Wrongful Death Lawyer Fort Lauderdale FL
If you have lost a loved one as the result of another person’s or entity’s negligence, a wrongful death lawyer in Fort Lauderdale FL from Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. would like to discuss your case. Our lawyers strive to offer professional, trusted legal advice to family members who might be going through a challenging time. Guided by years of experience and readily equipped with compassionate support, we may help you to understand your legal options surrounding a wrongful death.
Understanding a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death claim is specific to another party’s negligence, wrongdoing, or carelessness which ultimately resulted in the loss of life. If such an incident happens, family members of the individual who passed away might be able file a civil suit. Through this, compensation for a broad range of damages may be recoverable. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a wrongful death lawyer may pursue a claim against individual parties, entities, or both, regardless of criminal charges being separately filed.
The Stages of a Wrongful Death Suit
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that allows certain family members related to the deceased to hold a negligent person or company financially responsible for their loved one’s death. Spouses, children, parents, and financially dependent relatives might be able to recover damages under your state’s law, in this instance Florida. When your loved one dies their death is going to trigger a litigation process.
Understanding the steps in the process of a wrongful death lawsuit can help you in dealing with a wrongful death in Florida.
- You should first contact an experienced lawyer and provide details about your loved one’s death. If their death was a public affair and you have a list of witnesses, you should provide the witnesses contact information names and any other information you collected from them in writing to your lawyer. By providing all this information you are going straight into step two.
- Your lawyer is going to investigate. Not only are they going to investigate by looking at the witnesses, and the people involved, but they are going to investigate your claim. This means they are going to be talking to the witnesses and going over the medical records that you provide as well as the autopsy report. This part of the investigation usually has a lot of questions involving you.
- When you have filed a wrongful death lawsuit you must notify the defendant about your allegations. This is called a service of process. Your lawyer is going to help you determine where to file the lawsuit, as there is going to be principal jurisdiction that limits courts authority to make legal decisions. If the court does not have jurisdiction over the parties of the claims it cannot follow the case. Make sure that you file your case within two years of the death. Your wrongful death lawyer is going to be able to tell you that there is a statute of limitations, and ensure that you’re filing the paperwork correctly to make a statute of limitations.
- The next part of the process after filing the case legally with the court system is called discovery. This is a process where both sides are going to request information from the other. You may have to provide evidence to the defense and they may have to provide evidence to you. In some cases you may request that privileged information be protected from discovery but the court might step in if the defense refuses to hand over relevant documents or other information. Discovery is a process meant to help both sides of the lawsuit plan the argument so that there will not be a bunch of surprises at the trial.
- The trial will begin once discovery closes. Some tiles are going to take longer than others. It depends on the complexity of the case and whether there is a judge or jury. Usually both sides of each party are present and they are going to present both sides of their cases and may cross-examine the others’ witnesses. Once the trial has begun you should expect some of the questions and your wrongful death lawyer is going to help you prepare for questions that you may be asked.
- Once both sides present their case the judge or the jury will make a decision and if you are unhappy you may appeal.
Pursuable Legal Claims Handled By a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Whatever the cause of the loss of life, a wrongful death lawyer can analyze your claim and let you know your possible options. Wrongful death lawyers at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., handle a variety of cases which include:
- Accidents or collisions involving a car, bus, or train
- Bicycle or motorcycle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products or parts
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Slip and fall injuries
Through diligent determination, a wrongful death lawyer may meticulously navigate the legal system and fight for the justice you and your family deserve.
Potential Acquirable Damages from a Wrongful Death
Each and every wrongful death claim is inherently unique. A wrongful death lawyer may factor in a number of different things to calculate a monetary amount; some of these could include:
- The relationship between the deceased person and survivors
- The net income of the deceased individual
- The ‘replacement’ value of what the deceased offered
- The life expectancy of the parties involved
A lawyer might also consider the relationship to the deceased; generally, specific individuals are entitled to certain types of compensation. For example:
- The surviving spouse may receive damages for the loss of companionship, mental pain, and protection.
- Children under the age of 18 might seek damages for loss of parental companionship, guidance, and emotional suffering.
- A parent of a minor child who died because of negligence may recover damages for mental anguish.
All survivors of a deceased party might also be able to seek damages for loss of services and support from current or future losses in addition to medical and funeral costs. Perhaps the best thing you can do right now for yourself and your family is to hire a lawyer who is experienced in handling delicate cases like wrongful death. Our team understands the depth and anguish that comes along with these lawsuits, and are not afraid to fight unrelentingly for our grieving clients. We can handle the legal side of things so that you can focus on taking care of yourself during such a painful time.
Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., Wrongful Death Lawyers
The unexpected loss of a loved one can be devastating. Pursuing legal action against a negligent party or loved one may be one of the last things on your mind; however, because of the statute of limitations and the risk of losing evidence, it’s important to seek a lawyer as quickly as possible. Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., is ready to provide you with the support and voice you may need to get you through this turbulent time. To schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death lawyer families trust, please call our office.
