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Damages Available Under A Wrongful Death Suit In Florida

Coping with the loss of a loved one can be devastating and the effects can last a lifetime. The emotional impact can be further exacerbated when a loved one’s passing was caused by the wrongdoing of a third-party. “Wrongful death” is simply defined as a death that is caused by the misconduct of another individual or entity. Such misconduct can vary anywhere from the intentional infliction of physical harm to basic negligence. The experienced wrongful death and personal injury attorneys at Rue and Ziffra have found that individuals are sometimes unsure as to what remedies are available to the survivors when a loved one is lost due to a wrongful death.

Initially, the purpose of the Florida wrongful death law is to provide for the recoupment of damages sustained as to each survivor of the deceased. Pursuant to Florida law, each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, including interest, along with the present value of the future loss of support and services from the date of death. In determining the value of the loss of support and services, the following factors are given consideration: (1) the survivor’s relationship to the decedent; (2) the amount of the decedent’s probable net income available for distribution to the particular survivor; and (3) the replacement value of the decedent’s services to the survivor. In computing the duration of future losses, the joint life expectancies of the survivor and the decedent and the period of minority (in the case of minor children) are considered. Not to mention, the surviving spouse may also recover for the loss of the decedent’s companionship, protection and mental pain and suffering. Minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering. Each parent of a deceased minor child may similarly recover for mental pain and suffering. Moreover, each parent of a deceased adult child may likewise receive mental pain and suffering damages so long as there are no other survivors. Further, a survivor who has paid for the deceased’s medical and funeral expenses may recover these costs.

Additionally, the decedent’s personal representative may recover for the decedent’s estate the loss of earnings of the deceased from the date of injury to the date of death along with interest. Loss of the reasonable prospective net accumulations of the estate may also be recovered in their present money value if the decedent’s survivors include a surviving spouse or lineal descendants. To the extent that medical and funeral expenses are not otherwise recovered by a particular paying survivor, the estate may recover medical and funeral expenses that have become a charge against the estate or that were paid by or on behalf of the decedent.

If you believe your loved one has died as a result of another party’s misconduct, contact the knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys at Rue & Ziffra today to discuss your right to recovery. The Daytona Beach accident attorneys at Rue & Ziffra, have over 30 years of experience in representing the victims of serious automobile accidents, wrongful death claims, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents and other personal injury claims. To learn more about their firm, visit rueziffra.com

Damages Available Under A Wrongful Death Suit In Florida
Written By: Allan L. Ziffra, Esq
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Considering a Wrongful Death Suit?

Though the family members of a wrongfully deceased victim are understandably consumed with medical expenses, funeral arrangements, and many other personal, familial and probate matters, it is imperative to consult a wrongful death attorney at the earliest possible time in the wake of a possible wrongful death. Specifically, crucial pieces of evidence frequently become increasingly difficult to obtain and the recollection of key witnesses fades with the passage of time. Not to mention, unlike most other personal injury claims for which the statute of limitations provides up to four years from the date of the accident to bring a lawsuit, Florida wrongful death cases are subject to a shortened two year limitations period. The attorneys at Rue & Ziffra have decades of experience in successfully resolving wrongful death cases.

What many people do not know, however, is that the Florida Wrongful Death Act requires the personal representative of the wrongfully deceased’s estate to file the wrongful death action. In other words, the only party who can commence an action for wrongful death is the personal representative of the estate. This requirement means a probate must be opened prior to the filing of the wrongful death claim such that the personal representative may sue in the name of the estate. Though surviving family members are entitled to damages in connection with the wrongful death, only the personal representative can sue or make a claim on the survivors’ behalf in this context.

This is just one of a number of examples why it is so critically important to consult an experienced wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after the wrongful death of a loved one.The team of dedicated attorneys at Rue & Ziffra will inform you of the intricacies of bringing and maintaining an action for the wrongful death of your loved one and will carefully guide you through the entirety of the process. The last thing you and your family members need in the aftermath of a tragedy is to add dealing with the insurance industry to the long list of personal and familial matters that must be addressed.

The Daytona Beach accident attorneys at Rue & Ziffra, have over 30 years of experience in representing the victims of serious automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents and other personal injury claims. To learn more about their firm, visitrueziffra.com

If you or a family member have suffered a personal injury in Florida, you can learn more about your rights by contacting an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer at the firm of Rue & Ziffra

Considering a Wrongful Death Suit?
Written by: Allan L. Ziffra, Esq.
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Heirs Entitled to Recover Damages For Wrongful Death

Florida’s wrongful death law provides for the recovery of damages to the family members of a deceased that sustained a wrongful death. The Volusia County personal injury attorneys at Rue & Ziffra, P.A., have found that grieving victims are occasionally unclear as to their entitlement to bring a claim for wrongful death in the aftermath of a tragic accident. Referred to generally in this context as “survivors,” there are a number of family members that may potentially recover under Florida law when a loved one is lost due to the negligence, carelessness or recklessness of another individual or entity.

