total of the economic and non-economic damages, including those your loved one endured before their passing and those suffered by survivors.
The Wrongful Death Act requires us to determine the types of damages each family member can receive and put a value on each individually. This process is sometimes complex because of the number of beneficiaries and their unique relationships to the decedent. For example, we must consider the financial support each family member would have received from the decedent.
Our team is confident in our ability to calculate the damages possible in these cases properly. We fight for payouts for the families we represent that are fair and do not undercut the true value of their losses.
To learn more and get started today, dial (954) 633-8270.
Florida Time Limits on Filing a Wrongful Death Action
Florida limits how long we can wait before filing a wrongful death action in a Palm Beach County civil court or another appropriate jurisdiction. Since these cases rarely begin with a lawsuit, we encourage you to contact our team far in advance of the deadline to determine your rights and the steps we can take on your behalf.
There are many steps we may need to take before we are ready to prepare the paperwork and file a lawsuit. They include:
- Investigating the incident
- Compiling evidence
- Assigning liability
- Calculating damages
- Filing a claim based on a liability insurance policy if possible
- Attempting to reach an out-of-court settlement that fairly compensates the family
If we cannot negotiate a wrongful death settlement during this process or we run out of time, we will need to file a civil suit that names the at-fault party as the defendant and seeks to recover compensation through a court trial.
In general, we have up to two years to begin a civil suit under Florida Statutes 95.11 in most West Palm Beach wrongful death cases. It is important to note that this is only half the time you would have to begin a personal injury lawsuit if your loved one had survived their injuries.
We Can Help You Navigate the Timeline for Your Wrongful Death Recovery
When we sign on to represent your family, we will check the deadlines that apply based on the details of your loved one’s accident and death. There are some exceptions to this timeline, although they are rare. You could have more time or less time, depending on the circumstances of your case.
We will ensure we adhere to these rules, which is essential in protecting your right to file suit if necessary. Missing this deadline would likely mean being barred from taking legal action against the party whose negligence caused your loved one’s death. This would prevent you from seeking a court award and holding them accountable.
Contact Our West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Lawyers
The wrongful death attorney in West Palm Beach at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato helps families recover damages in wrongful death cases. If a family member or another loved one has suffered a wrongful death, please contact a West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyer for a consultation. 1-954-633-8270
We help the victim of wrongful death in the following cities also: