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Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer | Florida Wrongful Death Attorney

Wrongful death is when a person’s life is tragically cut short due to someone else’s negligence.  This is a heart-wrenching experience for surviving family members who are left to deal with the loss. At Flanagan & Bodenheimer Injury & Wrongful Death Law Firm, we’re here to support you during this challenging time. Our compassionate team of Florida wrongful death lawyers is dedicated to seeking justice for your loved one and helping your family find closure. 

Over the years, our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients in wrongful death cases. We understand the profound impact that financial compensation can have on the lives of grieving families, helping to alleviate the burden of medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of financial support.

If you’ve lost a loved one due to negligence, contact our wrongful death attorneys at 305-638-4143 or use our online contact form for a free consultation.

Table of Contents

What is Considered Wrongful Death in Florida?

Wrongful death cases typically involve deaths resulting from negligence and carelessness. This can arise from various scenarios, including:

  • Car Accidents: Collisions on the road can result in tragic fatalities, often due to speeding, reckless driving, or driving under the influence.
  • Truck Accidents: The sheer size and weight of commercial trucks can lead to catastrophic accidents, causing severe injuries or fatalities for other motorists involved.
  • Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable on the road, and accidents involving them can result in devastating consequences for both the rider and their loved ones.
  • Pedestrian Accidents: Negligent drivers failing to yield to pedestrians or driving distractedly can lead to fatal accidents involving pedestrians.
  • Boating Accidents: Recreational boating accidents can turn fatal due to operator error, intoxication, or failure to adhere to safety regulations.
  • Medical Malpractice: Errors or negligence by healthcare providers during diagnosis, treatment, or surgery can have tragic consequences, resulting in wrongful death claims.
  • Birth Injuries: Complications during childbirth, including medical errors or negligence, can lead to injuries to the mother or child, sometimes resulting in fatal outcomes.
  • Surgical Errors: Mistakes made during surgical procedures, such as anesthesia errors or wrong-site surgery, can lead to devastating consequences for patients and their families.
  • Defective Products: Products with design flaws or manufacturing defects can pose serious risks to consumers, sometimes resulting in fatal accidents or injuries.
  • Construction Accidents: Mishaps at construction sites, such as falls, equipment failures, or collapses, can lead to fatal injuries for workers or bystanders.
  • Drowning Accidents: Negligence or lack of proper safety measures can contribute to drowning incidents, whether in swimming pools, retention ponds, natural bodies of water, or other aquatic environments.
  • Rehab Facility Negligence: Inadequate supervision or substandard care in rehabilitation facilities can lead to preventable accidents or medical complications resulting in death.
  • Nursing Home Negligence: Failure to provide adequate care, prevent falls, or address medical issues in nursing homes can result in fatalities among elderly residents.
  • Negligent Security: Property owners failing to maintain adequate security measures may be liable for fatalities resulting from criminal acts on their premises.

It’s crucial to recognize that wrongful death cases are litigated in civil court, where the focus is on seeking compensation for the losses suffered by the surviving family members rather than criminal prosecution. While no amount of compensation can fully replace the loss of a loved one, it can help alleviate financial burdens and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions.

At Flanagan & Bodenheimer, we approach each wrongful death case with compassion, dedication, and a commitment to achieving justice for our clients. Our experienced team of attorneys understands the complexities of these cases and works tirelessly to pursue maximum compensation on behalf of our clients.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

Under Florida law, when the deceased individual had a valid will in place, the appointed personal representative or executor has the authority to initiate a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of surviving family members. In cases without a will, eligible relatives can apply to the court to be appointed personal representative of the estate so that they may pursue a wrongful death claim. Surviving family members eligible for compensation typically include the spouse, children, parents, and other dependents.  

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or misconduct of another party, we are here to help. Contact our Florida wrongful death lawyers at 305-638-4143 today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal rights and options.

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

Typically, individuals seeking to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida are required to do so within two years from the date of the wrongful death incident. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. While there are some specific exceptions to this rule, it’s advisable to engage the services of a skilled wrongful death attorney to assess when the statute of limitations might expire for your particular case.  In some cases, especially medical malpractice cases, the analysis of when the statute of limitations may expire can be very complicated.

What if the Deceased Person was Partially at Fault for the Death?

In Florida, we have a modified comparative negligence system. This means that you can make a recovery in a wrongful death case if the victim was less than 51% responsible for their own death. However, the amount of compensation you receive will be adjusted based on the degree of fault attributed to the decedent.  If the victim was more than 51% responsible, then the Court will not award any damages.

