Wrongful Death Lawyer in Pembroke Pines
Unfortunately, accidents occur every day. When an accident results in someone’s passing, the feelings can be overwhelming. Sadness and despair can feel even worse when someone else was responsible for the loss of a loved one. Responsibility can be established when someone failed in their duty to protect someone from danger. When this occurs, the responsible party could be found negligent by a court and be responsible for compensation for the surviving family members.
The number of wrongful deaths in Florida is staggering. Medical malpractice cases alone caused almost 98,000 passings in 2013, and wrongful death accidents attributed to motor vehicle accidents accounted for 30,000 deaths. From unsafe premises to workplace injuries, wrongful deaths can occur almost anywhere and anytime.
A Pembroke Pines wrongful death attorney understands how traumatic the passing of a loved one can be. The wrongful death law firm of Schlacter Law understands that the medical bills and lost wages associated with an accident can add up quickly. We’re here to help. From determining who is responsible for the wrongful death, to insurance claims and litigation, a Pembroke Pines wrongful death lawyer will work hard to help you get the compensation you need.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A Pembroke Pines wrongful death lawsuit attempts to seek compensation from the person or company that was responsible for someone’s passing. In these types of cases, it is important to establish that the reason the passing occurred was due to the failure to take reasonable care to protect the individual who died from being killed or being injured.
Under the law, failing to provide a duty owed to someone is called negligence. To be successful in court, a plaintiff must establish the following four elements:
- The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached this duty
- The defendant was the cause of an injury
- The plaintiff was injured as a result
The duty owed to a plaintiff varies based on the circumstances surrounding the death. For example, a doctor may owe a duty to a patient to use the same reasonable care another doctor in a similar practice would use. Failing to use the same reasonable care could be a breach of their duty, and failing to use this care could be the cause of someone’s passing. When all of these elements are established, a successful case for negligence often rewards a plaintiff by compensating them for the costs associated with the injury.
Following someone’s passing, the injured party is unable to make a claim for negligence on their own behalf. Wrongful death claims allow certain parties to make this claim and receive compensation from the responsible party.
According to Florida Statutes §768.21, surviving spouses, minor children, and the parents of a deceased minor are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In some cases, other surviving relatives may also be entitled to file a lawsuit. This allows a survivor to receive “the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest.”
Additional recovery for “loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering” is also available to a surviving spouse. Minor children are able to recover “lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering.” Parents of a deceased child may recover “for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.” The estate of the deceased can also recover funeral and medical expenses, as well as lost earning.
Determining who is able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and what compensation is available requires the experience of a Pembroke Pines death lawyer. With years of knowledge gained through these types of cases, you can be sure that the Pembroke Pines wrongful death lawyers at Schlacter Law can assist you in determining if you are able to file a suit and how much compensation might be available.
Common Accidents in Pembroke Pines
While a wrongful death can occur almost anywhere, there are some common types of cases that occur more often than others in Pembroke Pines. These include:
- Medical procedures
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Unsafe premises
- Workplace injuries
- Defective products
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Criminal acts
Medical procedures are the most common types of wrongful death lawsuits filed in Florida. Medical malpractice includes any type of medical care, not just surgery. This could include improperly prescribed medication, a failure to properly diagnose a condition, or injuries related to childbirth, to name just a few. In medical malpractice cases, it is important to show that the passing would not have occurred had the error not been made. Merely dying while under medical care is not automatically sufficient for a wrongful death claim.
Motor vehicle accidents are another common cause of these types of cases. When another driver fails to use the proper duty of care to protect other drivers, they may be liable for compensation related to someone else’s passing. Often these types of cases involve instances where the other driver was charged with a DUI or under the influence of some other illegal substance. Additionally, wrongful death cases commonly occur in accidents involving tractor-trailers.