Maternal Death Ratio
Most people would be shocked to learn that in the past 15 years, the number of women in this country who have died during childbirth has gone from 700 per year to just under 1,100 deaths per year. During this same period, the maternal mortality ratio increased from 17.5 deaths per 100,000 live births to 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. Although not all of these women die because of medical malpractice, a good portion of them do.
The death ratio also varies from state to state. For example, in California, the maternal death ratio is 4.5, while the maternal death ratio in Illinois is 14.7. Some of the reasons for maternal death include lack of access to health care, poverty, and chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular issues, diabetes, mental health disorders, obesity, smoking, and substance abuse.
At Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., each of our wrongful death lawyers knows that even though the above reasons account for many childbirth deaths, there are far too many that occur as a result of negligence on the part of medical professionals. Steps that every hospital and birth facility should address include:
- Focusing on specific emergency pregnancy, labor, and delivery emergency situations that can occur. Examples of these emergency issues include preeclampsia (high blood pressure due to pregnancy) and hemorrhaging.
- Identifying issues that could cause medical personnel to fail to recognize emergency issues and provide quick and appropriate treatment.
- Defining what the best practices are that should be used in the event of an emergency situation and ensure that all medical staff have been fully trained in these best practices.
For example, as a wrongful death lawyer can attest, one of the most frequent causes of maternal death is excessive blood loss during childbirth. Every birthing facility should have procedures in place that all of the obstetrical staff should be aware of and practice so they are ready in the event of this type of emergency should occur. There should be a cart ready for each patient in labor that has all the medical equipment and supplies to treat hemorrhaging, as well as any medication that may be needed to help stop the bleeding.
How Preventable Are Maternal Deaths?
Many states have implemented studies to review maternal deaths and develop programs to help prevent them. The report issued by the state of Illinois conducted found that approximately one-third of all maternal deaths that occur each year were preventable. The report from the state of New York found that one in five maternal deaths were preventable. Florida’s report concluded that in half of all maternal deaths every year, medical staff fail to follow nationally recognized standards of care.
Finding the Right Wrongful Death Lawyer
When negligence, wrongdoing, recklessness, or malicious intent caused the death of someone you love, you might feel overwhelmed with emotions. Your feelings could be so strong that the idea of contacting a wrongful death lawyer might seem very difficult. As hard as this step might be, you are encouraged to take legal action as soon as you can. Please know that the right wrongful death lawyer can handle the complex parts of your case so you can focus on healing.
If you have lost a loved one to negligence, let Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., help you. We understand what you may be going through and offer our condolences. We would like you to know that a consultation is available if you would like to talk about what happened and whether there are legal options. In general, if any form of negligence caused your loved one’s death, compensation is available. A legal claim won’t change what happened, but it can help to take some stress off your shoulders and add a sense of closure.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT WRONGFUL DEATH LAWYER
There are many lawyers, and not all are suited to wrongful death cases. The following will help you to choose a good firm for your case.
- Review the Firm’s Reputation – One of the best ways to find a good wrongful death lawyer is to review the firm’s reputation. You might ask people you know or do a search for the best lawyer in Florida that handles wrongful death cases. You should find information that points you in the right direction.
- Schedule a Case Review – Once you’ve found a few firms, including Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., you should schedule a case review. Use this time to discuss what happened and ask questions about the firm’s background, experience, available resources, and legal style. You should also ask the lawyer what he or she will need to get started; for example, medical records, bills, photos, and so forth.
- Their Cost – The vast majority of lawyers will handle these kinds of cases on contingency. This means you are not charged any upfront fees. Some firms might ask you for a retainer for taking your case. If a law firm is asking you for this, make sure you consider whether you can afford this and get the details of what it includes.
Wrongful death cases can be complicated and time-consuming. You should not choose any random lawyer. Reach out to a firm that specifically handles wrongful death cases, such as Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. We have the knowledge, experience, and skillset your case may need. Rest assured we will seek maximum damages through a settlement, via negotiations, or at trial. Please do not delay in calling Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., for more information.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If your loved one died during childbirth, and you suspect negligent medical care was the cause, contact a Fort Lauderdale, FL wrongful death lawyer from Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. today. We understand what a horrific time this is for you and will work diligently to get you the justice you deserve. Call our office to schedule a free case evaluation and determine what kind of financial justice your family may be entitled to.
We’re Here to Answer Your Questions
A wrongful death lawyer can answer any questions you may have about filing a wrongful death claim. You may have some degree of familiarity with wrongful death suits, but it’s always best to learn all you can before seeking compensation. If you’re completely unfamiliar with what constitutes a wrongful death, the right lawyer can also walk you through all the necessary details so you can confidently decide if a wrongful death suit is right for you.
