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Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Attorney

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David is awesome! Settled my case quickly and is definitely the right man for the job. Highly recommended.”

Rich H., Client

Did you recently lose a loved one in an accident? If you believe the fatal incident was someone else’s fault, contact Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney David I. Fuchs. He has decades of experience representing injured individuals and surviving family members in insurance claims and Florida litigation. He is not afraid to seek to hold another individual or business responsible for their careless, reckless, or willful misconduct, and he has a track record of obtaining fair results for his clients.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your family after losing a relative is to speak with a wrongful death lawyer about Florida law surrounding the topic, and your options moving forward. If your family has a right to wrongful death compensation, then an attorney can represent you through the insurance claim and legal processes.

To schedule a free consultation of your case with a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer, call the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs at (954) 568-3636, or reach out via the online form.

Types of Wrongful Death Claims

Attorney David Fuchs handles a wide range of wrongful death claims, including:

  • Wrongful Death After a Car Accident
  • Truck Accident Wrongful Death Claims
  • Wrongful Death Due to Medical Malpractice
  • Wrongful Death Lawsuits Against Hospitals
  • Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claims
  • Wrongful Death After a Construction Accident
  • Wrongful Death After a Dangerous Property Accident
  • Maritime Accident Wrongful Death Claims

Florida Wrongful Death Law

The Florida Wrongful Death Act appears in the Florida Statutes Sections 768.16-768.26. These statutes determine:

  • When a wrongful death action arises
  • Who may pursue a wrongful death claim
  • Who may recover damages
  • The types of damages that are recoverable through a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida

To learn more about these laws and other statutes that may impact your case, contact a Broward County wrongful death attorney at the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs right away.

Elements of Wrongful Death

Under Florida Statute Section 768.19, when another individual’s negligence or misconduct cause a person’s death, and the event would have given the person the right to maintain an action for damages had their death not occurred, then a wrongful death right of action is created. In other words, if your loved one would have had the right to file a personal injury lawsuit had they lived, then your family may be entitled to damages through a lawsuit.

Based on this law, the elements of a wrongful death claim include:

  • The at-fault party committed a wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty
  • The at-fault party had a legal duty to behave in a different way toward the decedent, and breached that duty
  • The at-fault party’s conduct directly caused the decedent’s death
  • The decedent’s death resulted in quantifiable economic and non-economic losses

Because you must be able to prove each of these elements in order to recover compensation, it is important to work with a Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney. You will need strong evidence of the other person’s wrongful conduct, and how it directly caused your loved one’s death. You also will need evidence of your and your family member’s losses.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit?

Florida Statute Section 768.20 outlines who may file wrongful death lawsuits in the state. Surviving spouses or relatives do not file wrongful death claims in Florida. Instead, the law specifically states that an action shall be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. This individual files the lawsuit on behalf of the decedent’s estate.

The personal representative of your loved one’s estate may be a family member. In fact, this is often the case. But it is not always true. A personal representative could be a long-time romantic partner, a friend, or a professional hired to handle the process.

If you have questions regarding who may file a claim for compensation after a loved one’s death, call a Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible.

Who May Recover Florida Wrongful Death Damages?

Because the personal representative files a claim on behalf of the estate and surviving relatives, it is important to understand who may share in the potential financial recovery. Florida law also determines who may receive compensation in wrongful death lawsuits.

Florida law states that the decedent’s survivors may obtain compensation, and it defines who is or is not a survivor in Florida Statute Section 768.18(1). Survivors include the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and any other relatives who were partly or entirely dependent on the decedent’s support or services. If your loved one left behind a spouse, children, or parents, then these people may obtain portions of any recovered compensation.

Typically, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and other relatives are not entitled to compensation. However, this presumption can be overcome if one of these relatives was financially or physically dependent the decedent. For example, if your loved one took care of a disabled sibling who is not capable of living on their own, then this sibling has a right to a portion of wrongful death proceeds.

Naturally, you may have questions regarding who can receive compensation and how much various survivors may be entitled to. A Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney from the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs can answer all of your questions and prepare you for the potential outcome of a wrongful death case.

Florida Wrongful Death Damages

During a wrongful death lawsuit, an attorney can guide a personal representative is seeking a wide range of damages. Certain damages are for the benefit of the estate, while other damages are for specific survivors.

Wrongful death damages include:

  • Burial and funeral expenses for the estate or survivor who paid them
  • Medical expenses for the estate or survivor who paid them
  • Each survivors’ lost support and services
  • Surviving spouse’s loss of consortium – the decedent’s companionship and protection
  • Surviving spouse’s mental pain and suffering
  • Children’s loss of parental companionship, instruction, guidance, and mental pain and suffering
  • Parent of a minor child’s mental pain and suffering
  • Loss of decedent’s earnings for the estate
  • Loss of estate’s prospective net accumulation

There also are more specific rules attached to these damages. For example, when a decedent leaves behind children, the damages those children are entitled to vary depending on whether they are minors (under the age of 25 years) or adults.

Another possible type of damages available in FL wrongful death suits is punitive damages. These are only available under certain circumstances. The personal representative must be able to prove that the at-fault party was malicious or reckless in causing the accident and your loved one’s death. The more egregious or extreme the at-fault party’s conduct, the stronger your claim for punitive damages.

To learn more about the types of damages available after your loved one’s death and the potential value of these damages, talk with a wrongful death attorney from the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs as soon as possible.

Wrongful Death Settlements

When you suffer the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident, your mind may turn to filing a lawsuit. You may imagine spending time in court and going to trial. Some wrongful death lawsuits do move forward to trial and are decided by a judge or jury. However, many claims are resolved through a pre-trial settlement.

Attorney David Fuchs will conduct an in-depth investigation into the fatal accident in order to determine who was responsible, which party is liable for compensating your family, and whether there are any relevant insurance policies.

When there is a relevant insurance policy, attorney Fuchs will pursue an insurance claim. This can be a more efficient way of obtaining a fair wrongful death settlement without going through the time and expense of a trial.

Florida Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Under Florida law, a wrongful death lawsuit must be commenced within two years of the date of decedent’s death.

This may seem like plenty of time, but two years can pass quickly. You may speed through the weeks, months, and the first year after the accident, especially when you are fighting with an insurance company. This is why it is important to speak with a wrongful death attorney about your right to file a lawsuit as soon as possible. You may not wish to file right away, but you should be well aware of your deadline.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Attorney for Help

If you lost a loved one through a fatal accident, the Law Offices of David I. Fuchs will thoroughly review your circumstances, advise you of your rights and options under Florida wrongful death law, and when appropriate, represent you in a wrongful death insurance claim or lawsuit. When another person or business is responsible for your loved one’s death, attorney David Fuchs will fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.

After unexpectedly losing a loved one, do not hesitate to schedule a free, initial case consultation through the online form, or by calling (954) 568-3636.

If you cannot come to the Fort Lauderdale office, accident attorney David I. Fuchs will send a representative to see you. His staff speaks English and Spanish. Se habla Inglés y Español.

Llame a David Fuchs abogado de accidentes en la Fort Lauderdale. Ofrece consultas gratuitas.

Types of Cases We Handle