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North Port Wrongful Death Lawyer

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North Port Wrongful Death Lawyer

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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. They shouldn’t try to work through the complexities of the wrongful death statutes and the intricacies of negotiating with insurance companies on their own. Instead, survivors and their personal representatives should let the North Port personal injury attorneys at Boohoff Law advocate for the damages they need and deserve from the wrongful death of their family members.

Boohoff Law’s North Port wrongful death lawyers offer you extensive knowledge and experience. We have compassionate, talented in-house staff to help with your case and a wide network of third-party resources to help us handle your matter.

If your loved one died in a wrongful death accident and you want justice, let the experienced and knowledgeable North Port wrongful death lawyers at Boohoff Law stand with you. Let us champion your cause and handle your legal and financial needs while you deal with the emotional ones.

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Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Wrongful death occurs when a party’s negligent or intentional misconduct results in someone else’s death and causes financial injury to the survivors of the deceased party. One of the most common causes of wrongful death in North Port is a car accident. Other causes, however, can give rise to wrongful death lawsuits.

A case for wrongful death usually arises in the same circumstances as personal injury cases. A basic rule of thumb is that if the decedent could have sued for a personal injury, the survivors can sue for wrongful death.

Among the more common bases for wrongful death claims in North Port are:

    • Car Accidents and Truck Accidents– Florida experiences more than 3,000 fatal accidents a year. This number means that there are also that many potential wrongful death cases.
    • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents – Pedestrians and cyclists account for one-fourth of all traffic accident deaths in Florida. The survivors of these victims may qualify to sue for wrongful death.
  • Unsafe commercial and residential locations/slip-and-fall injuries -Because of Florida’s large number of elderly residents, a significant number of slip-and-fall fatalities happen in Florida each year. Accident falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries among Floridians over 65, with over 3,000 dying in a fall in 2019.
    • 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. This limitation is true even though Florida hospitals report nearly 20,000 significant medical errors each year, a far higher number than the number of med-mal or wrongful death lawsuits combined. Never hesitate to discuss a possible case with our legal team.
    • Preventable child deaths, including drowning – In 2019, more than 7 million children 14 and under died of preventable or treatable causes. These cases, particularly the drowning cases, are often the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • 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 serve as the basis for a wrongful death lawsuit. These cases often involve family members, but they may also involve career criminals who are essentially judgment-proof. A Boohoff wrongful death attorney can help you determine whether your intentional death might be a viable wrongful death case.

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 wrongful death case. Let us help you find the way toward a successful resolution of your case.

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Your insurance company may not be telling you everything. Know what you’re entitled to with a free consultation. Rest assured that we will never charge any fees unless we win.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?

Only certain parties can recover in a suit for wrongful death in Florida. The personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate files suit on behalf of all the beneficiaries and the decedent’s survivors, who are often the same people. Generally, however, survivors will be entitled to more damages than those who are only beneficiaries of the estate that don’t also qualify as defined survivors.

Under Florida’s wrongful death statute, it defines survivors as

  • Decedent’s spouse
  • Decedent’s children; those under 25 usually recover more damages.
  • Decedent’s parents
  • Decedent’s blood relatives who were at least partially dependent on the decedent for support, this group can include adoptive brothers and sisters, so long as they were at least partially dependent on the deceased individual for support.

For those who relied on the decedent for support, that support can have been financial, emotional, instructional, or some other form of support. The statute outlines the actual damages recoverable by any of those listed above and the personal representative on behalf of the estate. The statute is pretty challenging to understand.

Wrongful Death Under Florida Law

In Florida, a wrongful death that might lead to compensation for survivors happens when an individual dies due to another entity or individual’s negligence, intentional wrongful act, or violation of a contract or warranty.

To claim wrongful death, the personal representative must prove that a:

  • Loss of a person’s life
  • That the loss of that life was the consequence of another’s actions
  • That the action that caused the death was negligent or intentional
  • That the death harmed the survivors and beneficiaries
  • That the survivors and beneficiaries have suffered monetary damages because of the death

The complaint must identify all potential beneficiaries, including the estate, and the relationship of each to the decedent. Beyond this, the burden of proof becomes proving the elements of negligent or intentional misconduct. In other words, you must show duty, breach, causation, and damages for negligence and intent, injury, and damages for intentional misconduct.