What Damages Can I Receive From a Wrongful Death Claim?

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In wrongful death cases, compensation can be broadly categorized into two essential areas: economic damages, designed to address tangible financial losses, and non-economic damages, which aim to provide compensation for emotional distress and other less quantifiable losses.

Under economic damages, close blood relatives who were financially dependent on the deceased individual may seek compensation for:

  • Medical Expenses: Covering the costs associated with medical treatment and care related to the fatal incident.
  • Burial and Funeral Expenses: Reimbursing the expenses incurred for the deceased’s funeral and burial arrangements.
  • Loss of Future Income: Providing financial support to compensate for the income the deceased would have earned had they lived.
  • Loss of Benefits: Encompassing benefits like medical, dental, pension, and 401(k) plans that the deceased would have provided.
  • Loss of Services: Compensating for the services the deceased would have rendered, such as housekeeping, childcare, and other forms of support.

Additionally, spouses and children have the opportunity to seek non-economic damages, including:

  • Loss of Companionship: Addressing the emotional void created by the loss of a loved one’s companionship and support.
  • Mental and Emotional Pain and Suffering: Acknowledging the psychological anguish endured as a result of the wrongful death.
  • General Damages: Covering additional non-financial hardships and suffering experienced by surviving family members.

In exceptional cases, punitive damages may be considered to deter others from engaging in similar negligent behavior in the future.

How Much is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth in Florida?

Estimating the exact worth of a wrongful death claim is almost impossible, and the final figure hinges on many interwoven factors. A wrongful death lawyer will be able to offer an approximate range that takes into account the unique circumstances of each individual case. These are some things that will affect the value of your wrongful death lawsuit in Florida:

  1. Insurance Coverage: Quite often, the actual value of a case far exceeds the insurance limits, yet settlements often align with these limits because the responsible party lacks sufficient assets to cover the costs. Should the case proceed to trial and result in a substantial verdict, there’s the risk that the wrongdoer may declare bankruptcy, thus erasing any portion of the judgment that surpasses the insurance coverage.
  2. Wrongful Death Beneficiaries & Their Losses: Another vital aspect is identifying the wrongful death beneficiaries and assessing their individual losses. We meticulously analyze the various categories of damages that pertain to each survivor. Are there minor children seeking compensation for the loss of parental guidance, support, and services? Is there a surviving spouse pursuing a claim for the loss of consortium?
  3. Ages of Deceased & Beneficiaries: Another important factor is the ages of both the deceased and the beneficiaries, as damages are contingent upon life expectancy. A younger individual with a promising career ahead may result in higher potential future earnings, while an older individual with limited earning years left might lead to a different calculation. The younger the decedent or beneficiaries are, the more probable it is for a jury to grant a higher amount as compensation for the loss.
  4. Defendant: In cases involving major corporate defendants, defective products, or exceptionally egregious behavior, juries tend to be more generous with their financial awards. For example, if the death occurred due to unsafe working conditions or a lack of proper safety measures in the workplace, jurors might grant a larger verdict to send a message to employers about the importance of ensuring employee safety.
  5. Liability: The circumstances surrounding the cause of death can significantly influence the jurors’ deliberations. Cases involving extreme negligence, reckless behavior, or intentional harm often lead to larger settlements or verdicts. Similarly, cases where there is clear evidence of wrongdoing, such as a defective product or drunk driving, tend to have higher potential values.

The value of a wrongful death claim is far from a straightforward calculation, it depends on a myriad of factors. These factors are as unique as the circumstances surrounding each case, requiring a deep understanding and careful analysis. The guidance and expertise of an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney is crucial when navigating these types of cases. A lawyer will be able to provide a range that aligns with the specific details of the case.

Proving Negligence in a Florida Wrongful Death Case

Proving negligence in a wrongful death case can be complex and challenging. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how we navigate this process at Flanagan & Bodenheimer Injury and Wrongful Death Law Firm:

