Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Attorney

Losing a loved one due to another’s negligence is heartbreaking. The emotional and financial fallout can be brutal, leaving you dealing with steep bills while suffering from grief. While the Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorneys at Freedland Harwin Valori Gander cannot undo your loss, we can help you fight for fair compensation and a measure of justice. We’re committed to providing compassionate, supportive legal assistance to people with wrongful death cases. We’re here for you.

Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Daniel Harwin

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Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence is a devastating experience that no one should have to go through. Between the heartache of losing your loved one and the financial burden that accompanies such a loss, the aftermath can be overwhelming. A wrongful death lawsuit lets you seek compensation and hold the responsible party accountable. 

At Freedland Harwin Valori Gander, we’re dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal representation for clients struggling with the loss of a loved one. If you’ve lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, the Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorneys at FVHG can explain your legal options and protect your rights.

What Is Wrongful Death?

wrongful death occurs when someone dies because of another party’s intentional or negligent actions or omissions. Various scenarios can lead to wrongful death, including the following:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Car accidents
  • Workplace incidents
  • Defective or faulty products
  • Unsafe property conditions

The personal representative of the deceased’s estate may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. These lawsuits allow the surviving family members and dependents to pursue compensation for some of their losses. The amounts and types of compensation recovered in these cases vary based on factors specific to each case.

How Can FHVG’s Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Attorneys Assist Your Family?

At FHVG, we understand the emotional turmoil that often accompanies wrongful death cases, especially in situations in which the cause of death is unknown or under investigation. Our medical malpractice attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, FL are dedicated to assisting clients who have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. We help you navigate the tumultuous times that follow by offering compassionate emotional support and thorough guidance to assist you with the next steps.

Our experienced wrongful death attorneys in Fort Lauderdale will do the following:

  • Investigate your loved one’s death to uncover vital information and evidence, such as surveillance footage, police reports, and witness statements.
  • Use the evidence we collect to construct a strong case. 
  • Handle necessary paperwork and ensure it gets filed on time.
  • Offer legal guidance to help you understand the process and make informed decisions.
  • Pursue fair reductions of medical bills if the care provider places a lien on your settlement or lawsuit award.  
  • Negotiate with the opposition and insurers to obtain a fair and just settlement.
  • Represent you in court proceedings and fight for compensation. 

Our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyers understand that pursuing a legal claim can seem daunting, but we’re here to help. We’ll walk you through every step, offering the support you need to push forward and seek justice. 

We’ve secured over $2.6 billion in verdicts and settlements, working for over 20 years to protect negligence and malpractice victims’ rights in Florida and nationwide. Our attorneys have received recognition from SuperLawyers, Best Lawyers in America, Courtroom View Network, and the South Florida Legal Guide for their unwavering efforts and commitment to client interests.

Proven Experience in Our Case Results

  • $24.5 Million – Jury verdict for the estate of a 34-year-old woman who bled to death during childbirth.
  • $20.2 Million – Jury verdict on behalf of the family of a 54-year-old man who died in the hospital due to narcotic overdose and lack of monitoring. 
  • $12.2 Million – Settlement on behalf of the family of a 47-year-old woman whose death resulted from the use of a dangerous pharmaceutical drug.
  • $9 Million – Settlement in a wrongful death brought by a widow after her husband was killed by a distracted truck driver. 

We recently obtained a verdict in Palm Beach County for $20.2 million in a wrongful death case that was featured as a 2023 “Top 10 Most Impressive Verdict” in the county on the Courtroom Video Network. The lawyers at our firm have collected hundreds of millions in wrongful death cases, and we continue to advocate for the families of the victims.  

It is clear. We’re here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. If you’ve lost a loved one due to another’s negligent actions, we can help you take the next steps. Call us at (954) 467-6400 or complete our online contact form for effective legal assistance.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?

Under Florida law, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit. They can file suit on behalf of the following family members:

  • Immediate family members, including parents, siblings, and spouses
  • Dependent children
  • Dependent adults

The personal representative serves as the plaintiff in the case. For example, suppose the deceased’s surviving spouse is also the estate’s personal representative. In that case, they will serve as the plaintiff and file the claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate. 

