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Clearwater Wrongful Death Lawyer: Compensation for Survivors
Wrongful death cases affect thousands of families every single year. These tragedies are hard on the surviving relatives on many different levels. In addition to the loss of a loved one, serious financial hardships accompany a wrongful death. The grieving process is painful without the added stress from lost income and any related expenses for medical or funeral costs. This situation only worsens after learning that the death may have been avoidable.
Florida maintains laws that enable victims in a wrongful death case to bring a legal case against any party that was negligent and contributed to the tragic demise of the loved one. Although financial awards from a court cannot reverse this terrible loss, they can relieve the survivors from the burden of paying bills, expenses, and debts associated with the death. In addition, these wrongful death lawsuits will set a precedent that can help to prevent other similar cases from happening in the future. By making the negligent entity accountable to a court, you can help to reduce the potential for similar tragedies in the future.
Clearwater Wrongful Death Attorney, Fighting for You
The insurance companies in a wrongful death lawsuit often wield an unfair advantage over the victim’s family members. They come to court fully prepared to undermine the standing of the wrongful death case. This process is designed to reduce the morale of the survivors while forcing them to exert energy and scarce resources. Our law firm understands how to counteract these underhanded tactics and win compensation for your losses. We have a proven track record of prevailing under the most difficult circumstances.
Recovering Monetary Damages in Clearwater For a Wrongful Death
The monetary compensation that can be won through the court system is calculated based on several factors. This is an important point to understand because it affects the award amount. The relationship of the dependents and spouse to the deceased is considered in terms of the amount of financial support and the loss of companionship. For example, the court award might reflect the number of years left until any dependents reach their 18th birthday.
No money can truly ease the suffering of family members and the mourning spouse. Some cases may involve the loss of a child, which is especially tragic to the parents. In addition to these losses, there are often unpaid ambulance and medical bills. The costs for burial and the funeral can be shocking to family members unprepared to deal with these added costs.
The court may consider a variety of factors when determining the amount of the award:
- Loss of income and benefits for surviving family members
- Estate prospects, if applicable
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Pain, suffering and loss of companionship
- Punitive awards against the liable or negligent party
Determining a Wrongful Death in Clearwater, FL
Wrongful death charges are not the same as criminal charges. The first law awarded compensation in a wrongful death case in Florida appeared in 1883. Since that time, the definition of wrongful death has expanded significantly. This legal framework enables the survivors to bring a claim against anyone found to have committed a tort resulting in death. Florida laws say that a claim can be made if the death occurred as a result of “the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those occurring on navigable waters.”
Suffering from the loss of a loved one is always a tragic situation. It can be difficult to deal with intense grief and financial burdens imposed by death. However, the legal definition of a wrongful death needs to be established to win your case for financial compensation. The category of wrongful death is used only in cases where a negligent or reckless action caused the death. For example, a wrongful death might occur from medical neglect, reckless driving, assault, or manslaughter.
Clearwater Wrongful Death Lawyer, Preparing the Lawsuit
Determining the status of a wrongful death case is very important, and it must follow the precedence within Florida’s laws. The court must be convinced that the death is wrongful through clear evidence. The lawyer must convince the court that the deceased would have been able to win a personal injury case if the death had not occurred. This is one of the best avenues to establish a wrongful death, so the attorney on your case will seek to uncover any evidence bolsters this position. You can help to strengthen the case for a wrongful death award by collecting any documentation or evidence that substantiates this claim.
Here is a summary of successful wrongful death claims:
- A death caused by a negligent individual or institution.
- A death caused directly by a specific action.
- The deceased’s family is experiencing financial hardship because of the death.
However, establishing negligence in a wrongful death case requires additional evidence:
- A legal obligation was owed by the negligent party who caused the death.
- There was a breach of the legal obligation of the negligent party.
- Damages and injuries to the survivors were sustained because of the death.
