Wrongful Death Lawyer in Vero Beach, FL
What is wrongful death?
Wrongful death occurs if somebody dies due to no fault of their own, meaning that there appeared to have been negligence from another party which led to the death of an individual. That ranges from many different types of scenarios. It can be due to an airplane crash, a building accident, an automobile accident, it can be a trip and fall or slip and fall case. Wrongful death encompasses any type of case where the eventuality was that a person passed away as a direct result of some type of unforeseeable incident that is not their fault.
Why is a Vero Beach wrongful death lawyer needed for a case?
The first thing that stands out is that in Vero Beach wrongful death cases there is a two-year statute of limitations, which, although two years may sound like a lot, it really is not in legal terms. When dealing with a horrific incident of a next of kin or a person close to you, who has died due to no fault of their own, knowing the law and getting at least preliminary advice as to what your rights are and how you should proceed is so important. You are dealing with a short time period to substantiate allegations of how somebody may have died. You may lose evidence immediately or very soon after the incident which caused the death. Legal advice from a Vero Beach wrongful death attorney about all these things can completely change the outcome of a potential claim.
What kind of compensation is covered in wrongful death claim?
Unlike a Vero Beach personal injury case where you are being reimbursed for damages for future medical treatment, past medical treatment, as well as past and future pain and suffering, past pain and suffering, those are obviously not issues that arise in a Florida wrongful death case. Instead, wrongful death claims seek damages based on the value that the deceased person added to the lives of those closest to them. This could have been through earning an income for the household or through their help and companionship in the home. This compensation will be paid to the so-called survivors of the deceased person (referred to as the “decedent” in legal contexts). Survivors include the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, or other close relatives who were dependent on the decedent for financial support or simply for emotional support and companionship.
Damages that bereaved family members can recover through a Florida wrongful death claim include:
- Loss of companionship: While it may seem impossible to put a number on the worth of a spouse or child’s presence or touch, they had immense value to the family members who suffered this devastating loss. The court’s only option in offering some consolation and support in the face of such grief is to provide a monetary award. Both a deceased person’s spouse and their children may seek compensation for the loss of their loved one’s companionship, as well as for the instruction and guidance that a parent provides to a child.
- Loss of support and services: Every family member provides certain services to their household, whether it be through housekeeping, child care, or earning the income that supported the family. Survivors who depended on the decedent for financial support can seek the value of that support from the date of death forward, including presumed future earnings. Likewise, survivors can seek compensation when they have lost the family’s primary child care provider, or a parent has lost an adult child who provided support to them. Relying on his decades of experience with wrongful death claims, Vero Beach attorney Keith Bregoff can help you estimate the decedent’s future projected earnings as well as provide a value for the household help that the decedent provided based on market rates for these services.
- Mental pain and suffering: The agony of losing a loved one in a traumatic accident or to a painful disease can weigh heavily on surviving family members. Children, spouses, and, in some cases, parents can seek compensation for the mental pain and suffering related to their loss.
- Funeral costs: The survivor who bore the costs of the decedent’s funeral may seek reimbursement through a wrongful death case for these costs.
How much experience does the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA, have with wrongful death cases in Vero Beach FL?
The 11 years that Mr. Bregoff spent working as defense counsel for insurers afforded him the experience to capably prosecute wrongful death claims. Not only has he seen the different types of claims that are made, but also to see the type of the defenses that are often alleged by the opposing side as it relates to these types of claims. By defending these types of claims, Vero Beach wrongful death attorney Mr. Bregoff knows how the other side will view your claim and attempt to defeat it. This experience makes Keith Bregoff the ideal choice to serve as your attorney on a wrongful death claim.
How is the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA, different than other wrongful death law firms in Vero Beach?
Our Vero Beach wrongful death lawyers knowledge from working for the other side, and Mr. Bregoff’s 23 years’ experience can help to get our clients the wrongful death settlement they deserve. Call Vero Beach wrongful death attorneys today at 772-492-8967.
At The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, our Vero Beach, Florida law firm focuses on the following practice areas:
- Auto Accident
- Dog Bite
- Motorcycle Accident
- Pedestrian Accident
- Serious Injury Law
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Truck Accident
Frequently Asked Questions of Wrongful Death Lawyers in Vero Beach, Florida
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim is filed on behalf of the estate of the deceased. The plaintiff is the estate’s personal representative, who is either named in the will as executor or appointed by the court to serve as the personal representative of the estate.
Who receives compensation from a wrongful death settlement or jury verdict?
Any amount recovered for wrongful death goes to certain family members who survive the deceased. This includes a surviving spouse, children and parents, as well as blood or adoptive siblings and any blood relatives who were at least partially dependent on the deceased for support or services.
Can a child recover for the death of a parent if the child was born out of wedlock?
A child born out of wedlock can always recover for the death of a mother and can also recover for the death of a father if the father had recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.
How long does the personal representative have to file a claim for wrongful death in Florida?
Florida Statutes 95.11(3)(a) give a four-year time limit, or statute of limitations, for actions founded on negligence. However, section 95.11(4)(d) specifically limits the time frame to two years in an action for wrongful death. There is no time limit to bring a wrongful death case if the death was caused by an intentional tort such as murder or manslaughter. Applying the correct statute of limitations is a highly technical matter that can actually be quite complex. It is important to contact a knowledgeable and experienced Florida personal injury attorney at (772) 228-4661. sooner rather than later to ensure a claim is timely filed.
Who is able to file a wrongful death claim in Florida?
In Florida, the surviving family members or the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate are able to file a wrongful death claim. The surviving family members who may be eligible to file a claim include the spouse, children, parents, and any blood relatives or adoptive siblings who were dependent on the deceased person for support or services.
How is liability determined in a wrongful death case?
Liability in a wrongful death case is typically determined by examining the circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the death. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence or wrongful act caused the death of their loved one. Evidence used to prove liability may include witness testimony, medical records, police reports, and expert opinions.
What makes a wrongful death a personal injury and not a criminal charge?
Wrongful death is considered a personal injury because it involves harm or damage caused to an individual. In a wrongful death case, the harm is to the family members or estate of the deceased person, rather than to the person who died. Criminal charges, on the other hand, are brought by the government against an individual for violating a criminal law, and the punishment may include fines or imprisonment.
Can you be taxed on the wrongful death settlement?
Generally, damages awarded for the deceased person’s pain and suffering are not taxable, but damages awarded for lost wages or other economic losses may be taxable. Additionally, punitive damages awarded in a wrongful death case may also be taxable.
What happens if the at-fault party also passed in the accident?
If the at-fault party also passed away in the accident, it can complicate a wrongful death case. The surviving family members may still be able to pursue a claim against the at-fault party’s estate or insurance company, but the amount of compensation they may be able to recover could be impacted.
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