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Wrongful Death Attorney in Sebastian
Losing a loved one is always a tragic, stressful time. However, if your loved one was killed by someone else’s actions or negligence, you may also be feeling anger and confusion. You may be left wondering about your financial future after your loved one’s death — not to mention wondering about how to get justice on his or her behalf.
At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, our experienced Sebastian wrongful death lawyers know that no amount of money can bring back your loved one. But we also understand that, from a practical standpoint, receiving compensation for his or her death can help you start to pick up the pieces of your life again and secure your financial future.
If you have lost a loved one because of someone else’s actions or negligence, we’re here to help. Call a wrongful death attorney in Sebastian at (772) 794-7774 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Seeking a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Sebastian
In order to seek a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, you must meet certain familial criteria. Under Florida law, in order to seek a lawsuit, you must be:
- The decedent’s (that is, deceased person’s) spouse, child or parent, OR
- The blood relative or adoptive sibling who is “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.”
If a child is born out of wedlock, he or she may seek compensation if his or her mother is the victim of wrongful death. However, if his or her father is the victim, the child must show that the father formally recognized him or her and contributed support to him or her.
Damages available to the family of the decedent may include:
- End-of-life medical expenses and funeral expenses that were paid by a family member
- Loss of guidance, companionship, and protection provided by the decedent
- The value of services and support the decedent provided to surviving family members
- Mental anguish and pain and suffering if the decedent is a child
In addition to the family, there are some instances in which the decedent’s estate may also seek compensation. Damages recoverable by the estate include:
- Lost wages, benefits and other earnings, including the earning potential of the decedent, had they lived
- Medical and funeral expenses paid directly by the estate
- The value of earnings the estate could have accumulated had the decedent lived
Wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of death in the State of Florida. There are very specific circumstances in which this statute of limitations may be tolled or paused. A common circumstance is if there are criminal proceedings surrounding the death. In this case, the wrongful death statute of limitations will be tolled until criminal proceedings are completed.
Determining how much you and your family are owed in compensation can be difficult, especially when it comes to pain and suffering and topics like lost earning potential. It’s important to hire a wrongful death attorney in Sebastian who understands state law very well and has a network of professionals who can help determine the amount you are owed in compensation.
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case
Unless the at-fault party acted intentionally, you will need to prove that they acted negligently in order to successfully seek compensation. Negligence is the legal theory that if someone acts in a way that a reasonable person wouldn’t, and they cause injury or death, they should be held liable. There are four main tenets of negligence that must be proven. These include:
- Duty of care: Generally speaking, every person has a duty of care not to injure another person. This may look different in specific scenarios. For instance, a doctor has a duty to provide the best care they can to a patient. A driver has a duty to follow all traffic laws and to avoid causing an accident.
- Breach of duty of care: If a person does not uphold his or her duty of care, he or she is said to have breached it. However, not every death caused by another person happens because of a breach of duty of care. If the death happened because of an unforeseeable event, such as a person having a sudden reaction to the medicine he or she has never reacted to before, the person responsible may not be held liable for the death.
- Death caused directly by the other person’s actions: Your loved one’s death must be directly related to the actions of another person. A common example of this not being the case is if your loved one is in a car accident but ultimately dies because they suffered an unrelated heart attack. In this instance, the other driver likely could not be held liable for your loved one’s death.
- There are real compensable damages: Finally, you must show that you and your family suffered losses that can be compensated in court. This is generally easy to prove. Any of the damages listed in the previous section can satisfy this requirement.
When all of these elements are proven, you can seek compensation for your loved one’s death. While they may seem simple enough, actually proving these criteria can be very complicated in some cases. That’s why it’s so important to speak with a wrongful death attorney in Sebastian as soon as you suspect your loved one’s death is the result of someone else’s actions or negligence.
Speak to a Sebastian Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, we know how difficult this time in your life will be. We invite you to get in touch with us today for a free, no-obligation consultation, and we will determine if you have a wrongful death case. From there, we will work with experts to get you the compensation you deserve.
How involved you are in the process is up to you. Some clients want to be informed of every development, major or minor, in the case. Others just want to be updated when something major happens so they can focus on spending time with their family. Our goal is to take as much of the burden of the legal process off your shoulders as we can so you can grieve in peace.
Call a wrongful death attorney in Sebastian at (772) 794-7774 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
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