Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Attorney for Car Accidents & More
Hold Negligent Parties Responsible for the Death of a Loved One
The accidental death of a family member, friend or loved one, is one of the most traumatic experiences a person will go through in their life. Often times, after the initial shock and grief has subsided, questions start to surface as to whether the death could have been prevented. When the death has been caused by negligent or wrongful behavior, such as a drunk driver, a motorist not paying attention, a negligent doctor, or irresponsible manufacturer of defective products, the pain can become much worse as feelings of grief and loss are intensified. A Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney, a type of personal injury lawyer, can pursue monetary benefits for your loss. This includes compensation for pain and suffering, loss of a person’s wages over their lifetime, and the emotional and financial support a family member provides.
A Skilled Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Lawyer Will Explore And Investigate All Evidence
The difference between a successful wrongful death claim, and an unsuccessful claim, is often the investigation conducted immediately after the death occurs. Make sure your lawyer is doing everything possible to preserve the memory of your family member.
We have the resources to effectively utilize forensic science.
Our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorneys will act immediately to:
- Preserve and document physical and medical evidence.
- Engage top caliber scientists, engineers and physicians to identify responsible parties.
- Challenge the assumptions made by physicians, law enforcement, civilian witnesses and other experts and observers.
- Collect and analyze tire track impressions, airbag residue and other evidence that often goes overlooked.
We probe beneath the surface to find the overlooked clues that make the difference between victory and defeat in court. Too often the victim’s attorney has neither the resources nor the expertise to effectively utilize forensic science. However, the aggressive and dedicated Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorneys at the Maus Law Firm can vindicate the rights of you, your family and your lost loved one, and help your family receive the compensation it needs and deserves following your tragic loss.
Car Accident Fatalities
A significant percentage of the wrongful death cases we handle involve car accident fatalities. If you have lost a loved one in a vehicle collision in South Florida, we are here for you, and Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer Joseph Maus is prepared to do whatever it takes to win the financial compensation your family deserves.
For families who have lost loved ones, fatal car accidents can have some obvious and not-so-obvious effects. For example, along with the grief with which family members must learn to cope, families can often face significant financial strain as well. Even if you have savings and access to life insurance, over time, the impacts of your spouse’s or other family member’s death could far exceed the assets you have available. As a result, filing a wrongful death claim is important, and it is important that you work with an experienced Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney who is capable of fully recovering the compensation to which your family is legally entitled.
Proving Liability for a Fatal Car Accident
When filing a wrongful death claim for a fatal car accident, one of the first steps is to determine what company is liable. While the other driver’s insurance company may seem like the obvious answer (and will be the answer in many cases), there are other potential options as well. As your legal counsel, Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer Joseph Maus will carefully assess all potential claims arising out of your loved one’s accident, including potential claims against:
- The other driver’s insurance company – If the accident was the result of distracted driving, drunk driving or any other form of driver negligence, the other driver’s insurance company may be liable.
- The other driver’s employer – If the other driver was on the clock when the accident happened, his or her employer may be directly or “vicariously” liable for your family member’s death.
- A vehicle or component manufacturer – In fatal accidents involving vehicle defects, the vehicle or component manufacturer (or both) can be held responsible under Florida’s law of “strict liability.”
- A vehicle repair shop or dealership – Negligent maintenance or repair work resulting in a fatal accident can create liability for the shop or dealership that performed the work.
- The entity (or entities) responsible for the road – Dangerous road conditions can cause fatal accidents as well; and, when they do, there are various entities that can potentially hold legal responsibility.
- Your family’s auto insurance company – If your family has uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage on one or more vehicles, attorney Joseph Maus may be able to file a UIM claim on your family’s behalf.
- An establishment that served the other driver – If your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, it is possible that a restaurant, bar or other establishment could be liable for overserving.
Regardless of the circumstances involved, your family deserves justice. Attorney Joseph Maus can ensure that the appropriate parties are held accountable. To schedule a free initial consultation about your family’s wrongful death claim in Fort Lauderdale, contact the Maus Law Firm today.
