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West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Fighting for Justice for Families of Wrongful Death Victims

Experiencing a loved one’s death can be one of the most challenging events that families have to endure. However, losing a family member due to a wrongful act that could have been avoided can seem almost unbearable.

If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, Florida law allows surviving family members to seek compensation for mental anguish along with medical and funeral costs. Due to the legal complexities involved in wrongful death cases, hiring an experienced attorney to protect your legal rights is always best.

Sadly, an insurance company will often try to blame the deceased for causing the fatal accident so they can avoid paying large claims.

GONZ.LAW GROUP of West Palm Beach is a law firm dedicated to helping surviving family members recover compensation and the justice they deserve. Contact our law offices to schedule an appointment with a Palm Beach wrongful death attorney who will thoroughly assess your case and determine the available legal strategies.

Why Do Most Wrongful Death Accidents Occur?

Wrongful death can occur in any number of ways. However, some of the most common reasons wrongful death occurs include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Construction or workplace accidents
  • Product liability
  • Criminal acts

Families of victims should remember that even if their loved one died as a result of an accident, they must be able to prove the wrongful death occurred as a result of negligence.

However, it can be challenging for the victim’s family to prove wrongful death. For this reason, it is critical that family members seek qualified legal counsel from an experienced wrongful death lawyer who will review the factors that lead to the person’s death and what legal options may be available.

GONZ.LAW GROUP has extensive experience assisting family members file wrongful death claims. Contact our law offices to schedule a free consultation with a highly trained West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney who will explain the legal process of filing a claim.

Who is Entitled to File a Wrongful Death Claim in West Palm Beach?

Anyone who has tragically lost a family member due to wrongful death may be unsure what their legal rights are and how they can receive justice for their loved one. Surviving family members must keep in mind that a wrongful death claim may only be filed under the stipulation that if the victim had lived, they would have been entitled to file a personal injury claim to try and recover medical expenses and lost wages.

As a result, the Florida Wrongful Death Act dictates the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is entitled to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of surviving family members. The personal representative, sometimes called the executor, may be chosen by the deceased during their lifetime and named in their estate plan. If the deceased dies without leaving a will, a personal representative may be appointed after their death.

Individuals who qualify to be a personal representative include:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Siblings

Additionally, wrongful death claims may also be brought by other blood relatives depending on the circumstances involved in the case.

However, the rules governing wrongful death claims are slightly more complex for children of unmarried parents. If a father dies, his children may only collect compensation if the father formally acknowledges the child and is obligated to pay child support.

Wrongful death cases become more involved if the beneficiaries are minor children. In instances where minor children are beneficiaries, it is common to establish trusts, so any financial compensation they receive will be protected until they turn 18 years old.

If you need more clarification about who may be entitled to file a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, contact our West Palm Beach law offices and ask to schedule a free consultation to learn more.

How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida?

In Florida, a wrongful death victim’s family has a limited time to file a claim to try and recover financial compensation. Florida Statute 95.11 (4)(d) allows family members up to two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.

Although two years may seem like a considerable amount of time, family members should seek legal counsel immediately for their wrongful death case. If the specific time period expires, a court will most likely refuse to hear the case, and it will be thrown out. Even if a family had a valid claim backed with supporting evidence, they would no longer have legal recourse to seek compensation for the untimely death of their loved one.

However, there are exceptions to that statute of limitation, one being medical malpractice lawsuits resulting in death. Even though the two-year statute of limitations is still in force for medical malpractice wrongful death claims, the clock may be tolled or paused under certain circumstances.

For example, a wrongful death claim related to medical malpractice may still be brought if the injury was discovered within two years of its discovery. However, no wrongful death action may be executed after four years from the date of the incident.

Understanding the Florida statute of limitations can be challenging for those who lack legal training. For this reason, if you have lost a family member due to wrongful death, you must hire a knowledgeable attorney who can protect your rights,

GONZ.LAW GROUP has an experienced legal team with a proven record of handling wrongful death lawsuits and obtaining favorable client results. Contact our law firm to schedule a meeting with a Palm Beach wrongful death lawyer who can explain your rights and begin legal proceedings on your behalf.

What Type of Financial Compensation is Available in Wrongful Death Claims?

One of the most common questions family members of wrongful death victims ask is how much is a wrongful death case worth. State law provides guidance pertaining to the specific damages each surviving family member may be entitled to receive.

