If you’ve lost a loved one as a result of someone else’s negligence or direct actions then you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim awards the survivors of the decedent to receive financial compensation for damages, pain and suffering.
Getting Started with a Wrongful Death Claim
In order to file a claim you should enlist the help of a qualified wrongful death attorney. Your first step is to have a consultation with the attorney to discuss your case. It’s possible that your case would be more suited to filing a survival action claim instead of a wrongful death claim. Your wrongful death attorneys will help you determine which claim is appropriate for your situation.
If you have a valid claim for a wrongful death suit then your attorney will help you by establishing your case and gathering evidence. They will begin negotiations for a settlement on your behalf. A good wrongful death attorney will never accept a settlement offer without your approval. If the other party refuses to offer a fair compensation amount then your attorney will take your case to court. Once in court they will represent you and fight for a fair compensation amount.
Types of Damages
In some cases, such as certain cases of negligence, your lawyer may push for punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate for the expenses incurred from the death of the decedent, such as medical bills, loss of future income, and even pain and suffering. Punitive damages seek to act as punishment to dissuade the responsible party from taking similar future actions.
For example, if the lawsuit was being brought against the decedent’s landlord for knowingly failing to keep safe conditions at their apartment complex that led to the death then a judge may assign punitive damages along with the compensatory damages as a sort of punishment for the landlord. Without the help of an attorney you may be forfeiting punitive damages that you didn’t know were a possibility to collect.
The process of collecting a wrongful death settlement can be long lasting and complex. Without the help of an attorney you may be settling for much less than you are entitled to. The loss of a loved one that you depend on for support can have lasting financial effects that you may not consider at the time of death. Medical and funeral expenses that incur from the accident or death can be costly. However, the immediate expenses aren’t the only costs that survivors find themselves responsible for.
It’s difficult to gauge just how much the loss will impact the financial future of the survivors. This is why an experienced attorney is necessary in these cases. They will help estimate the financial impact beyond the immediate expenses, such as loss of future income, wages, and benefits. This could be a rather large sum and it’s best to have an attorney that understands how Florida laws affect the survivors in wrongful death claims work on your case for the best outcome possible.