Other Examples of Wrongful Death Claims
When Disease Results from Negligence
Occasionally a wrongful death attorney goes to work on behalf of the survivors of someone who became fatally ill due to negligence. One example that most people have heard of is the case where a person contracts fatal Legionnaire’s disease from a hotel heating and air conditioning system or a cruise ship spa. While these cases are rare, they are devastating to those left behind.
Faulty Consumer Products Can Kill
Ironically, sometimes it is a product designed to improve safety that can result in death. For example, a type of adult portable bed railing was implicated in 155 deaths from 2003 to 2012. Most deaths occurred at home, and most occurred when a person’s head or neck became stuck in the railing. If you believe a consumer product is implicated in a loved one’s death, contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
Death on the Job
As early as 2011, more than 4,600 workers were killed at work. Workers’ Compensation provides death benefits in these cases, but the process can be confusing and upsetting for family members who are grieving. A skilled, experienced Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer like those at Maus Law Firm assists greatly during this difficult process and can ensure that survivors do not give up rights when working toward a wrongful death settlement.
Our Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Lawyer Answers Your Most Pressing Questions
Wrongful death cases are different from others handled by a personal injury lawyer. These claims allow loved ones to act on behalf of the deceased to pursue justice and obtain compensation to help make up for the loss of support they will endure.
Some of the most common questions we get from clients about wrongful death actions include:
What counts as a wrongful death?
A death is generally considered wrongful under civil law if it would not have happened if someone had behaved responsibly under the circumstances. Specifically, Fla. Stat. §768.19 gives someone the right to sue for wrongful death when death is caused by another person’s
- Wrongful act
- Breach of contract or warranty
Most wrongful death claims are based on negligence, which essentially involves someone failing to live up to a duty owed to others for their safety. If the deceased person would have had the right to sue for damages based on negligence or other wrongdoing but they can no longer do so because of their death, the law gives others the right to step and recover. A Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney could investigate to determine whether a death might be legally considered wrongful.
Who can bring a wrongful death claim?
Technically, a wrongful death claim in Florida must be filed by the deceased person’s “personal representative,” which is the executor of their estate. The compensation received from a wrongful death lawsuit, however, will not go to the representative but to the estate and surviving family members. Spouses, children, and parents are generally the beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim.
What causes a wrongful death claim?
Wrongful death claims in Florida can result from many different types of situations. A wrongful death attorney in Fort Lauderdale handles cases resulting from incidents such as:
- Car accidents
- Slip and fall incidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle collisions
- Boating accidents
- Defective product injuries
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
Basically, any time someone’s negligent behavior leads to an untimely death, surviving family members may be entitled to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Why do I need to hire a Fort Lauderdale wrongful death lawyer?
Wrongful death can be more challenging to prove than some other personal injury cases. The deceased person is not available to explain what happened, so the collection of evidence becomes even more crucial. Additionally, a Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney will need to prove not only that someone’s action or failure act caused the death but also how family members have suffered from the loss. The sooner family members begin working with a wrongful death lawyer, the more opportunities the attorney will have to build a strong case for recovery.
How soon do you have to file a wrongful death claim in Florida?
The state of Florida has established a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. That means a lawsuit must be prepared and filed within two years of the date of death or the ability to pursue a claim is permanently forfeited.
What’s the difference between wrongful death and murder?
The same set of circumstances could lead to a wrongful death action in civil court and a murder or manslaughter case in criminal court. In civil court, the people who were harmed by the death seek justice from the person responsible, and they can recover monetary damages to help compensate them for their loss. In criminal court, the government seeks justice and imposes punishment, usually incarceration.
The standard of proof is lower in a civil case, which can make it easier to prove wrongful death than to prove murder. In a criminal case, the evidence must demonstrate guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil wrongful death claim, the family pursuing relief must usually only prove that it was more likely than not that the behavior alleged caused the death.
Our Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Attorneys Explain the Florida Claim Exception
It occasionally happens that an alleged victim of wrongful death is unmarried, over the age of 25, and has children who are also over 25 years of age. In this scenario, the law provides an exception that will allow the decedent’s parents or adults children to file a wrongful death lawsuit for pain and suffering. They cannot, however, sue for medical malpractice.