Florida Laws Regarding Wrongful Death in Clearwater, FL
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act enables the survivors to sue for monetary damages if the cause of the death was due to negligence or other acts of wrongdoing. This type of case differs from homicide cases, and the focus is on awarding survivors with enough compensation to help cover related expenses caused by their loss. This is a civil case, focusing on helping the victims and not punishing the wrongdoers.
Legal action can be taken against a wrongful death that occurs in any number of situations:
Traffic collisions: According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, FLHSMV, over 3,000 fatal crashes occur on an annual basis. The largest concentration of fatal crashes happens near Clearwater in Pinellas County. These crashes are often caused by using alcohol and drugs. Distracted and reckless driving also accounts for many lethal crashes involving motorcycles, commercial trucks, and passenger vehicles.
Boating accidents: Florida is home to boat owners who get to enjoy hundreds of miles of coastal areas, canals, and rivers within the state. According to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, or FWC, boating accidents have killed over 50 people in the last few years. These boating accidents include capsizing, flooding, and collisions with objects or other boats. Drinking, bad weather, seeding, and cargo overload are other common causes of fatal boating accidents.
Employment accidents: According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, or OSHA, hundreds of fatal accidents happen in workplaces each year throughout Florida. Accidents might be caused by unsafe working conditions, machine malfunctioning, slips and falls, and other safety problems. Wrongful death claims for workplace accidents often involve multiple parties. This may include the employer, landowners, contractors, employees, and third parties.
Medical malpractice: Wrongful deaths from medical malpractice are often more devastating than other types of accidents. There is an expectation of competence from hospital administrators, doctors, nurses, and supporting staff. When this trust is breached, fatal accidents can and do occur. Medical malpractice happens when a death is caused by the lack of attention to some critical aspect of patient care. This might include improper sterilization techniques, wrong diagnoses, unneeded surgeries, and other hospital errors. Hospital liability can be shared with individual practitioners, so liability must be established by investigating the claim by a wrongful death lawyer.
Wrongful death lawyers can investigate all the evidence collected during the initial phases of the case. This provides the lawyer with the documents necessary to support the claim against any party responsible for the wrongful actions that led to the death of your loved one. Every survivor of a wrongful death accident has the right to pursue compensation from any party involved in the death. This process involves discovering who was responsible for the death caused by negligence or wrongful acts. It might also require tough negotiations with the associated insurers, and experts might be hired to add credibility to your case.
Fatal Accident Statistic in Clearwater, Florida
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles issues a report on the number of fatalities in various kinds of accidents every year. However, the statistics on record do not represent the total fatalities. Hundreds of additional fatalities are caused by accidents that do not involve motor vehicles. These numbers give a sense of the scale of the issue, and it is also one indicator of how likely a family member is to be affected at some point in time.
The number of deaths involving various types of motor vehicles is estimated at just over 3,300 per year. Motorcycle collisions account for just over 500 deaths, and around 160 deaths involve bicycle riders. Around 260 lethal hit-and-run accidents occur in the state each year, and a total of 327 deaths happened within the vicinity of Hillsborough County and Pinellas County alone.
How a Clearwater Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help Get You Compensation
Survivors have the right to bring a legal case against any individual or entity involved in causing the death of a loved one through negligence, malpractice, or wrongful acts. This compensation is necessary to cover medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and related financial obligations of the deceased. This financial award can only soften the blow of losing a loved one.
Adversarial insurance companies often fight aggressively to deny claims, and we understand how this court battle must be handled to win. It is very difficult to deal with the situation but to be put in a position to defend your loved one against attacks by a lawyer from the other side is often unbearable. Effective legal representation is often necessary to ensure your rights are protected under Florida law regarding wrongful death claims.
Our legal team understands how to handle the type of adversarial argument that your loved one was somehow responsible for the accident that led to death. We help survivors to prepare for this possibility so that they’re fully alert and able to withstand these outrageous arguments. Our team fights diligently to protect the dignity of your loved one by staying one step ahead of the adversary’s legal arguments. Our Clearwater Wrongful Death Attorney can help, so contact our offices today for a free case evaulation.