Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer
As a longtime wrongful death attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Richard Ansara of The Ansara Law Firm recognizes the turmoil many families are in when a loved one dies due to someone else’s negligence.
A lawsuit understandably is not always the first thing on people’s minds. However, you should not be left with the burden of unpaid medical bills, funeral expenses and the loss of your loved one’s support when their death was someone else’s fault.
Understand that firstly, a lawsuit may not even be necessary. Sometimes, one can get satisfactory results by simply filing a claim with an insurer and allowing your attorney to handle negotiations. It’s when those negotiations are not satisfactory that we pursue litigation. Further, a small percentage of these cases will proceed to the trial phase. Many claims are settled out-of-court. In some instances, the only issue that will be handled by the court is how much you are owed.
It’s important after a wrongful death to recognize that time may be of the essence. Hiring an experienced, knowledgeable South Florida wrongful death lawyer will help ensure you have the best shot at holding responsible parties accountable and securing your family’s financial future. F.S. 95.11(7)(4)(d) outlines the statute of limitations – or time limit you have - for a wrongful death lawsuit. It is almost always two years from the date of one’s death. There are scant few exceptions to this, and because these cases can be complex (often requiring the analysis and testimony of expert witnesses pertaining to both questions of fact and damages you are owed), it’s imperative to seek consultation with a lawyer as soon as possible.Situations That Require Hiring a Wrongful Death Attorney
A wrongful death is generally one that occurs due to someone else’s negligent act or oversight. To prove negligence, one must show:
- Duty. Defendant owed a legal duty to decedent under the circumstances.
- Breach. Defendant breached that legal duty of care by either acting or failing to act in a certain manner.
- Causation. Defendant’s action or inaction caused the decedent’s injury/ death.
- Damages. Plaintiff/ decedent suffered injuries or harm as a result of defendant’s actions or inactions.
Every case will be different, but some of the most common types of circumstances that require a wrongful death attorney include:
- Car accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the top causes of death in Florida. We include in this motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents because the most severe typically involve a motor vehicle. The total number of fatalities in Florida car accidents in a recent year was 3,000. Drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding – all contribute to the rising number of traffic deaths in Florida in recent years.
- Medical malpractice. When a physician, nurse or other healthcare provider fails to adhere to the applicable standard of care for that region and specialty, resulting in injury or death to a patient, they can be held liable for medical malpractice. These cases are often complicated and require expert witnesses to establish fault and causation.
- Defective products. When products are defectively designed, manufactured and marketed, it can lead to wrongful deaths. This could include anything from a baby toy that is a choking hazard to a drug that lacks adequate warning of serious side effects to vehicles that contain parts that dangerously malfunction.
- Premises liability. Property owners owe a duty of care to those invited on site to keep the site reasonably free of certain hazards. That could be a nightclub ensuring property security is on staff or a grocery store acting promptly to clean up spills or a homeowner keeping their dog properly leashed and secured to prevent bites.
- Fatal work accident. Although families of many workers killed on-the-job may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits (assuming they were an employee and killed in the course and scope of employment), survivors may have other options of recovery if a third party was negligent. An example would be a construction site property owner or a product manufacturer or a careless driver.
- Nursing home death. This could fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice, or it could be general negligence, depending on the circumstances. These deaths are often caused by a failure to provide adequate care (i.e., not turning the patient enough resulting in bed sores; not feeding the patient properly, resulting in malnutrition or illness; medication errors resulting in injury or death, etc.).
Because wrongful death cases are typically complex and differ from common personal injury cases, having the guidance and support of an experienced wrongful death attorney is imperative to ensuring the best chances for a successful outcome.
If your loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence in Fort Lauderdale, contact the wrongful death attorneys at The Ansara Law Firm by calling (954) 761-4011 or toll-free at (888) ANSARA-8.