Wrongful Death Attorneys Miami
The death of a loved one can be truly devastating, especially if it is caused by someone being careless, negligent or willfully harmful. For over 30 years, our experienced attorneys at Panter, Panter and Sampedro have litigated wrongful death cases to help families like yours recover damages for their emotional suffering and financial losses. Let our family help your family.
Wrongful death is when a person dies because of another person’s, or a legal entity’s, misconduct. While it is entirely possible that the person or entity may face some criminal prosecution, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action. That means that the guilty party would need to pay, and the standard of proof is not as high as it is in criminal cases.
Pursuing Compensation Through A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful Death Claims
There are many different ways a wrongful death claim can arise. Fundamentally, most wrongful death claims are based upon a death resulting from negligence. This means that someone was not exercising appropriate or ethical care. There are always four elements in negligence:
- Duty – the defendant has a duty to people, including the person bringing the suit, to exercise a reasonable level of care
- Breach – the person being sued fails to uphold that duty through action or inaction
- Damages – because of that action or inaction, the person bringing the suit suffered
- Causation – the injuries were a direct result of someone’s action or inaction
Wrongful Death Examples
There are many different ways you can bring about a wrongful death tort in Florida. The following list is not meant to be comprehensive. If you are not sure, it would be a good idea to call this wrongful death law firm to ask. Check out the list below:
Wrongful Death vs. Manslaughter
Wrongful death and manslaughter are two different things. The biggest difference comes in which courts deal with the cases. Manslaughter is a criminal charge. As such, the state or the federal government prosecutes these charges. Because the result would be someone going to prison, the standard of evidence is higher.
Wrongful death takes place in civil courts. Typically, close relatives of the deceased files charges. If the defendant is found guilty, then they will pay damages for medical bills, funeral expenses, the expected loss of income, and more.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Cases
We understand that losing a loved one is incredibly difficult. Our team is here to guide you every step of the way.
There is a *statute of limitations in Florida. That means that you need to act quickly. Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible in order to pursue your claim.
In a wrongful death suit, the jury is responsible for determining the damages after they have heard all of the evidence. That being said, the court has final say, and can adjust the damages up or down.
Depending on the circumstances of the death, there may also be punitive damages. Our legal system doesn’t want people to act negligently, which means that they will actively punish those who do wrong. The court may decide that the action was so wrong that they award the plaintiff even more money, to stop others from doing the same thing.
How A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works
When you first hire an attorney, the law firm goes through a process called investigation. This is where lawyers on both sides try to collect all of the relevant facts about the case. A good lawyer will also look through the wrongful death statutes, to see which parts of law or case law apply to the case.
Before the trial, both groups of lawyers may attempt to negotiate with each other to settle the lawsuit out of court. If liability is extremely clear, this can happen. Otherwise it is not very common. If this negotiation fails, the trial will proceed.
How Do You Prove Wrongful Death
There are many different sources of evidence that can help you win your wrongful death lawsuit. The below is a good starting point, but it is not meant to be a complete list:
- Pictures and videos of the scene of the accident
- Medical records
- Eyewitness reports
- Police reports
- Expert testimony
- Income statements
This can be daunting to collect and use in court. It is a good idea to leave this to an experienced wrongful death lawyer. We can take care of all of this for you.
Miami Wrongful Death Lawyers
Our team at Panter Law has the expertise that you need to win your case. We have already helped many people throughout South Florida, and we would be proud to help you next. It can be incredibly daunting to face the legal system by yourself, especially after the death of a loved one.
We understand what people go through after someone has passed in your family. Our team is fully committed to ensuring that justice is done. Call us today.
*On March 24, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (HB) 837 reducing Florida’s statute of limitations for general negligence cases from four years to two years. In other words, a lawsuit alleging negligence must now be filed within two years of the date of the alleged negligence or the claim will be forever barred.