Boca Raton Wrongful Death Lawyers

Boca Raton Wrongful Death LawyersLosing a loved one is an incredibly devastating experience, especially when the death was caused by the negligence or wrongful conduct of another person or entity. If you find yourself in this heartbreaking situation, it is important to understand your legal rights and options. Consulting with a knowledgeable Boca Raton wrongful death lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and ensure that you pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve.  

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims  

A wrongful death claim is a type of legal action brought by the surviving family members of an individual who died due to the negligence or wrongful conduct of another party. Negligence refers to a failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would under similar circumstances. For example, if a driver runs a red light and causes a fatal accident, they could be considered negligent and liable for the resulting wrongful death. 

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Boca Raton  

Wrongful death can occur in various situations, but some of the most common causes in the Boca Raton area include: 

Car Accidents 

Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of wrongful death both in Boca Raton and nationwide. Reckless driving behaviors such as speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving can all contribute to fatal car crashes. When a negligent driver causes an accident that results in a fatality, they may be held liable through a wrongful death claim. 

Medical Malpractice 

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide the standard of care expected in their field, resulting in harm to a patient. When medical negligence leads to a patient’s death, it can be grounds for a wrongful death claim. Examples of medical malpractice that may result in wrongful death include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, medication errors, and inadequate care. 

Slip and Fall Accidents 

Property owners have a legal duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. If a property owner fails to address or warn visitors of a dangerous condition on their property, and that condition leads to a fatal slip and fall accident, the property owner may be held liable for wrongful death. This applies to both public and private properties, including businesses, homes, and government buildings. 

Product Liability 

Manufacturers and sellers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe for consumer use. When a defective or dangerous product causes a fatality, the manufacturer or seller may be held accountable through a product liability claim. Examples of products that may lead to wrongful death include faulty vehicles, dangerous pharmaceuticals, and defective consumer goods. 

Workplace Accidents 

Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment for their employees. When an employer fails to follow safety regulations or provide adequate training and equipment, and an employee suffers a fatal accident as a result, the employer may be liable for wrongful death. This is particularly common in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and transportation. 

Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuits  

The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the surviving family members for the losses they have suffered as a result of their loved one’s untimely death. In Florida, there are two main categories of damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death claim: 

Economic Damages 

Economic damages are quantifiable financial losses that the surviving family members have incurred due to the wrongful death. These may include: 

  • Medical expenses related to the deceased’s final illness or injury 
  • Lost wages and benefits that the deceased would have earned had they lived 
  • Funeral and burial expenses 

Non-Economic Damages 

Non-economic damages are intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify but are equally important. These may include: 

  • Pain and suffering endured by the deceased before their death 
  • Loss of companionship, guidance, and support for the surviving family members 
  • Emotional distress suffered by the surviving family members 

In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded if the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or intentional. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future. 

The Florida Wrongful Death Act  

In Florida, wrongful death claims are governed by the Florida Wrongful Death Act (Fla. Stat. §§ 768.16 – 768.26). This statute outlines who may bring a wrongful death claim, the types of damages that may be recovered, and the time limits for filing a claim. 

Under the Act, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate must file the wrongful death claim on behalf of the surviving family members. The personal representative is typically named in the deceased’s will or estate plan, but if no personal representative was named, the court may appoint one. 

The surviving family members who may recover damages in a Florida wrongful death claim include: 

  • The deceased’s spouse 
  • The deceased’s children 
  • The deceased’s parents 
  • Any blood relative or adoptive sibling who was wholly or partially dependent on the deceased for support or services 

It’s important to note that Florida has a statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. In most cases, the claim must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased’s death. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, so it’s essential to consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected. 

Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Claim  

To succeed in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff (the person filing the claim) must prove that the defendant’s negligence or wrongful conduct caused the death of their loved one. This involves establishing four key elements: 

Duty of Care 

The plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased. This means that the defendant had a legal obligation to act in a reasonable manner to avoid causing harm to others. 

Breach of Duty 

The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty of care by acting in a negligent or wrongful manner. This may involve showing that the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person would in similar circumstances. 

Causation 

The plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the deceased’s death. In other words, the death would not have occurred but for the defendant’s negligent or wrongful conduct. 

Damages 

Finally, the plaintiff must show that they have suffered damages as a result of the wrongful death, such as economic losses and emotional distress. 

Proving negligence in a wrongful death claim can be complex and often requires a thorough investigation and the assistance of expert witnesses. An experienced wrongful death attorney can help gather evidence, consult with experts, and build a strong case on your behalf. 

When Wrongful Death Strikes in Boca Raton 

Losing a loved one is never easy, but when that loss is caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct, the grieving process can be even more difficult. If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death in Boca Raton, it’s essential to understand your legal rights and options. While no amount of compensation can ever truly make up for your loss, a successful wrongful death claim can help ease the financial burden and provide a sense of justice and closure. 

If you believe that your loved one’s death was caused by negligence or wrongful conduct, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced Boca Raton wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. Remember, you don’t have to face this difficult time alone – help is available. 

Your Dedicated Advocates, Every Step of the Way 

At Fetterman Law, we understand the immense pain and challenges that come with losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct. Our experienced and compassionate wrongful death attorneys are dedicated to helping families in the Boca Raton area navigate this difficult time and fight for the justice and compensation they deserve. 

Contact us today to set up a free consultation and case assessment with a member of our legal team.  

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west palm beach injury lawyer Evan Fetterman

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Evan Fetterman

Injury and Accident law

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