Brandon Wrongful Death Lawyers

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Wrongful Death

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Wrongful Death lawyers in Brandon

A wrongful death—that is, one caused by the carelessness or intentional misconduct of another—can force horrendous changes in your life.

Whether the wrongful death was part of a car accident, medical malpractice, or intentional criminal conduct, let Boohoff Law’s team of experienced Brandon wrongful death attorneys seek relief for your losses. We will stand with you throughout this potentially painful process and take on those who caused your loved one’s passing.

Boohoff Law’s wrongful death attorneys in Brandon are skilled at fighting with insurance companies that refuse to acknowledge the pain their customers caused and getting them to pay the financial compensation our clients need to put their lives back together.

Call us now. Let us deal with your case and obtain the compensation you need.

Wrongful Death Under Florida Law

In Florida, wrongful death occurs when an individual dies due to another’s negligence, wrongful act, or a violation of a contract or warranty.

To claim wrongful death, the personal representative must prove:

  • There was a loss of a human life
  • That the loss was a consequence of another’s actions
  • That the action that caused the death was negligent or intentional
  • That the death of the deceased harmed the survivors
  • That the survivors have suffered monetary damages because of the death

The complaint must explicitly identify all potential beneficiaries, including the estate, and the relationship of each to the decedent.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Florida?

Only certain individuals can benefit from a suit for wrongful death in Florida. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file suit on behalf of the beneficiaries and on behalf of the decedent’s survivors, who may be the same people. Generally, survivors are entitled to more damages than beneficiaries of the estate.

Under Florida’s wrongful death statute, survivors are: defined as

  • Decedent’s spouse
  • Decedent’s children; if under 25, they are entitled to greater damages.
  • Decedent’s parents
  • Decedent’s blood relatives who were at least partially dependent on the decedent for support, including adoptive brothers and sisters

What Damages Can the Survivors Recover?

It’s easy enough to say that survivors can recover damages for this or that, but sometimes it helps to explain what those terms mean.

Let’s look at some of them.

  • Mental Pain and Suffering – Pain and suffering are non-economic damages under Florida law. That is, they are subjective and difficult to calculate. The term refers to the physical discomfort and the emotional pain a victim suffers after an accident. Mood disorders, chronic pain, and similar suffering can all apply to this category.
  • Loss of Companionship and Protection – Certain familial relationships include, by their nature, the provision of guidance, instruction, cooperation, and support. These damages are generally only available to surviving spouses and children.
  • Loss of Support and Services – Each surviving family member will have been the recipient of support in the form of money, property, or physical labor from the deceased and can recover the value of that property. An example is the spouse’s services around the house that they must now obtain from a commercial service.
  • Medical Bills and Funeral Expenses – Any family member who expends out-of-pocket funds for the decedent’s medical costs and funeral expenses can recover them through a wrongful death claim.
  • Lost Earnings – Available only to the estate, the future lost earnings include wages, salaries, commissions, and potential pension benefits that the deceased might have earned.
  • Lost Accumulation for the Value of the Estate – The estate can recover the value of investments or income that the deceased might have earned or accumulated over time.

Limitations on Recovery

Parents may not recover damages for pain and suffering if the deceased child is over the age of 25 unless there are no other survivors. If medical malpractice is the cause of the wrongful death, a court will not grant pain and suffering damages.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Florida

Wrongful death arises in many of the same circumstances as personal injury cases.

Among the more common causes of wrongful death are:

    • Car accidents or truck accidents – Florida experiences more than 3,000 fatal car accidents a year, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The Brandon area is among the top five locations for car accidents in the state, which puts Brandon residents at high risk. Last year saw a spike in fatalities in the area, particularly involving pedestrians and cyclists.
    • Unsafe working conditions/worksite injuries – Florida has about 200 worksite fatalities per year
    • Unsafe commercial and residential locations/slip-and-fall injuries – The US suffers over 17,000 slip-and-fall fatalities annually and, because of Florida’s large number of elderly residents, a significant number of them happen in Florida.
    • Medical malpractice – Only decedent’s children under 25, adult children dependent on the deceased for support, the spouses, or the parents of a deceased child under 25 can sue for wrongful death damages under a medical malpractice claim. In other words, with no spouse or dependent relatives or children under 25, the only possible recovery is the funeral and medical expenses. The maximum recoverable is in the range of $12,000, leading many lawyers to reject these cases.
    • Dangerous products/ product liability – Too many Floridians experience product deaths each year.
  • Preventable child deaths, including drowning – In 2019, more than 7 million children 14 and under died of preventable or treatable causes. These cases, particularly when they relate to drowning, are often the basis for a wrongful death case.
  • Intentional Criminal Actions – Florida is in the mid-range of US states for murders at 1,290 in 2021, but each one of those can potentially serve as the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. These cases often involve family members, but they may also involve those who are essentially judgment-proof.

