Every year, countless people die because of the negligence and carelessness of others. Tragically, these people lose their lives and their families are left to pick up the pieces while grieving.
Hiring a wrongful death lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can maximize your chances of holding the at-fault party responsible and collecting a fair market value settlement.
The legal team at Blakeley Law Firm PA helps victims' families fight for fair compensation in Fort Lauderdale. Call us today.
Why You Should Hire Blakeley Law Firm PA
If you’re considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit, here are several reasons why you should hire our firm.
We Can Determine the Value of Your Claim
Every wrongful death claim is different and the average person likely doesn’t know where to begin. When you hire us, our team will move quickly in determining the value of your claim based on its merit and facts.
Otherwise, you could risk submitting a low offer that’s eagerly accepted or a high offer that’s quickly denied. Our legal team can help you send a demand letter that increases your claim’s chances of success in court.
You Don’t Pay a Retainer
Many wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless you win. If you’re already dealing with crippling debt because of a deceased loved one, this is a win-win situation.
Since an attorney only takes a percentage of your settlement, they’re more investing in your claim to ensure its success. As a result, you can hire an aggressive lawyer who can stand up to the legal team of the defendant.
At Blakeley Law Firm PA, we take pride in never sending our clients a bill unless their claim is successful.
We Have Courtroom Experience
Admittedly, many civil claims settle out of court. This doesn’t mean there is a guarantee your claim will be resolved at the settlement table. If you have to go to court, hiring our legal team is likely your best option.
Your judge will issue a warning that it’s wise to hire outside counsel to represent you in court. This is a correct warning since the opposing counsel won’t hesitate to take their chances against a plaintiff with no courtroom experience.
We have several years of courtroom experience and make sure you’re prepared should your claim go to trial.
Your Claim Will Be Taken Seriously
Most of the time, a wrongful death lawsuit will be aimed at an insurance company. Insurance companies are armed with powerful lawyers at their disposal.
If you decide to file your own wrongful death claim, they can choose to ignore it or deny it altogether. Lawyers will always welcome the chance to go to court against inexperienced people.
The good news is that the legal team at Blakeley Law Firm PA can help level the playing field against the opposing counsel and keep them honest throughout the claims process.
You Could Win a Higher Settlement
People who hire a lawyer will generally collect a higher settlement than those without one. This is because a wrongful death lawyer will properly estimate your claim’s value.
They’ll also use their negotiation skills to bargain on your behalf. The best wrongful death attorneys will do their best to keep your claim out of court and resolve it as soon as possible.
They’re also ready to go to court if necessary. If you want to maximize your claim’s success, hire our legal team for legal representation.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a situation in which a person’s negligence causes the death of someone else. This isn’t to be confused with murder and manslaughter.
Unlike those two crimes, wrongful death is a civil suit filed in order to gain financial compensation and hold the at-fault party responsible. A common example of a wrongful death lawsuit is medical malpractice.
For example, if an anesthesiologist gives too little anesthesia to a patient before surgery, it’s very likely they may wake up prematurely. This can cause shock and sudden blood loss, both resulting in death.
The family of the victim can choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the anesthesiologist, the hospital, and even the drug manufacturer. The lawsuit claims that while the defendant didn’t intentionally cause the victim’s death, their negligence played an integral role.
For example, if the anesthesiologist were drowsy before administering the drug, they would be negligent. Also, if they ignored warnings about the procedure beforehand, they could also be negligent.
As a result, the purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to collect a financial settlement and achieve justice on behalf of the victim.
Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death claims can vary based on how the victim died and the circumstances surrounding the accidents.
The most common wrongful death lawsuits result from:
- Car Accidents: Significant car accidents can cause fatal injuries, such as blunt-force trauma and crush injuries.
- Medical Malpractice: Any error committed by a medical professional constitutes medical malpractice, from surgical error to fatal anesthesia dosages.
- Work Accidents: Occupations with dangerous work hazards can lead to fatalities. For example, an employee working too many hours and crashing their car due to exhaustion can result in a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Defective Products: If a person dies because of a defective product, the manufacturer can be held responsible.
- Truck Accidents: Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that can lead to death, especially if the at-fault party is distracted or drunk.
- Pedestrian Accidents: These accidents can lead to permanent injuries and fatalities since victims have little to no protection from incoming vehicles.
- Aviation Accidents: Plane crashes due to pilot error can result in several wrongful death lawsuits against the airline.
- Motorcycle Accidents: Bikers don’t have much protection in the event of motorcycle accidents, which can lead to fatalities in severe cases.
