Articles Posted in wrongful death

Accidents and careless conduct cause injuries to millions of victims every year, but these unfortunate incidents can also be tragic when they lead to fatalities. Victims of all ages are killed when others are negligent, failing to exercise reasonable care. At-fault parties cause traffic crashes, slip and falls, construction accidents, medical malpractice, and many other deadly incidents. It is fortunate that you have legal options to recover compensation as a survivor through a wrongful death claim. However, you should also be aware of deadlines under Florida’s statute of limitations. 

The statute of limitations can have harsh consequences if you take too long to pursue your remedies, but moving quickly is also important for many other reasons. You should discuss your options and the claims process with a Miami wrongful death lawyer to ensure you do not miss critical deadlines. Plus, it is also useful to review some details about how long you have for a wrongful death case.

Deadlines Under Florida’s Statute of Limitations

Accidents are a leading cause of death in the US, and a factor that makes them even more tragic is that they are preventable. Negligence by others is the reason behind motor vehicle crashes, slip and falls, medical malpractice, dog bites, and related incidents. Fortunately, Florida’s wrongful death law allows surviving family members to seek damages from the negligent party. Your first step in the legal process is usually filing an insurance claim and attempting to settle, but you may need to go to court if the insurer does not agree. 

There are numerous benefits to settling a wrongful death case, and the majority of claims are resolved by agreement. However, when you are taking legal action, you probably wonder about the court’s involvement in your settlement discussions. There are laws and procedural rules that cover these cases, and you do not want pitfalls to stand in the way of enforcing your rights. While it is important to retain a Miami wrongful death attorney for help, some information on court approval of settlements is useful.

Court Approval for Settlements

South Florida is a popular vacation destination for its weather, beaches, and water attractions, but a recent story is a reminder of how quickly a fun time can turn tragic. According to a Miami’s NBC News Channel 6 report, two children were found unresponsive in a backyard pool early on June 30, 2023. Hollywood Police and Hollywood Fire Rescue responded to the 911 call and provided first aid at the scene before transporting the victims to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. NBC later reported that the two children died at the hospital. 

Officials will continue to investigate how these horrific drownings occurred, but an important point may affect how the grieving family moves forward with legal options. The subject property is an Airbnb, and the victims were among the guests. Fortunately, there are options to pursue negligent property owners, including those who make money through home-sharing services. It is essential to retain a Miami swimming accident lawyer for help with legal tasks, but some background is also useful.

Legal Obligations of Property Owners

When someone is killed in an accident, there may be two types of legal claims by surviving family members. One is wrongful death, in which they are seeking compensation not as actual victims of the incident – but as victims of the aftermath due to the void left behind by their loved one’s death. The other is a right of survival action under Florida law, which views the deceased person as the victim. The statute provides that the power to sue the at-fault party for negligence continues even after the death, where the victim could have pursued a lawsuit if he or she had lived. 

Wrongful death and survival actions might seem similar, but you can see how the laws define the victim of a fatal accident differently depending on the approach. This factor is especially important when a significant amount of time has passed from the date of the accident to the date of death. You can learn details by consulting with a Miami wrongful death lawyer.

Survival Actions and Noneconomic Damages

Americans enjoy a rather long life expectancy at around 79 years old, but accidents are a common reason that this duration may be cut short. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 214,000 people are killed every year because of unintentional injuries, many of which are preventable. There is a common assumption that car accidents are a top cause of fatalities, and motor vehicle collisions do rank high. However, with the opioid crisis and widespread availability of fentanyl, unintentional poisonings take the #1 spot. 

Losing a loved one is tragic, but the resulting financial implications affect your life in ways you did not expect. Florida wrongful death laws do provide you with legal remedies, so you may qualify to recover compensation after a horrific accident. A Miami wrongful death lawyer will handle all important legal tasks, and some information on monetary damages is also helpful.

Compensation in Fatal Accident Claims

Law enforcement officers continue to investigate a swimming pool accident that led to the deaths of a young father and his two children, looking for answers as to how such a tragedy could occur. According to a February 24, 2022 article posted by South Florida’s Local 10 News, the gruesome scene was discovered by the man’s wife and children’s mother. Upon her return from work in the late afternoon, she found all three victims floating in the family’s backyard pool. Though she called 911 right away, it was too late for the three individuals who drowned. 