What Damages May Be Claimed in a Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The types of damages you and your loved ones can pursue in a wrongful death lawsuit vary based on the individual and their relationship to the deceased. Most wrongful death claims seek two types of damages: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages cover financial losses resulting from the death, such as hospital bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages. Non-economic damages are harder to quantify because they don’t compensate for monetary losses. Instead, non-economic damages cover your emotional and psychological injuries, including pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of support. 

Under Florida law, a select few individuals may pursue these types of compensation after a wrongful death. Potential beneficiaries include spouses, minor children, and parents. The law also provides the following:

  • Surviving spouses may recover damages for loss of companionship, loss of protection, and mental pain and suffering.
  • Children under age 25, and all children if there is no surviving spouse, may recover compensation for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering.
  • Each parent of a deceased minor child may also recover damages for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover damages for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.
  • Those who paid the deceased’s funeral or medical expenses may receive reimbursement for those costs.
  • The deceased’s personal representative may recover damages for the deceased’s estate, including loss of earnings, loss of prospective net accumulations of an estate, and medical and funeral expenses.

To evaluate the loss of support and services, courts consider the survivor’s relationship to the deceased, the replacement value of the deceased’s services, and the deceased’s probable net income available for distribution to the individual. 

However, under the so-called “Free Kill Law,” Florida restricts the damages recoverable by adult children and the parents of adult children in wrongful death actions based on medical malpractice. In such cases, adult children 25 and older cannot recover compensation for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering. Meanwhile, parents of children 25 and older cannot recover damages for mental pain and suffering in malpractice cases.

Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Suits in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Florida’s statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit at two years from the death in most cases. Some exceptions may apply in specific scenarios. 

For example, the same two-year statute of limitations applies to medical malpractice cases. However, if the cause of the incident isn’t discovered immediately, the deadline extends to two years after the cause is discovered instead of two years after the death. However, there is a hard cap of four years from when the malpractice occurred. 

If you don’t file your claim before the applicable deadline, you may lose your right to pursue compensation from the negligent party. A knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney can determine which statutes apply to your case so that your claim is filed on time and your right to seek compensation is protected.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful death cases can be complex, leaving you with many questions. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What Is the Average Wrongful Death Settlement in Florida?

Wrongful death settlements in Florida can range from several thousand to millions of dollars. The amount you may pursue will depend on the circumstances of the case, such as the extent of financial losses.

What if the Cause of Death Is Unclear or Under Investigation?

Sometimes, the cause of death is unknown or under investigation. The next steps in a wrongful death claim under these circumstances vary based on the specifics of your case, but you must prove the other party caused your loved one’s death to collect compensation. Your lawyer can offer insight into the next steps if the cause of death is still unknown or being investigated.

Does Insurance Cover Wrongful Death Claims?

An insurance policy may cover part of your wrongful death losses, such as funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, and medical bills. It’s important to understand that coverage and benefits can vary based on the policy’s terms. However, it may not offer all the compensation you deserve, so filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be a viable avenue to collect the additional compensation owed.

What if I Can’t Afford an Attorney?

The thought of trying to afford an attorney after losing a loved one can be stressful. However, at Freedland Harwin Valori Gander, we work almost exclusively on a contingency fee basis. Thus, you don’t need to worry about paying us out of pocket. Instead, our payment is a percentage of your verdict or settlement. If we don’t recover a settlement or verdict for you, you don’t owe us anything.

Whom Can I Hold Accountable for a Wrongful Death?

You may hold various parties accountable for the wrongful death of a loved one, such as negligent medical staff or the other driver in a fatal car accident. The responsible party depends on the circumstances of the accident and who was involved. A skilled Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney can help you determine whom you may hold accountable.

Are Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlements Taxable in Fort Lauderdale, FL?

According to the Internal Revenue Service, wrongful death settlements are non-taxable. These claims are classified as non-taxable because they result from personal injuries or physical illness. 

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