How Soon Must I File

Generally, to recover losses due to wrongful death, the personal representative has to file a lawsuit within two years of the date of death for the decedent. There are, however, some complications.

If you base your wrongful death case on alleged medical malpractice, the personal representative has to comply with the medical malpractice statutes of limitations that will apply to the case.

You must file within two years of the time you discover or should have discovered the malpractice with appropriate due diligence. Under no circumstances can the personal representative file suit more than four years after the injury or occurrence that led to the claim. In other words, for a med-mal case, you may end up with a longer statute of limitations.

The personal representative must file a wrongful death case against a state or governmental entity within four years after the claim accrues. The complex issues in these cases require immediate legal action, so don’t delay calling us.

Finally, if a defendant in a wrongful death case dies, the personal representative must file a motion to amend the claim within 90 days of the death. Failure to do this on time may well end the case forever.

As is evident, the complex nature of the statute of limitations in wrongful death cases is another reason why working with experienced wrongful death counsel like those at Boohoff Law can significantly help you recover on your North Port wrongful death.

Potential Damages in Wrongful Death

Wrongful death cases are unique. Calculating the damages owed to the survivors and the estate can be complicated and is usually better handled by a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney like those at Boohoff Law.

Some of the elements that the lawyers will consider are:

  • The value of the decedent’s future income
  • The value of the decedent’s future employment benefits like bonuses and retirement accounts, and even the value of employer-provided insurance benefits
  • Value of the decedent’s contribution of services to the family life

Added up, these figures give the attorney and the personal representative a starting point for seeking damages.

After calculating the economic damages above, your attorneys will begin to look at non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. The rules for non-economic damages in wrongful death in Florida are complicated by the nature of the underlying conduct that caused the death and the condition of the beneficiaries.

For these reasons, this calculation must be careful and accurate. Generally, a lawyer knowledgeable in wrongful death cases can make a straightforward and cautious calculation of these damages for you or your personal representative.

North Port Wrongful Death Lawyer

Boohoff Law North Port Office

14900 Tamiami Trail, North Port, FL 34287

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Contact a North Port Wrongful Death Attorney Today

If an accident took your loved one from you, you and your family deserve justice and closure. We can help you attain them.

Remember, you only pay us if we achieve a successful outcome in your case. Let us help you shoulder the burden of surviving your loved one’s death and help get the financial recovery that will let you move on with your life.

Contact us online today or call (941) 888-0848 for a no-cost initial consultation and case evaluation.

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North Port Wrongful Death FAQs

  • Can I Afford a North Port Wrongful Death Case?

    With all of the expenses and the reduced assets and income the survivors experience after a wrongful death, they might wonder whether they can afford to sue to recover compensation. With Boohoff Law, the answer is, yes you can.

    Our wrongful death attorneys handle cases on a contingency fee basis. The Florida Bar Association requires that the agreement be in writing and contain certain provisions. A contingency fee agreement will set out the agreement between you and your attorney for the fees and costs in your case. Some lawyers will ask for a deposit to cover expenses before taking your case.

    The agreement will specify when and how to pay those costs. You will need to pay those expenses whether you win or lose unless the contract explicitly states otherwise. The contingency fee agreement will also require that you expressly consent to all these charges.

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

    Finally, the 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 reaches its conclusion or any award granted.

    The Florida Bar Association limits the percentage of your award that attorneys may receive in certain types of cases and at specific stages of your case. 

  • How Are Wrongful Death Damages Paid?

    Under Florida law, the personal representative has a legal duty to pay the proceeds to the various survivors and beneficiaries fairly and equitably. Many lawyers recommend that the personal representative draft proposed payouts and seek court approval of all proposed distributions to survivors and the estate before actually making the payments. This helps prevent disputes over who got what.

    Boohoff Law’s experienced wrongful death attorneys will work with the personal representative regarding the makeup of the settlement distributions and the process of getting court approval of the suggested distributions.

Recovery is personal.

We recover millions for our clients every month, but we know that every case is different and that recovery is personal.
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