A police spokesperson mentioned that foul play was not suspected, and that the incident appeared to be a tragic accident. However, accidents happen for a reason. When there is no evidence of direct misconduct, it may come to light that defective pool equipment is to blame. If so, the manufacturer is a potential party that a Miami swimming pool accidents attorney would pursue for compensation. An overview may help you understand how liability works in such cases.

Defective Pool Equipment in Swimming Pool Accidents

While accidents might have been knocked down a notch by COVID in the last two years, unintentional injuries are still the fourth leading cause of death in the US. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 200,000 people are killed every year in preventable accidents, with falls and motor vehicle collisions topping the list. For surviving loved ones whose lives are forever changed, the grief and devastation can be overwhelming. In time, the victim’s family will also sustain significant financial losses from the void left behind. 

Fortunately, Florida personal injury laws provide legal remedies after someone dies from unintentional injuries. There are two in particular that may apply if you recently lost a loved one — a wrongful death lawsuit OR a survival action. Though these options stem from the same fatal incident, they are different. A Miami wrongful death lawyer can explain the details, and you might find an overview to be informative.

Different Actions From the Same Fatal Incident

Motor vehicle collisions, defective products, slip and falls, and many other accidents are a leading cause of injuries in the US, but you might be shocked to learn how often these incidents are fatal. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that almost 214,000 individuals are killed because of unintentional incidents, making accidents the #3 cause of death nationwide. Fortunately, Florida wrongful death laws provide surviving family members with options, so you might qualify to recover compensation for your extensive losses. However, proof is an essential component of any personal injury case. It can be tough to come by when the primary witness died because of someone else’s negligence. In such a claim, you must show that the victim died as a direct result of the at-fault party’s misconduct, along with other legal requirements. Your Miami wrongful death lawyer will take the lead in gathering information, but it is helpful to know the evidence needed to prove such a case. 

Proof of Key Elements

The initial element you must establish in a negligence-based case is that the responsible party owed a duty to your loved one. Proof is relatively straightforward, since everyone is legally obligated to act with reasonable care and avoid creating a risk of harm to others. With respect to other elements, note the following details on evidence:

Whether you attribute it to lack of experience, tendency to text and drive, or other risky behavior, the popular assumption persists that teens are more dangerous behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this is one hypothesis that does carry some truth. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 2,000 people are killed in accidents involving teen drivers annually, comprising 8% of all fatal crashes. However, to put things in perspective, note that teenagers amount to just 5% of total drivers in the US.

These and other statistics are disturbing for parents of younger drivers, but the numbers are also cause for concern for other motorists who share the road with them. It is a comfort to know that Florida auto crash laws apply regardless of age, and a Miami car accidents attorney can assist with your legal options. Some additional data on teen motorist collisions is also informative.

Statistics on Teen Drivers and Auto Crashes 

What should have been a balmy seaside morning in Miami quickly turned to chaos, confusion, and horror on June 24, 2021 as a 12 story, 130 unit condominium Champlain Condominium building suddenly collapsed. Miami’s NBC affiliate News Channel 6 covered the incident, with at least one witness describing the Champlain Towers South Condo as falling flat like a pancake into a pile of rubble. First responders arrived from Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County  to assist with the search and rescue effort which will continue and be followed by a thorough investigation. The level of mass destruction demands a meticulous probe into how such a tragedy could happen.

The focus right now is on search and rescue, helping survivors, helping displaced residents and comforting families. In time, victims and their family members will want to understand their legal rights and remedies.  Many of the issues will revolve around Florida premises liability concepts, potential violations of the Florida Building Code, and other details which will depend upon the results of officials’ investigation. At Gerson and Schwartz, our hearts go out to all victims and those affected. We continue to investigate and gather information. Still, here is a summary of the information available now.

Updated Facts on the Champlain Condo Building Collapse in Surfside

Florida Justice Association
The National Center for Victims of Crime
outh Florida Legal Guide
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