Experienced wrongful death lawyers like those at Boohoff Law can help you evaluate your case to determine whether the cause of death of your loved one will support a viable wrongful death case. Let us help you find the way toward a successful resolution of your case.

Contact a Brandon Wrongful Death Attorney Today

When a loved one dies, especially for reasons that make no sense, the survivors struggle to deal with their anguish and the monumental changes in their lives.

Don’t try to navigate the complexities of the wrongful death statutes and the intricacies of negotiating with insurance companies on your own. Let the attorneys at Boohoff Law stand beside you to advocate for the damages you need and deserve from the wrongful death of your loved one.

Contact us online today or call (813) 321-7878 for a no-cost initial consultation and case evaluation. Let us help you shoulder the burden of survival and get the financial recovery that will let you move on with your life.

Brandon Wrongful Death FAQs

  • How Long Can You Take to File?

    Generally, to recover for wrongful death, the personal representative must file within two years of the date of death for the decedent. There are, however, some exceptions.

    If you base the wrongful death case on medical malpractice, the plaintiff must file within two years after they or someone should have discovered the malpractice. They cannot file more than four years after the injury. Thus, for a med-mal case, you may have a longer statute of limitations.

    A wrongful death case against a state or governmental entity must commence within four years. Please call us today if your case involves the government because those cases come with other restrictions.

    Finally, if one of the defendants in a wrongful death case dies, you must file a motion seeking to substitute that individual’s personal representative for the original defendant within 90 days of the death. Failure to do this on time can end your case forever.

    As you can see, the tricky nature of the statute of limitations in a wrongful death case is yet one more reason why working with experienced wrongful death counsel like those at Boohoff Law can significantly help the progress of your case.

  • How Are Wrongful Death Damages Paid Out?

    Under Florida law, the personal representative has a legal duty to pay the proceeds to the various survivors fairly and equitably. Many lawyers recommend that the personal representative seek court approval of all distributions to survivors and the estate. This will help prevent fights over who got what.

    Boohoff Law’s knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys will work with you regarding the makeup of the settlement distribution and the process of getting court approval of your suggested distributions. 

  • Can I Afford a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for My Loved One?

    You can afford ours. The wrongful death attorneys at Boohoff Law handle all of our cases on a contingency fee basis.

    Instead of an hourly fee, your attorney will receive a percentage of your final award. The attorney will also pay all of the court costs and other expenses upfront, and the eventual handling of these must also be in your contingency fee agreement.

    Finally, the contingency fee agreement will provide that your attorney will only collect payment in the event of a successful outcome of your case. The agreement will define the successful outcome and may set different payment amounts depending on the point in the case’s life history that it reaches its conclusion or any award granted.

  • What Are Common Causes of Fatal Florida Car Accidents?

    Car accidents are a major source of wrongful death claims. Many of these car accidents come out of a few common circumstances.

    Some of the more common causes of accidents are:

    • Speeding – Drives who ignore speed limits are more likely to cause accidents at those higher speeds by making it harder for drivers to react quickly. For this reason, speeders are more likely to cause fatal accidents.
    • Failure to obey traffic signals or signs – Going through an intersection without the right of way can cause devastating side-impact accidents, which are highly likely to cause passenger fatalities.
    • Driving under the Influence – Whether the driver is drinking or under the influence of legal or illegal drugs, the reduction in cognitive skills is a tremendous factor in car accident deaths.
    • Reckless Driving – When a driver receives a license, they assume the duty to act with reasonable care toward all others on the road. Failing to observe that duty of care is a primary factor in car accidents and traffic fatalities.
    • Adverse Weather – While Florida doesn’t have snowy and icy winters, it does have a four-month wet hurricane season that can have a severe impact on driving conditions and increase fatal vehicle accidents.

    All of these accident causes have increased recently and contributed to the rise in traffic fatalities.

  • Can Murder Result in a Wrongful Death Suit?

    As noted above, Florida recognizes that either negligent or intentional conduct can be the basis for a wrongful death case. Murder meets all the elements of wrongful death if the victim dies from the intentional action and the victim’s survivors suffer financial damage as a result.

    Remember the differences between a criminal case and a civil wrongful death case. The state brings criminal cases that punish the at-fault party. The personal representative of the victim’s estate brings the civil case, seeking financial compensation from the at-fault party.

Boohoff Law Brandon Office

330 Pauls Drive, Suite 222
Brandon, FL 33511

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