Wrongful Death Attorneys in Bradenton
Coping with the loss of a loved one is always difficult. However, when a loved one dies unexpectedly from an accident injury caused by someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions, the pain of loss and difficulty accepting the death is even worse. Survivors may well wonder why their loved one had to die and how they are going to manage without them.
You know you can’t turn back time and bring your loved one back, but you might be able to arrive at a kind of understanding and acceptance if you hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence and are compensated for your loss. An experienced Bradenton wrongful death attorney can help with this endeavor. After learning about happened to your loved one, a compassionate, knowledgeable wrongful death attorney from Dennis Hernandez & Associates can advise you on your best course of action.
Our team of trusted Bradenton attorneys has helped many families obtain justice by holding those responsible for their loved one’s death accountable for their actions, and we would be honored to help you. We will thoroughly assess all components of the compensation you deserve for your loss and support you with comprehensive guidance throughout the entire legal process. We want to advocate for you and your family and look out for your best interests during this challenging time.
What Is Wrongful Death Claim?
Was Your Loved One’s Death a Wrongful Death According to Florida Law?
The Florida Wrongful Death Act defines wrongful death as the death of a person that is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any other person. According to this definition, most accidents that are caused by someone’s wrongful or negligent actions and result in a fatality can be considered a wrongful death under Florida law.
To have grounds for a wrongful death claim, you have to prove someone else’s negligence caused the fatal injury. The specific legal standards of proof for negligence vary with the type of negligent or wrongful act and the fatal injuries that occurred, but in all cases, you have to be able to prove that:
- The negligent party or parties had a legal duty to the deceased victim.
- The negligent party or parties failed to meet their legal duty.
- The negligent party or parties’ failure to meet their legal duty caused fatal injuries.
For example, a property owner and/or manager has a legal duty to keep his property in reasonably safe conditions for guests and other visitors to the property. If he does not repair a structure he knows is dangerous and does not warn people visiting the property of the danger, he could be viewed as having failed to meet his legal duty. If the dangerous conditions on the property cause someone’s fatal injuries, the property owner’s and/or manager’s negligence can be viewed as having caused the injuries, and he could be held liable for wrongful death.
Doctors and other healthcare professionals have a legal duty to provide healthcare services that are of the same standard of quality that a reasonably prudent healthcare provider in the same field of medicine would provide. If a doctor does not meet this standard of care, then he could be viewed as having failed to meet his legal duty. When a patient is fatally injured because his doctor didn’t meet the standard of care, the doctor’s negligence could be seen as having caused the fatality, and he could be held liable for wrongful death.
Manufacturers also have a legal duty to ensure that the products they manufacture are safe when used as intended. If a manufacturer doesn’t do so, and a defective product fatally injures a consumer who was using the product as intended, the manufacturer’s negligence could be seen as having caused the fatal injuries, and they could be held liable for wrongful death.
How Do Wrongful Deaths Occur?
Wrongful deaths can occur in many different ways. A car crash caused by speeding driver that causes fatal injuries, a surgeon’s error that leads to a patient’s death, defective equipment that causes a fatal injury, and a pool without adequate safety measures that leads to a drowning could all be wrongful deaths.
Obviously, the circumstances surrounding an accident injury that results in a wrongful death can vary significantly, but most wrongful deaths are due to:
- Car accidents – Car accidents are a leading cause of accidental injury deaths in the U.S., according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. When an at-fault driver is impaired, distracted, speeding or negligent in another way and causes a fatal car crash, the death is considered a wrongful death.
- Falls – Falls are the third leading cause of injury deaths in the U.S., according to the National Safety Council. They are an especially significant problem for the elderly. If a fatal fall occurs because of dangerous conditions on someone’s property or because of a defective product, the death may be a wrongful death.
- Medical errors –Ten percent of all U.S. deaths are due to medical errors or medical negligence, according to research from Johns Hopkins, These errors include diagnostic errors, medication errors, surgical errors and other serious mistakes made by healthcare professionals.
- Workplace accidents – Fatal accidents, such as falls, can occur at any workplace, but they occur most frequently among workers in the construction, transportation, and law enforcement industries. If a fatal accident occurs due to faulty equipment or conditions in which standard safety procedures were not followed, the fatality could be a wrongful death.
