Finding a wrongful death attorney may be the single most important thing that you do after losing a loved one. It is a difficult time because you are still in mourning. Taking legal action may not be on the forefront of your mind, though it needs to be so that you can find peace of mind and focus on the financial difficulties that come from losing someone close to you.
Florida law states that when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act or negligence of any person, including those occurring on navigable waters, and the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued, the person that would have been liable for damages had death not ensued shall be liable for damages as specified in the Florida Wrongful Death Act.
A compassionate lawyer needs to be at your side to help you gain financial compensation and ease your burdens. The law firm of Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh has the experience to provide you with the legal assistance and help you recover from your loss.
Why should I work with an attorney?
Working with a wrongful death attorney is of the utmost importance because you need someone to guide you through the legal system. The court will view a variety of factors to determine the amount of damages that will be awarded to you, as the survivor of the deceased. You want to make sure that your wrongful death lawsuit encompasses all of the details so that you can maximize your financial compensation.
Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh has the resources to build and approve a wrongful death case to the fullest extent. This ensures that your case is as strong as it can be. In many instances, our reputation allows us to settle outside of court because insurance companies do not want their case to go in front of a jury. However, we have the ability to take the case to trial if required.
Throughout the lawsuit, there are going to be various aspects that need to be determined. This includes determining the cause for the wrongful death, what actions or omissions were taken to cause the injury or death, as well as all of the damages that resulted from the accident. This may require a significant amount of investigation and this is not something that you want to try and do on your own. An attorney is going to have more resources available to them than you will as an individual.
How are wrongful death cases different?
Every wrongful death case is different in one way or another. It is important to work with an attorney that has experience in wrongful death lawsuits in Florida, simply because of knowing how to navigate through the legal system. Research and investigations will need to be done throughout each case in order to determine how the death occurred, what standards were not followed to lead to the death, and the overall damages that resulted.
There have been cases where a single person died as a result of negligence and others where multiple people have died. Examples of wrongful death include birth injuries, truck accidents, car accidents, workplace accidents, as well as medical malpractice. Each of these work differently because of the industries involved as well as the parties that could potentially be responsible for the wrongful death. Individuals, businesses, and/or hospitals may be the ones responsible – and in some instances, there are multiple parties responsible for the wrongful death because each one took actions that led to the overall wrongdoing.
Courts also have the ability to impose punitive damages to the offending party. When there is recklessness, gross negligence, and intentional actions that lead to wrongful death, there may be damages, fees, and other punishments applied to ensure that the party understands that they were in the wrong and discourage others from behaving in a similar manner in the future.
Since there are no two cases the same, it is critical to have an attorney that understands how to do the research and how to tap into various resources in order to explore the case in detail. The value of lost support can be considerably different and this is where experience can make a dramatic difference.
What makes up a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is comprised of a variety of details. When a death occurs as a result of recklessness, negligence or deliberate behavior, a wrongful death lawsuit can be constructed. Your attorney must prove various aspects within the case, including that the individual/party had a duty to care for the deceased, that their act or omission breached the standards, and that their actions were the cause of the death. Additionally, all damages that resulted will need to be confirmed.
A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by any of the survivors, including children, parents or spouses. Anyone who depends on the deceased for emotional and/or financial support have the ability to file the lawsuit, and it is then the responsibility of the attorney to prove the overall relationship and the effects of not having that person in their life anymore to gain financial compensation.
Once legal action is taken, all of the details regarding the case will be gathered. This includes collecting the medical records of the deceased and opening a full investigation as to how the wrongful death occurred. Various witnesses may be called upon and the resources of the attorney can prove to be critical in obtaining all of the information needed to build the case effectively. The more information that an attorney can access, the easier it will be to demonstrate that a wrongful death occurred and that a specific party is responsible for that death.
How is compensation calculated?
Compensation for a wrongful death suit is calculated based on a variety of factors. One of the primary factors is that of the relationship between the survivor and the deceased. Spouses, children, and parents may all be entitled to various benefits based upon their mental pain, suffering, and overall loss of companionship and protection.
Additionally, the net income of the deceased will be a factor. When it can be proven that the deceased was a primary provider within the household, it may be possible to obtain a higher level of financial compensation in order to make sure that the survivor(s) are able to proceed through life without a financial hardship. The life expectancy of all of the surviving parties will also be taken into consideration. Small children and younger spouses may be entitled to higher benefits because of the time it was assumed the deceased would be caring for them.
Once all of these items are collected and brought in front of the judge, it is the judge that makes the final decision. The attorney will make calculations based upon income, lost income and other opportunities, pain and suffering, and the overall mortality to assume total losses for each of the survivors. A grand total will then be presented to the judge as a benchmark for compensation. In the past, judges have agreed to the terms of the compensation provided by the attorney – and some have even decided to require more to be paid due to punitive damages.
There are often negotiations before the case ever reaches trial. This means that the attorney of the survivor and the attorney of the insurance company will meet in order to create a settlement. The negotiated settlement may be higher or lower than the original amount, but can provide a definitive payment to prevent the case from ever going in front of a judge and jury.
Why choose your law firm?
It is always important to choose your law firm and choose carefully. When you have a wrongful death lawsuit, you want to make sure that all areas are being considered. You will never be able to gain the entire value of a deceased loved one, though you can help to set things right by making sure that the offending party is punished for their actions. Punitive damages may help you sleep better at night and compensatory damages may help you to lead a higher quality of life because of the financial support that you will receive.
The law firm that you ultimately choose needs to put you and your needs first. You have just experienced the death of a loved one, and taking legal action may not be something that you are emotionally prepared to handle. However, there is a time limit in Florida to ensure that claimants seek compensation sooner rather than later. This is why you need to choose a law firm quickly and make sure that you choose one that has experience within the area of wrongful death. Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh is well-known throughout the industry and this can work to your advantage in many instances because of the reputation that follows.
Choosing a law firm that understands the financial hardship as well as the overall emotional hardship that occurs after a wrongful death is of the utmost importance. Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh is dedicated to obtaining fair compensation for the survivors. After you are faced with an unexpected death in your family, contact us to explore your legal actions in-depth. We offer a free, no obligation case review that you can sign up for by calling us directly or filling out the form on this page.
Fighting to Protect Your Rights
The Lawyers at Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh, have over 100 years of combined legal experience and handled over 10,000 injury cases. Our firm has represented families for wrongful death cases, and understands the level of dedication and resources required to bring forth a successful outcome.