Wrongful Death Lawyer Vero Beach, FL
Tuttle Law, P.A.
A wrongful death lawyer Vero Beach, FL family members trust from Tuttle Law, P.A. knows how devastating it is when a loved one dies unexpectedly. However, when your loved one’s death is caused by another’s negligence, it can be even more difficult for the survivors to stomach. While no amount of money can assuage the grief, it can definitely help ease the financial burdens left behind. If your loved one passed away due to another’s negligent actions, you are able to file a wrongful death claim.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
“Wrongful death” occurs when someone dies because of another’s misconduct or negligence. These claims are filed separately from criminal prosecutions, so survivors could possibly receive damages from both legal actions. However, just because a plaintiff loses a wrongful death lawsuit doesn’t necessarily mean they would be prosecuted under a criminal lawsuit.
Damages awarded in wrongful death claims are “pecuniary,” or financial. These damages are meant to cover lapsed medical bills and funeral expenses, loss of salary, loss of inheritance and even emotional support.
Multiple circumstances can qualify as “wrongful death.” Some of the most common include:
- Medical malpractice
- Car accidents
- Harmful exposure while on the job
- Criminal misconduct
How to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is brought against a person or entity that somehow caused the death of another person. In general, negligence, recklessness, wrongdoing, carelessness, or malicious intent must be involved. These claims are meant to provide compensation for the losses that resulted from the death.
Wrongful death claims are usually filed by the executor of the estate. This person acts on behalf of any surviving family members. When an executor, or family members, are interested in taking legal action, it is recommended to consult a lawyer from our team. By working with Tuttle Law, P.A., we will help you to ensure that your rights and interests are protected as you move forward with a case.
In order to file a wrongful death claim, the following requirements must be met:
- An individual must be dead
- The death must have been caused by another’s negligence or misconduct
- The surviving family members are suffering monetary injuries due to the death
- A personal representative must be appointed to oversee the defendant’s estate
In many cases, a wrongful death case is quite similar to a personal injury case in the elements involved.
What Needs to be Proven in a Wrongful Death Claim?
To win a wrongful death claim, you must be able to prove one of three elements. First, you must prove “duty of care.” This means that the defendant was responsible for the wellbeing of the plaintiff. People providing this care could include a doctor providing treatment to a patient or an Uber driver providing safe transport to a passenger.
Second, you must prove there was a “breach” of this duty of care, meaning the defended acted in an irresponsible or negligent manner, resulting in the plaintiff’s death. Finally, you must prove “causation” — that the death was a direct result of the defendant’s actions.
What Should I Do Next?
If you lost a loved one to negligence, a FL wrongful death lawyer in Vero Beach would like to talk with you about your legal options. Tuttle Law, P.A., has been helping individuals and families for years. Whether you lost someone to a tragic car accident or a similar event involving negligence, we may be able to recover compensation for your losses.
Following a fatal accident, evidence should be preserved as quickly as possible. If the alleged liable party is savvy, they could attempt to destroy evidence. It is not uncommon for personal injury law firms to deal with this kind of behavior, and for this reason, our team encourages plaintiffs to take the right steps as soon as possible.
Our lawyers can work with leading investigators, analysts, and expert witnesses who can investigate what happened, review records, gather evidence, and take witness statements. While we handle this important part of the process, you can focus on healing from your loss.
When Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Generally speaking, a claim can be filed against a person or entity after their actions, or lack of led to a death. Examples of events that might lead a person to contact Tuttle Law, P.A., for information about a wrongful death claim include:
- Motor Vehicle Accident Fatalities
- Workplace Fatalities
- Premise Liability Fatalities
The above is not exhaustive, but rather examples of situations that could result in a wrongful death claim. As no two cases are exactly alike, it is recommended that you consult with a respected lawyer, such as one from our law firm, immediately.
Who Can Pursue A Wrongful Death Claim?
The alleged responsible party for the death could face criminal charges from the state prosecutor. It is important to understand that with or without criminal prosecution when negligence is a factor, surviving family members can typically pursue compensation. Surviving family members include:
- Surviving spouse or legal partner
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
Filing a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida
In the state of Florida, the wrongful death statute states that a person who dies as the result of someone else’s violation of a contract or warranty, a wrongful act, or someone else’s negligence was the victim of wrongful death. If you have lost someone you love through no fault of their own, you may need assistance from a wrongful death lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, such as the ones at Tuttle Law.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In the state of Florida, a personal representative of the deceased is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Typically, this person is listed in the deceased’s will. If there is no will or estate plan, a court-appointed representative will file the suit on behalf of the affected parties. Affected parties may include the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents. If the deceased was a minor, his or her parents can file a claim. If the deceased person did not have a spouse, his or her adult children may file a claim. In some cases, other blood relatives or adoptive siblings may file a claim.
What Are the Different Types of Wrongful Death Claims?
