Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Attorneys
Let our Florida civil litigation lawyers help you in Broward County
The agony of losing a loved one is often compounded by the fact that another party’s negligent or malicious actions caused the death. In such cases, close relatives of the deceased might be entitled to significant compensation from those responsible. In order to begin this process, a Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer is usually retained to file suit on behalf of the victim’s relatives in Broward County, Florida courts.
The term “wrongful death” can be defined as the death of a human being which is brought about by the deliberate or negligently accidental actions of others. In Florida courts, wrongful death cases take on many forms, including, but not limited to:
- automobile, motorcycle, airplane or other moving vehicle accidents;
- trucking accidents, where overworked, fatigued drivers or improperly maintained vehicles cause fatal accidents;
- malpractice by a medical professional that leads to a patient’s death;
- exposure to hazardous situations or chemicals at work;
- occurrence of death while under the supervision of another party.
While wrongful death is an allegation often brought forth through a civil action in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale, it can be filed as a result of a criminal action. A classic example of this is the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial. In order to have been found guilty, criminally, the prosecution had to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. Even though the jury returned a verdict of “not guilty,” the family of the deceased filed a civil suit for wrongful death against Mr. Simpson and won the case due to a preponderance of the evidence, as shown by the jury’s verdict in the plaintiffs’ favor.
In order to successfully pursue this type of claim in Broward County courts, the plaintiff’s wrongful death attorney must show that the decedent’s death caused loss of income, property or other assets to the plaintiff and/or the decedent’s estate and heirs.
Types of damages awarded
The primary measure of damages in a wrongful death case is called “pecuniary” or financial injury. To determine the extent of damage, a number of factors are considered and weighted. For example, if the decedent was a single parent and sole provider for his or her dependents, greater award consideration may be given as opposed to a decedent who had no dependents. The earnings of the deceased at the time of death, as well as calculated loss of future earnings are often considered as well. Additionally, there may be intangible losses to the survivors of the deceased. The spouse may cite loss of affection, and dependent children’s loss of parental guidance.
Who makes the determination?
After being presented with all of the evidence, it is the job of the jury to determine the size of the damages to be awarded, if any. However, the jury does not necessarily have the final word. If the court deems the award to be excessive or otherwise unreasonable, it could adjust the jury’s decision accordingly. Further, if the court feels that the evidence presented fails to support the award, it can be set aside by the court and a new trial ordered.
Because of the complex nature of wrongful death claims and the importance of presenting full and accurate testimony of the losses that arise from them, it is extremely important that persons who are considering pursuit of this type of litigation seek the services of a wrongful death law firm in Ft Lauderdale that has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments for its clients. Krupnick Campbell Malone Buser Slama Hancock has more than 45 years of experience successfully advocating for victims’ loved ones.
If you have lost a close family member due to another party’s recklessness in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood or elsewhere in Broward County, call the Krupnick Campbell personal injury legal team at (954) 763-8181 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options with one of our accident lawyers.