  1. Establishing Duty of Care: The first step in proving negligence is establishing that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased. This duty of care varies depending on the circumstances of the case but generally refers to the legal obligation to act reasonably and prevent foreseeable harm to others.
  2. Demonstrating Breach of Duty: Once duty of care is established, we must show that the defendant breached this duty through their actions or inaction. This often involves gathering evidence, such as witness testimony, expert opinions, and documentation, to demonstrate how the defendant’s conduct fell short of what a reasonable person would do in similar circumstances.
  3. Proving Causation: Causation is a crucial element of proving negligence in a wrongful death case. We must establish that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused or contributed to the death of the victim. This may require medical evidence, accident reconstruction, or other forms of proof to establish a causal link between the defendant’s actions and the fatal outcome.
  4. Documenting Damages: In addition to proving negligence, we must also document the damages suffered by the surviving family members as a result of the wrongful death. This can include economic damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, and loss of financial support, as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.
  5. Navigating Florida’s Wrongful Death Statute: Florida’s wrongful death statute governs the procedural and substantive aspects of wrongful death claims in the state. We carefully navigate this statute to ensure that all legal requirements are met and that our clients’ rights are protected throughout the legal process.
  6. Expert Testimony: In many wrongful death cases, expert testimony plays a crucial role in establishing negligence and causation. We work with a network of qualified experts, including medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, economists, and others, to provide authoritative opinions and strengthen our clients’ cases.
  7. Negotiating or Litigating: Depending on the circumstances of the case, we may pursue negotiations with the defendant’s insurance company or legal representation to reach a fair settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to litigate the case in court and advocate for our clients’ rights before a judge and jury.

Examples of Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases

  • A driver who causes a fatal car accident because they were texting, talking on the phone, or otherwise distracted behind the wheel could be considered negligent. Failure to pay attention to the road and surrounding traffic can result in catastrophic consequences, leading to a wrongful death claim.
  • If a surgeon makes an error during a surgical procedure that results in the death of the patient, it could be considered medical malpractice. This could include mistakes such as operating on the wrong body part, leaving surgical instruments inside the patient, or administering the wrong medication.
  • Property owners or managers have a duty to provide adequate security measures to protect visitors from foreseeable harm, such as assault or robbery. If someone is killed due to inadequate security, such as poorly lit parking lots or malfunctioning security cameras, the property owner could be held liable for negligence.
  • If a defective product causes someone’s death, the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer could be held liable for negligence. This could include products such as faulty car parts, defective medical devices, or unsafe consumer products that lead to fatal accidents or injuries.

In each of these examples, the key factor is that someone’s negligence or wrongful actions directly contributed to the death of another person, giving rise to a potential wrongful death claim in Florida.

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  • Exclusive Focus on Personal Injury and Wrongful Death: Unlike firms that handle a broad range of legal matters, Flanagan & Bodenheimer specializes exclusively in personal injury and wrongful death cases. This focused approach allows us to stay at the forefront of developments in this complex area of law and provide our clients with the highest level of expertise and representation.
  • Small Caseload, Personalized Attention: We deliberately maintain a small caseload to ensure that each client receives the personalized attention and support they deserve. When you choose Flanagan & Bodenheimer, you’re not just another case number. You will have direct access to your attorney when necessary. You can count on us to be there for you when you need us most.
  • Millions Recovered in Wrongful Death Cases: Our track record speaks for itself. Over the years, we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for families who have lost loved ones due to the negligence or wrongful actions of others. We understand the profound impact that financial compensation can have on your ability to move forward and rebuild your life after a tragedy. Check out some of our previous results here.
  • Proven Trial Experience: While many wrongful death cases are resolved through negotiation or settlement, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial if necessary. Our experienced trial attorneys have a proven track record of success in the courtroom and are not afraid to stand up to insurance companies or other powerful entities on your behalf.
  • No Upfront Fees: We understand that pursuing legal action can be financially daunting, especially when you’re already dealing with medical bills, funeral expenses, and other costs associated with a personal injury or wrongful death. That’s why we operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t owe us anything unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. Our fee is contingent on the outcome of your case, so you can focus on your recovery without worrying about upfront legal fees.

Contact An Experienced Florida Wrongful Death Attorney

miami florida wrongful death lawyers

Flanagan & Bodenheimer, your trusted Florida wrongful death attorneys, are dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to families who have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one due to the negligence or misconduct of others. Our experienced legal team understands the profound emotional and financial impact these situations can have on families. We are committed to seeking justice on your behalf, meticulously investigating the circumstances of your case, and pursuing the maximum compensation allowable by law. 

We purposely limit the number of cases we take on to ensure that you receive the personalized attention and support you deserve during this challenging time. At Flanagan & Bodenheimer Injury & Wrongful Death Law Firm, we are not only your legal advocates but also your compassionate allies, dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of the legal system while you focus on healing.

Contact us  at 305-638-4143 or complete our online form for a free case evaluation. 

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