There are many examples of wrongful death situations, but some of them are more common than others. Was your loved one in an auto accident that resulted in their death? If they were not at fault, consider contacting a wrongful death lawyer in Vero Beach, FL. Perhaps a product you paid for had a serious malfunction or maybe a vehicle was defective. Other common examples of wrongful death claims include death resulting from medical malpractice or from intentional criminal actions. If you aren’t sure if your situation falls under a wrongful death claim, don’t be afraid to reach out to an attorney. He or she can guide you in the right direction with compassion.
Do Wrongful Death Claims Have a Statute of Limitations?
If you want to file a wrongful death claim in Florida, you must contact a wrongful death lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, within two years of the date of death in most cases. For example, if your loved one passed away on December 1, 2021, you likely have until December 1, 2023, to file the case. However, there are some exceptions. A qualified attorney from Tuttle Law can talk to you about your case, walk you through the statute of limitations, and help you decide if you should file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Florida.
Four Common Myths About Wrongful Death Cases
Myth: Life Insurance Will Cover Everything
Fact: If your loved one had life insurance, you’re one step ahead of the game. Too many people pass away without life insurance, leaving their family scrambling to try to pay for funeral costs. However, life insurance doesn’t cover things such as lost wages or medical bills that came between the time of the accident and the time of death or future lost wages, loss of consortium or loss of services. All of those will be taken into account in a survivorship claim — which covers expenses and losses while the decedent was still alive after the injury that eventually led to death — and a wrongful death lawsuit.
Myth: It Was an Accident, so I Can’t File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Fact: The vast majority of wrongful death lawsuits involve accidents. Only a very small percentage are due to willful acts such as assault or murder. Just because it was an accident doesn’t mean it wasn’t a wrongful death. A Tuttle Law wrongful death lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, can help you determine if your loved one’s demise was a wrongful death or not. If it was, you may have a solid case despite the accidental nature of your relative’s passing.
Myth: A Wrongful Death Case Will Take Too Long
It can seem like forever when you’re waiting for a wrongful death case to proceed. However, the majority of wrongful death cases will wind up settling out of court, mitigating the need for a lengthy, drawn-out trial. Many are settled on the order of months, not the years you worry about waiting. Your wrongful death lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, from Tuttle Law is there to do the heavy lifting for you, so you can grieve in peace.
Myth: I Don’t Need an Attorney to File a Wrongful Death Claim
You definitely want to have an attorney to file a wrongful death claim. There are too many intricacies and finer points of law to navigate through that can trip up the average layman. Lawyers have trained for years to practice law, and are paid to keep up with continuing education, making sure they’re up-to-date with any changes being made in the law. Unless you’re a lawyer, you probably don’t have time to familiarize yourself with all your state’s laws about wrongful death lawsuits, and you likely haven’t learned any negotiating skills to use with the defendant’s insurance company.
6 Causes for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Your parent or child has suddenly passed away. Nothing can bring them back, but if their passing was the result of an injury or illness sustained at the hands of another person or entity, whether accidental or intentional, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the people at fault. There are six major categories of wrongful death lawsuits Tuttle Law can help you pursue.
1. Medical Malpractice
If a doctor, nurse, hospital or nursing home makes a mistake that results in the death of a patient, you may be able to sue them for medical malpractice. Medical professionals must follow a standard of care in treating your parent or child, and when that trust is breached, it is medical malpractice.
2. Premise Liability
Premise liability refers to an unsafe building or grounds. If there was an uneven walkway and your loved one tripped and fell, you may have grounds for a premise liability claim against the owner of the building. A wrongful death lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, can help you determine if a slip and fall accident warrants a lawsuit.
3. Car Accident Including Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
Car accidents are probably the most common personal injury that results in wrongful death. The accident may be the fault of another driver, a car malfunction, an error in judgement or weather conditions.
Pedestrian and bicycle accidents most often occur when the pedestrian or cyclist is hit by a motor vehicle. Tuttle Law may be able to tell you if the accident that claimed the life of your loved one merits a wrongful death claim.
4. Accidental Death and Overdoses
Illegal and prescription drugs are easy to overuse and overdose on. The amount of overdoses is increasing; the CDC reports that 70,630 overdose deaths happened in 2019, an increase of 4% over 2018. While not all these overdoses would fall under the auspices of wrongful death claims, a wrongful death lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, can help you determine if yoursdoes.
5. Workplace Injuries or Illnesses
Most people know that workplace injuries and illnesses often justify a workers’ comp claim, but not many realize that a wrongful death claim could also apply. If your loved one passes away as a result of their workplace injury or illness, a wrongful death lawyer in Vero Beach, FL, may help you determine if a wrongful death claim is appropriate.
6. Criminal Behavior
If your loved one is assaulted or murdered, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against their assailant. This is separate from the criminal justice system; a wrongful death claim is a matter for the civil court.
Wrongful death cases can involve tragic emotions, confusion, and grief. Having a dedicated Florida wrongful death lawyer in Vero Beach at your side is imperative, so call Tuttle Law, P.A., for a consultation today.