A wrongful death claim is a kind of legal action that can be brought by surviving family members of the person who was killed because of somebody else’s negligence, recklessness, or careless behavior. A wrongful death often occurs because of car accidents, malpractice in the medical sector, abuse in a nursing home, criminal acts, accidents in the workplace, and various other causes.
When a death occurs because of an avoidable accident, many family members are rightfully focused on mourning the loss of their loved one instead of worrying about filing a lawsuit. The costs associated with the death of a loved one, however, go beyond the expense of funeral arrangements. The situation quickly becomes worse when the person who died was the primary breadwinner for the family. Creditors will soon begin contacting the surviving spouse or other family members as bills become a painful reminder of the injustice they have endured. Bill collectors are a distressing reminder of how difficult a wrongful death can be.
While money will not bring back your loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a Florida Wrongful Death Attorney can be an opportunity for monetary support by holding the offender financially responsible for your losses. It can provide some level of comfort to grief-stricken family members.
Common myths about wrongful death
Many people do not file a lawsuit because of various myths about wrongful death claims. Have a look at some of them:
- Only the spouse or the child of the dead person can file a wrongful death claim: There is a widespread belief among people that only the spouse or child of the deceased person can take legal action for wrongful death. This is not always the case. In some cases, parents, siblings, and anyone financially dependent on the person can file a claim. Yes, priority is given to spouses and children, but other persons can also proceed with legal action under many circumstances.
- You cannot file a claim if the death is caused by accident: When the legal issue is wrongful death, the intent of the parties will not determine the outcome of the case. Regardless of whether death occurred because of an accident or on purpose, qualified family members can file a wrongful death claim. Car accidents are a common reason people file wrongful death claims, even if the driver crashed unintentionally. A lot depends on the evidence.
- If you have life insurance, you do not have to file a case: People make investments in life insurance to financially support their dependents in the event of their unexpected death. But every life insurance plan includes fine print and insurance companies often try to hide unfavorable terms there. Even if an insurance payout is granted, it might not be enough to sustain you and your family for long. Therefore, it can be helpful to seek legal assistance before agreeing to accept any insurance settlement. You will want a legal professional to review the fine print to make sure that your financial interests are protected.
- They are not easily affordable: It is a pervasive myth that clients have to pay up front and out of pocket for filing a wrongful death claim. If you are thinking of filing a wrongful death lawsuit for the loss of your loved one, do not worry about paying a large sum of money up front. Most lawyers and law firms in Florida will work with their clients to file their wrongful death claims. Many lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if the lawsuit is successful.
How is the settlement for wrongful death paid out?
In accordance with the wrongful death statute in Florida, the compensation gained from a settlement should be distributed equally among all recipients. If all adult beneficiaries can agree on some specific plan for the allocation, the court will indeed honor the deal.
There are some unique situations when the court may intervene. They include:
- Liens against the land of the deceased are taken from the part of the settlement that is given to the estate and not from the survivors.
- Per the Florida Guardianship Law, a guardian should be appointed to manage funds for a child until they become a legal adult.
- Attorney fees are deducted from the survivor’s compensation award.
Coping with the loss of a loved one while trying to navigate a complicated legal system can be highly stressful and overwhelming. People often become frustrated and hopeless.
A skilled legal professional can assist in alleviating the pressure caused by adversarial legal confrontation. Here are a few ways in which a legal professional can help you in your case:
- Offer you an initial evaluation of your case to determine the best possible options
- Timely filing of all required documents along with paperwork needed by the legal system
- Investigate the case to collect evidence in your favor
- Determine how much compensation is best in such scenarios.
- Negotiate with the insurance companies for fair compensation that accounts for all damages and losses
- Prepare and take part in trial actions when a settlement is not agreed upon.
Legal representation from a competent Miami injury lawyer not only saves you money and time but also offers you peace of mind.