While you may be grieving, having the right lawyer on your side can help you set your emotions aside temporarily so you may win the compensation that you deserve. After all, in order to properly grieve, you’ll need to be free of any financial burdens that can result from a death. Any preventable death is a tragedy. However, not all of them can count as a wrongful death in the eyes of a court. When deciding whether or not you should pursue damages for the untimely loss of a loved one, there are a few key definitions to remember.
Wrongful Death or Manslaughter? What’s the Difference?
If you’re considering pursuing damages from a wrongful death claim, you most likely have many questions. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether wrongful death counts as manslaughter – and what the difference is. After all, both involve an unnecessary death as a result of another party’s negligence.
- Manslaughter: Manslaughter is typically reserved for criminal cases. This means the offender may be incarcerated or otherwise punished by the state. This is an important distinction to make, because a manslaughter charge is criminal in nature, and is thus treated as a crime against the state.
- Wrongful death: Wrongful death is reserved for civil suits. Unlike manslaughter, wrongful death charges are filed by the friends and family of the deceased. This means that instead of jail time, the party responsible for the wrongful death will have to pay financial compensation.
Manslaughter and wrongful death cases are similar, but the punishments are very different. A party that is convicted of manslaughter may have to pay damages in addition to their jail or prison sentence, but this isn’t guaranteed by the court, and you shouldn’t count on it. Instead, you can rely on a wrongful death lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.
How to Know It’s Time to Contact a Lawyer
The grief, pain, and emotional trauma of a loved one passing away can be tragic enough. Then to realize that maybe another party or individual had played a part in the fatal incident can add salt to an already open wound. Surviving loved ones of someone who passed away wrongfully are encouraged to talk with a lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can determine whether you have a strong case against the at-fault person.
Oftentimes, family members who are involved in the case for wrongful death suffer substantial financial loss, both in the current moment and future. These losses may include medical care and burial costs for the deceased, in addition to lost future earnings for the home. The pain and suffering of those left behind is incalculable. And while a lawyer cannot bring back the person you love so dearly, they can fight relentlessly for your family so that you can obtain a sense of justice in the matter.
If you aren’t sure whether it’s time to hire a lawyer, ask yourself this question: Did someone’s reckless, negligent, or criminal behavior cause the death of your loved one? Was someone at least partially responsible for what happened? Do you suspect that someone was at-fault, but aren’t sure? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s time to call us at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. now.
Family members who may be eligible to file a lawsuit in honor of their loved one include:
- Immediate family members
- Mothers and fathers
- Sons and daughters
- Domestic partners
- Husband and wives
Reach out to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. Today
At Needle & Ellenberg, we understand that in the wake of the sudden and avoidable death of a loved one, you’ll have many questions – and no satisfying answers. You need time to grieve, and being forced to pay for medical bills, funerary expenses, and any other debts you may have inherited is just another headache that you shouldn’t have to deal with.
It’s challenging enough to process the loss of a family member or a close friend, and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to deal with the financial impact of a wrongful death while you’re still dealing with the emotional impact of your loss.
No amount of money can bring back a loved one, but it can help you move on and overcome any financial burdens and obstacles that have resulted from their death. Reach out to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. today, and see how a FL wrongful death lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help.
Mistakes to Avoid in a Wrongful Death Case
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences a person can endure. Although it will not bring your family member back, a wrongful death lawsuit can help you recover some of the financial losses that resulted from the death. Here are a few common mistakes to avoid in a wrongful death case.
- Arguing with family members. A death in the family is already difficult enough. Arguing with your family members can make the situation even more stressful to deal with. Although tensions may be running high, it is important to remain calm and listen to one another. If you constantly fight with one another, you will create more hostility and make it more difficult to file a successful wrongful death case.
- Saying too much to the insurance company. If your loved one was killed in an accident, the negligent party’s insurance company may try to contact you to offer you a settlement. It is important to recognize that the insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. They only care about their bottom line. Therefore, you should not say too much to them. If you do, you could jeopardize your case. You also shouldn’t accept the first settlement offer, as it likely will not cover all of your losses.
- Waiting too long to file a lawsuit. Dealing with the death of a loved one is not easy. When you are in the process of grieving, pursuing legal action might be the last thing on your mind. However, if you intend to recover financial damages from your family member’s death, you can’t wait too long to file a lawsuit. In Florida, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years. After that deadline has passed, you will no longer be eligible for compensation.
- Thinking you don’t need a lawyer. Wrongful death cases can be very complex. As such, you do not want to handle your case on your own. If you hire a skilled wrongful death lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL to represent you, it increases your chances of a successful outcome. He or she can make sure that you have the proper evidence and file the necessary documents on time. Your lawyer can also handle all negotiations with the insurance company.