- Drownings – Sadly, Florida leads the country in drowning deaths of children ages 1-4 years. The Florida Department of Health reports that annually, enough children to fill three to four preschool classrooms drown before their fifth birthday. If a drowning occurs due to lack of adequate pool safety measures, the death could be a wrongful death.
Who Can File a Florida Wrongful Death Claim?
Can You Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim?
Filing a legal claim for wrongful death may seem like too much to handle after the sudden death of a loved one. However, with support from the experienced wrongful death attorneys of Dennis Hernandez & Associates, you will have the compassionate, expert guidance you need to pursue the legal action that’s in your best interest.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act stipulates that your loved one’s personal representative (usually the Executor of the estate) is the one who can initiate a wrongful death claim to recover damages (compensation). However, both the estate and survivors may be entitled to recover damages.
According to the law, a surviving spouse has the first right to damages, followed by the children of the deceased. If there is no spouse or children, the parents of the deceased can collect damages. Also, other blood relatives and adoptive siblings who were dependent on the deceased for support or services may also be entitled to compensation.
What Damages Can Be Recovered with a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
What Compensation Can You Achieve with a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Florida, the deceased’s estate and his or her survivors can both recover damages with a wrongful death lawsuit. The damages given to the estate (and ultimately distributed to beneficiaries and/or legal heirs of the estate) are intended as compensation for injuries that occurred before the death and/or are related directly to the death. These include:
- Pain and anguish – If your loved one suffered physically and emotionally because of the injuries and their effects on his life, compensation may be available.
- Lost wages and other earnings – the money your loved one could reasonably have been expected to make if he or she had lived.
- Medical and funeral expenses – the expenses that were paid directly by the estate, including those incurred for medical procedures, time in the hospital or rehab facilities, medical equipment, medication, etc.
Survivors can also pursue additional damages to compensate them for their losses and suffering following their loved one’s death, including:
- Emotional pain and suffering. Surviving spouses and minor children may be awarded compensation for their emotional suffering due to the death. If the victim was a minor child, parents may also be compensated.
- Loss of companionship. Survivors may be able to obtain compensation for the loss of companionship, protection and support of their loved one.
- Loss of services. Survivors may be able to get compensated for the value of services their loved one would have provided from the time of the injury until his or her death, as well as in the future. These services can include:
- Home maintenance. If your deceased loved one routinely handled home repair and yard maintenance jobs, you will now have to pay someone to help with those tasks. Compensation for these expenses may be available with a wrongful death suit.
- Housework. If your deceased loved one took care of the home and cooked the meals, you may now need to pay someone to handle the daily cleaning and cooking tasks. Compensation for this expense may be possible.
- Childcare. If your deceased loved one took care of your children, you will now have to pay for that help. You may be able to get compensated for this new additional expense.
- Elder care. If your deceased love one took care for an elderly family member at home, the care will be another expense you will now have to cover. Compensation may be available for this new expense.
Calculating the total compensation you could recover with a wrongful death lawsuit can be complicated, since you must consider losses that do not have a definite monetary value. However, an experienced wrongful death attorney will be able to determine all of the damages you have suffered and advise you on how much you should be entitled to for your losses and suffering.
Experienced Bradenton Wrongful Death Attorneys Committed to Helping Survivors
Where Can You Get Help with a Wrongful Death Claim?
If you lost a loved one because they were injured by someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions, the experienced wrongful death attorneys of Dennis Hernandez & Associates, PA want to know what happened so we can help. We are well aware of how difficult life can be after a loved one dies and want to help you handle some of the financial and legal challenges you’re facing.
We are committed to obtaining justice and full and fair compensation for your pain, suffering and losses. In our pursuit of justice, we commit to:
- Making sure that all the evidence necessary to prove negligence is collected, examined and presented in a timely manner.
- Negotiating vigorously with defense attorneys and insurance company representatives on your behalf.
- Putting together a strong case to prove wrongful death and your right to recover damages for the financial and emotional impact of your loved one’s death.
- Putting our litigation skills and experience to work fighting for the full compensation you deserve.
- Providing the personal attention and communication you need to guide you successfully through the entire legal process.
- Not backing down in the fight for justice.
Many lawyers try to settle early to avoid going to trial, but we won’t settle for less than you deserve. We will not back down!
Please keep in mind that there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit, so you must file within two years of the death or you waive your right to hold the negligent party accountable and recover damages.
Call our Bradenton office today at 855.905.1815 or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website to get started on your case.