- Nursing Home Abuse: If your loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home, you can sue for wrongful death.
- Dog Bites: Vicious or unattended dogs can attack elderly people and small children. Families of the victims can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the owner.
If you face any of these scenarios, contact a Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer to file a claim. The legal team at Blakeley Law Firm PA can build a solid claim that gets justice for your loved one’s unfortunate death.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
There are many reasons why wrongful death happens.
The most common wrongful death causes are:
- Carelessness: A careless person can unintentionally cause the wrongful death of someone else. For example, a careless dog owner who has a weak leash can lose control of their pet who goes on to attack a pedestrian.
- Negligence: Negligence is the failure to act reasonably in a situation. It’s basically the absence of common sense. For example, if someone runs a red light and hits another driver, they are negligent and liable for any damages.
- Willful Misconduct: This applies to people or companies that are aware of the consequences of their actions but don’t adjust. For example, pharmaceutical companies that release dangerous drugs without adequate testing can fall under this label. They should know how dangerous it is to release products to the public without sufficient testing.
When it comes to wrongful death, ignorance is not an excuse. People and businesses owe a duty of care to others. This is as simple as acting with common sense on the road, in the hospital, and while running a business.
If someone caused the wrongful death of your friend or loved one, hire an attorney to fight for fair compensation.
Proving Liability and Fault
One of the major aspects of a wrongful death lawsuit is proving fault and liability. Generally speaking, your claim should prove that the defendant was at fault for the death of your loved one and is liable for all resulting damages.
In wrongful death lawsuits, the plaintiff has the burden of proof to back up their claim with the preponderance of evidence. To put it simply, the plaintiff will need to supply sufficient evidence to prove their claims.
The defendant is only responsible for defending themselves against these claims. Since the burden of proof is higher for the plaintiff, it’s important they hire a wrongful death attorney.
A wrongful death lawyer can compile concrete evidence, such as:
- Photos and Videos: Your attorney can gather photos and videos from nearby cameras to determine what truly happened leading up to an accident.
- Police Reports: Police officers will create reports that feature eyewitness accounts and their own accounts of what happened after an accident.
- Medical Reports: The victim’s medical report will list their diagnosis and the treatments they were prescribed before their death.
- Eyewitness Testimonies: Eyewitnesses can provide their testimonies to the plaintiff’s claim to bolster its strength in court.
With the help of a wrongful death lawyer, you can build a rock-solid claim. Schedule a free consultation with Blakeley Law Firm PA to maximize your claim’s success.
Compensation for Wrongful Death Claimants
Unlike other civil cases, wrongful death claimants can possibly receive compensation for lost financial support.
If you received financial help from the deceased victim, you can sue for damages relating to:
- A person’s income beforehand
- A person’s future income
- The level of financial dependence on the victim
For example, if a person’s wife died due to a fatal car accident, they can file a wrongful death lawsuit to collect a settlement that provides a cushion for the deceased’s lost wages.
Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims in Florida
According to Florida Statute 95.11 (4)(d), the family of a deceased victim has two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you file a wrongful death claim on your own, it may take time to gather the critical evidence you need. Luckily, an experienced wrongful death attorney can expedite your claim’s discovery process.
How Much is My Claim Worth?
The value of your wrongful death claim will depend on:
- Severity: The severity of your claim will significantly impact its value. For example, an elderly woman who was abused in a nursing home for a decade up until her death can influence a high settlement for her family.
- Level of Negligence: Your lawyer will seek to determine how negligent the at-fault party was in your loved one’s death. If the defendant showed willful misconduct, you could receive a larger settlement than if they were just careless.
- Parties Involved: Sometimes, multiple parties are involved in wrongful death lawsuits. For example, if you sue both a hospital and pharmaceutical company because of a fatal surgical error, you could potentially collect a maximum settlement.
Ultimately, you won’t know how much your claim is worth before speaking to a wrongful death attorney in Fort Lauderdale. Contact us today for your free consultation so we can discuss your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation
Overall, wrongful death is a serious legal complaint that attempts to hold the defendant responsible for the loss of a friend or loved one. The families of deceased victims have the right to pursue justice and fair compensation in the aftermath of a traffic accident.
By hiring a wrongful death lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, you can receive all the resources you need to build an effective claim—and Blakeley Law Firm PA has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. Reach out to a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer.
We know the ins and outs of the wrongful death claim process. As such, we’d love to speak with you about your case. Give us a call at (954) 253-9445 to receive a free, 24/7 consultation.