Surviving family members may be able to recover compensation in the form of economic and non-economic damages, also called compensatory damages. In other instances, if specific legal aspects are present, a family may also be able to collect punitive damages for the wrongful death of their family member.

Because a wrongful death claim is essentially a personal injury claim filed on the deceased’s behalf, the same rules apply to any compensation that may be recovered. Because every wrongful death case differs based on the events that led to the fatality, any potential settlement that may be reached will also vary.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are awarded to families to reimburse them for expenses they incurred due to their loved one’s death. Some damages may be paid directly to the victim’s family, while some are paid to the decedent’s estate based on the circumstances of the case.

Damages that are commonly awarded in wrongful death claims include:

  • Funeral expenses (within reason)
  • Medical bills incurred by the deceased that are attributed to their fatal accident.
  • Lost income, including any bonuses, benefits, or commissions the victim may have been able to contribute to their estate had they lived.
  • Loss of services that the deceased provided to family members, including childcare, transportation, or home or car repair.

Economic damages may also be awarded to the decedent’s estate if it pays for medical and funeral expenses.

Non Economic Damages

If awarded, non-economic damages are meant to compensate families of wrongful death victims for intangible losses. Unlike economic damages that have a definitive value, non-economic damages are subjective based on the facts of the case.

Some frequently awarded non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of emotional support, guidance, or protection.
  • Mental pain
  • Loss of companionship

In cases that involve a deceased minor child, Florida law recognizes the mental anguish and distress that parents suffer due to the untimely death of their child.

Regardless of the type of loss your family has suffered, our wrongful death attorneys realize that no amount of compensation can bring back a loved one. However, our legal team is passionately committed to helping families receive the justice they deserve by holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Punitive Damages

In wrongful death lawsuits, it is often determined that the negligent parties acted recklessly without regard for the health and well-being of victims. In these types of wrongful death cases, families may be awarded punitive damages.

However, punitive damages differ from compensatory damages meant to reimburse families for economic and non-economic losses. Instead, punitive damages are granted to punish the wrongdoer for their actions and warn others not to repeat the same behavior.

Florida law states that punitive damages are limited to three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.

Not all wrongful death claims qualify for punitive damages. Therefore, if you are not sure about the type of damages you may be able to recover after the death of your loved one; it is wise to consult with a wrongful death lawyer who will thoroughly assess your case to determine what damages are appropriate.

Contact our West Palm Beach, FL law firm and ask to meet with one of our highly qualified wrongful death lawyers today to learn more information.

How are Wrongful Death Compensation Proceeds Divided Among Surviving Family Members?

In Florida, wrongful death settlement proceeds are divided based on the type of damages and among each surviving family member of the victim.

Per Florida law, any compensation that may be recovered in a wrongful death claim must be distributed to surviving family members fairly and equitably. Sometimes, a jury may decide how the damages should be distributed to family members.

However, in most cases, the surviving spouse is the family member entitled to any damages that may be awarded. If the couple has children, the surviving spouse and children recover portions of the settlement.

Some of the factors the court uses to determine the final amount of compensation a family member may receive include:

  • How much financial support they received from the deceased.
  • Whether the individual had children with the deceased.
  • Whether the individual in question has a lower legal priority than other family members.

It can be challenging for those who lack legal training to navigate the legal process involved with a wrongful death lawsuit. That being the case, you must have a knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer who can protect your legal rights.

Our West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers of GONZ.LAW GROUP can assist you with your case from start to finish and act as your legal advocate so your family can focus on restoring your life.

What Makes Your West Palm Beach Wrongful Death Attorney the Best Choice to Handle My Legal Claim?

GONZ.LAW GROUP has established a well-earned reputation for assisting families with their legal needs in the West Palm Beach area.

Our West Palm Beach wrongful death attorneys, are fearless in standing up for our client’s rights. Our legal team realizes that many families are hesitant to file wrongful death suits because they do not like the idea of litigation.

Nevertheless, often, the only way to hold the involved parties accountable for their actions or inactions that led to a loved one’s death is to file a lawsuit to try and recover compensation.

Our law firm takes pride in the fact that we work to provide quality legal counsel to families of wrongful death victims so that they may receive the justice and peace of mind they deserve. If we agree to take your case, we will immediately work to determine liability and what type of compensation we can recover for your family.

Contact the law offices of the GONV.LAW GROUP of West Palm Beach, FL, at 561-639-7858, and ask to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about our wrongful death legal services and how we can help.