Unsafe premises are properties where a condition causes an unsafe condition that is hazardous to anyone visiting the property. The duty of care a property owner owes to visitors depends on the classification of visitors they are. The three classes of visitors include an invitee, a licensee, and a trespasser. This classification is essential in determining if a property owner was negligent and failed to provide the duty of care owed to someone on their property.
Workplace injuries are on the rise and can often result in someone’s passing. When an employee is killed on the job there is a good chance it was due to someone’s negligence. Determining who is responsible is important in proceeding with a wrongful death lawsuit. While an employee may be liable, there are numerous other parties who may have caused an accident that resulted in someone’s passing. This might include the manufacturer of equipment that failed to operate as it should. It could also include an engineer that poorly designed a building that collapsed while under construction. A death attorney is essential in determining who would liable based on the circumstances of the death.
Defective products can cause serious harm and death. There are several reasons for a product’s failure including defective designs, a defect in the manufacturing process, or a marketing defect that fails to adequately warn a consumer of the product’s dangers. Wrongful death lawsuits for defective products would need to address these issues related to how the manufacturer failed to make a safe product and how that failure resulted in someone’s passing.
Similar to vehicle accidents, pedestrian and bicycle accidents generally include someone’s failure to take reasonable care to protect someone from a hazard. Bicyclists and pedestrians are prone to accidents with other vehicles on the road but are also susceptible to injury and death from other road hazards. This could include debris left on a sidewalk or the prototypical piano falling from the window of a large building and hitting someone while walking on the sidewalk below.
Airplanes provide us with some of the safest forms of travel in the world. However, when an airplane fails the results are typically catastrophic. When a person dies in an aviation accident there is usually cause for a wrongful death lawsuit by the very nature of the failure of the airline to protect its passengers. These types of cases can be complex and would always require a consultation with an attorney.
When someone dies as a result of a criminal act a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against the party responsible for their passing. This might include not only the criminal, such as a robber who killed someone in the course of their crime but might also include a property owner who failed to keep their property safe from crime in the first place, like when a property is poorly lit and allows someone to enter the property undetected.
These are just a small number of the types of incidents that can result in a wrongful death lawsuit. Any situation where someone was killed because someone failed in their duty to protect someone else from harm could be cause for a case. Consulting a wrongful death lawyer in Florida is essential in determining if there is a possible case and what compensation might be available. Call today for a consultation.
Statute of Limitations
Each state has established time limits on when a lawsuit can be filed in court. Florida places a specific time limit for wrongful death cases. Florida Statutes §95.11(7)(d) limits the time for wrongful death lawsuits to two years from the time of a person’s passing. Failing to file within this time limit can result in a dismissal of a claim and would make compensation unavailable.
If you have questions concerning how much time you have to file a claim for the passing of someone you love, contact a wrongful death lawyer today. With an understanding of the deadlines involved in wrongful death lawsuits, an attorney can better help determine how much time is left before a claim is no longer valid.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much compensation can I expect to receive?
Determining compensation is difficult without first knowing the circumstances that led to someone’s death. There are several types of compensation available, and each one requires an analysis of the costs associated with an accident, as well as the amount of support the loved one provided to other family members. To assist in making a determination on how much compensation might be available, be sure to talk with a Pembroke Pines accidental death lawyer today.
How can I afford to pay for a lawyer?
If you are unsure if you can afford a lawyer there are payment methods that allow a family member to initiate a claim without having to pay money. Typically, lawyers are paid through a contingency fee which would pay the attorney only if they are successful in getting you an award. The fee is a percentage of any money recovered on your behalf and would vary between 33.33% and 40% depending on how far into the process it took for the lawyer to secure compensation. Call a Pembroke Pines accidental death attorney to get a claim started.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
The statute of limitations dictates how much time an injured party has to file a lawsuit. For most claims in Florida, the statute of limitations is four years. However, in wrongful deaths, a lawsuit needs to be initiated within two years from when the death occurred. This shorter window for filing a lawsuit leaves little room for error. If you suspect you are entitled to compensation, call us today so we can evaluate a claim and ensure that you have enough time to get started.