Innocent lives are lost every year, in Florida and the U.S., in motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, workplace accidents, as a result of medical malpractice, in accidental shootings or on an unsafe property. If one of these settings describes your family’s tragic situation, or if wrongful death was caused by drowning, a boating or cruise ship accident, a train crash or airplane crash, or due to negligent security our dedicated attorneys can help.
Why do I need a wrongful death lawyer to represent me?
Certain states have statutes stipulating that the right to bring a lawsuit in the event of wrongful death is “fundamental”, meaning, a right and not a privilege to the family of the victim and would begin at the time of death. Florida, however, is not one of those states, and this lack of clear "right" requires a lawyer to fight on behalf of a decedent's loved ones for the compensation and justice they deserve after grieving the loss of a family member.
Our Board Certified wrongful death lawyers are well versed in the statutes within the state of Florida and have seen the inside of a courtroom hundreds of times on wrongful death cases, providing successful outcomes for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Shaked Law Firm has hands-on, in-the-trenches experience with clients who have become the victim of wrongful death, Not only are we experienced in the complexities that arise with these claims, our entire team from lawyers to paralegals to legal assistants and receptionists alike are compassionate from start to finish.
Why are wrongful death cases often so complicated?
Wrongful death is known to lawyers as a “derivative action”. This term is used to refer to the action which arises in direct relation to a personal injury event; an event that takes place alongside the death. In some instances, the derivative action may be time sensitive, and can be complicated without an experienced lawyer taking point on the case.
One instance that can complicate a wrongful death claim is the strict statute of limitations upheld by the state of Florida. The case may have suddenly become time sensitive because the deceased did not, or was not able to, bring a Personal Injury action in accordance to the statute of limitations set forth by the state; this is by no fault of their own and an experienced lawyer can present his or her documentation to the judge, potentially protecting the client from unnecessary financial hardship.
Furthermore, the "derivative action" terminology is aptly applied because the decedent was unable to bring a Personal Injury claim themselves, thusly exceeding the statute of limitations when their loved one attempted to do so.
What are Florida's specific laws on wrongful death claims?
Each state differs on their distribution of damages, as well as their statute of limitations regarding Personal Injury. However, there are inherent differences between the statute of limitations surrounding Personal Injury and the statute of limitations surrounding a wrongful death. The state of Florida has clearly defined their stance in regard to wrongful death:
768.21 Damages.—All potential beneficiaries of a recovery for wrongful death, including the decedent’s estate, shall be identified in the complaint, and their relationships to the decedent shall be alleged. Damages may be awarded as follows:
(1) Each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value. In evaluating loss of support and services, the survivor’s relationship to the decedent, the amount of the decedent’s probable net income available for distribution to the particular survivor, and the replacement value of the decedent’s services to the survivor may be considered. In computing the duration of future losses, the joint life expectancies of the survivor and the decedent and the period of minority, in the case of healthy minor children, may be considered.
Florida wrongful death lawyers employ the Discovery Rule
With all the talk about the statute of limitations placed upon wrongful death claims, it's important to be represented by a lawyer that knows how to make every second count. That's why the best lawyers apply the Discovery Rule. This rule of law used by senior lawyers to better provide themselves time to successfully try a wrongful death case can incredibly helpful in obtaining the maximum amount of compensation for a client.
How is the Discovery Rule used? Read on to gain a better understanding of what experienced lawyers are doing to provide the best outcomes for victims of wrongful death.
Before the statute of limitations clock starts, a reasonable amount of time is granted in order for a lawyer to determine the cause of death and pursue the proper amount of Discovery in the case. At this point, the best lawyers want the entire "book" of the client's life; not a short briefing. This "book of your life" can take quite a while for a lawyer that lacks years of experience in wrongful death claims; younger lawyers must work alongside senior lawyers and learn from the best to better themselves for the client.
The Discovery Rule is why a lawyer must be familiar with every aspect of wrongful death claims. They must have extensive knowledge in and out of the courtroom in order to act quickly and reasonably. They must know how to properly apply the Discovery Rule without wasting a single second "paper pushing", or trying to merely get the client out the door with a paltry sum.
It's important for a lawyer to have this knowledge of the Discovery Rule because it’s most often found helpful and therefore applied in wrongful death claims, which in and of themselves are a time sensitive, and all around sensitive matter.
With the Discovery Rule, the court must determine whether the victim could have reasonably known that illness or injury catastrophic enough to be fatal was to occur before they passed away. Then, a lawyer must use their experience to credibly determine whether or not the death was directly caused by another person. If the victim can be proven to have reasonably known an injury or illness was considered fatal, only then does the clock begin ticking prior to the actual death.
Why should I choose Shaked Law Firm's wrongful death lawyers?
Losing a loved one is tragic and painful for the family left behind, but our lawyers see every wrongful death claim through to the end with experience, compassion and ethics. We never back down from going to trial if we feel it's necessary. Through persistence, exemplary results that have changed the lives of our clients for the better, and dedication to each case big or small, we've recovered multi millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Our passion is people, not a quick payout. We always welcome any questions our clients have, day or night.
Contact our Wrongful Death Lawyers today for a free consultation; there's no obligation!