Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Lawyer
Cowen Edwards Trial Lawyers compassionately represent families who have lost a loved one due to an accident caused by someone’s negligence or an intentional act.
Our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death accident lawyers offer free, confidential consultations to all families in Southern Florida. Contact our offices to find out what your case may be worth and how to hold an at-fault party and insurance companies fully responsible for a tragic loss.
WHAT IS A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
A wrongful death claim is a civil claim filed after a victim has been killed, usually due to an accident caused by someone’s negligence or recklessness. A victim may have been killed by a drunk driver on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. Victims may have lost their lives due to medical malpractice. Victims could have been killed in a workplace accident due to an unsafe job site. A victim could have been killed by a harmful product or tool purchased at a store.
Wrongful death claims are meant to provide support to the close family members left behind, hopefully preventing them from facing a financial crisis in the future. This support comes from an at-fault party, such as a careless individual or a negligent company, and the party’s insurance provider.
HOW CAN A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYER HELP MY FAMILY?
To earn support for the hardships families face after the heartbreaking loss of a loved one, they’ll have to prove that another individual, property owner, or company was to blame for what happened. At-fault parties will have insurance companies who may try to avoid taking responsibility for a victim’s death. When a store chain or an employer caused a fatal accident, the company or corporation could also have corporate lawyers ready to try to find ways to avoid liability.
A Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney is your protection from this unfair treatment. Your lawyer fully investigates what happened to your loved one and collects the evidence to prove the negligent party’s fault.
Your lawyer also monitors all settlement offers and makes sure family members are receiving the most in support possible for a wrongful death claim. If the offer doesn’t fully protect your family in the future, your lawyer rejects the offer and demands more. Nothing can replace the love and support a loved one provided, but at-fault parties should be held fully liable for their actions and for the welfare of the family left behind.
Your lawyer also represents the threat of a lawsuit if an at-fault party and insurance company doesn’t want to treat your family fairly. This threat, and the fear of the costs of a trial, is often enough to get insurance companies to return to the negotiating table and to provide what they should.
Take advantage of a free consultation whenever you feel you aren’t being treated fairly after an accident you didn’t cause.
WHO IS CONSIDERED FAMILY IN A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?
The executor in a Florida wrongful death case would file a civil claim and seek support to settle the victim’s estate and to provide support to the family left behind. Estate matters to be settled include the distribution of the victim’s assets and the paying off of creditors. This includes the medical bills caused by the fatal accident.
Family members are considered part of the estate and would be entitled to their share of any support awarded in a wrongful death claim.
Eligible family members in a Florida wrongful death claim would include:
- A spouse
- Children or grandchildren of the victim
- Parents of the victim
- Any other blood relatives or adopted relatives who were financially dependent on the decedent
WHAT TYPE OF SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE FOR THE FAMILY IN A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
In negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company, your wrongful death lawyer would be seeking every benefit possible to settle estate matters and to provide for survivors.
The support awarded to the estate and to family members would differ. This is a look at some of the things that would be compensated on behalf of the estate:
- Hospital bills built up before the victim passed away.
- Funeral and burial expenses.
- Any damages suffered by a victim who did not pass away immediately after an accident.
- The lost income while the victim had to miss work up until the time the victim died.
- Estimates on the income decedents would have earned over a lifetime had they lived and the eventual earnings that would have become part of the estate given to the family upon death.
The benefits above could also eventually be granted to family members through the estate. But these are some of the specific awards the survivors of the decedent should expect to receive:
- Support for the loss of care and guidance the deceased would have provided in the years to come.
- The loss of the sense of protection the victim would have given to family members.
- Emotional trauma suffered by family members.
- The loss of companionship and intimacy suffered by a spouse.
- The loss of parental companionship and instruction lost by the children of the victim.
When the level of support the family receives is considered, the expected lifespan of the accident victim factors in. The length of time the victim would have been able to work at a career and the years of benefits that would have been built up factor into the value of a wrongful death settlement award. The estimated number of years a parent would have continued to provide financial and emotional support for a child must also be considered.
What is the statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim in Florida?
Two years. Family members are usually required to file a wrongful death claim within two years of the victim’s death. If they wait beyond two years, close relatives usually give up their right to compensation.
What if my family can’t afford a Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Lawyer?
Your family won’t need any upfront money to hire a skilled wrongful death lawyer. Cowen Edwards Trial Lawyers doesn’t get paid unless we win your case for your family. Then our fee comes out of the settlement or judgment you are awarded.
Can I file a wrongful death claim if my loved one was killed by a criminal act?
Yes. A civil wrongful death claim could be filed at any time by the family, regardless of the status of the criminal trial for the suspect. The two cases are decided separately and families could earn support even if a suspect hadn’t been convicted yet.
CONTACT A FORT LAUDERDALE WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYER
Losing a loved one in a terrible accident can leave you and your family feeling very vulnerable. At a time when your family should be allowed to grieve a loved one, they may have to take action to hold an at-fault party responsible and to protect their futures.
Incidents such as motor vehicle accidents, criminal acts, drownings, and medical malpractice can all make a wrongful death claim necessary. To find out the level of support your family can secure, contact the Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Lawyers at Cowen Edwards Trial Lawyers. We offer a free, confidential case review for all Florida families who have lost a loved one. There’s no obligation for this initial consultation.
If you trust your case to us, our law firm will directly handle the behind-the-scenes investigation and legal work, from start to finish, while you and your family focus on what’s most important, each other.