As defined in Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, “survivors” means the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. Survivors also includes children born out of wedlock of a mother but does not include children born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support. Further, “minor children” for the purposes of being entitled to damages for the wrongful death of a loved one means children under twenty-five (25) years of age.

Specifically, the surviving spouse may recover for the future loss of support and services, the loss of protection and companionship, and for mental pain and suffering. Minor children are likewise entitled to receive the value of the loss of future support and services along with the value of lost parental companionship, instruction, guidance, and mental pain and suffering. If the decedent does not have a surviving spouse, the Florida Wrongful Death Act does not then limit the children of the decedent that may participate in the recovery to minors only.

Parents of a deceased minor child are entitled to recovery under Florida’s wrongful death laws. In particular, each parent of a deceased minor child is entitled to recover for the loss of support and services and mental pain and suffering. The same holds true for the parents of deceased adult children so long as there are no other survivors. Any survivor who has paid for the medical and funeral expenses of the deceased may recover these costs. Contact the wrongful death and personal injury attorneys at Rue & Ziffra today to thoroughly discuss your right to full and fair compensation for the wrongful loss of a loved one.

Finally, the decedent’s estate is lawfully permitted to participate in the wrongful death recovery as well. Specifically, the decedent’s personal representative may recover on behalf of the decedent’s estate loss of earnings, loss of the estate’s prospective net accumulations, and the medical and funeral expenses that were paid by or on the behalf of the decedent.

Heirs Entitled To Recover Damages for Wrongful Death
Written by: Allan L. Ziffra, Esq.
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Florida Tort Claims and Applicable Statute of Limitations

Albeit with few exceptions, typical tort claims in Florida are subject to a four-year statute of limitations, meaning that the victim has four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Though it is critical to consult an experienced personal injury attorney such as the attorneys at Rue & Ziffra, P.A., as soon as possible in the wake of an injury-related accident, there are occasions where timeliness is even more essential to a successful claim.

For example, Florida adheres to a shortened two-year limitations period for wrongful death claims, which are claims brought to recover damages for the death of a loved one at the hands of another person or entity’s intentional or negligent misconduct. Therefore, if you believe you and your family may have a claim for wrongful death, it is vital to speak with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible such that the potential claim can be evaluated and the appropriate action taken within the time period provided by Florida law.

However, as previously noted, Florida tort victims generally are given four years to file a lawsuit for damages sustained as a result of another party’s wrongdoing. Such claims include automobile and motorcycle negligence, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, dog bites and premises liability claims. In the case of automobile accident cases, however, it is important to know that claims based on provisions of an insured’s underinsured or uninsured auto policy are governed by a longer five-year limitations period. The rationale for this extended period is because UM claims, as they are commonly known and referred to, are likened to contract based claims which are subject to a five-year limitation from the time of the contractual breach. An individual may have a viable UM claim and is therefore entitled to a recovery when that individual’s own insurance company fails or refuses to fairly compensate its insured when that insured is the victim of the negligence of a driver that either did not have insurance or did not have an adequate amount of coverage. Underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage applies to additional scenarios as well. Call (386) 788-7700 to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can help guide you through the provisions of your automobile policy.

While it is most important to know how long you have to bring a claim for injuries in Florida, it is perhaps more important to consult and hire an advocate who knows the intricacies of injury claims and the ever-changing laws that govern Florida tort claims. At the Volusia County based personal injury law firm of Rue & Ziffra, the talented attorneys and committed staff members have been assisting injury victims for over twenty-five years. Contact Rue & Ziffra today to receive the professional representation and dedicated advocacy that may be missing from your case.

Florida Tort Claims and Applicable Statute of Limitations
Written by: Allan L.. Ziffra, Esq.
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The Economist’s Role in Florida Wrongful Death Actions

Typically, Florida wrongful death actions involve some losses that are not easily measured. For that reason, it is critical that an attorney works in conjunction with a tenured, knowledgeable expert economist that can testify in support of economic damages claims. Specifically, the economist plays a vital role in valuing and understanding all that has been lost in a wrongful death case. For example, an economist can testify to the value of future earnings and homemaking services of the deceased. These valuations are difficult because no two people are exactly alike. Therefore, the damages that are recoverable in a wrongful death case vary from one to the next. It is likewise imperative to have an economist work on the wrongful death case because these cases typically require present-day valuations. Present day valuations are adjustments made to monies awarded for future losses due to things such as inflation, interest and other factors. Though reducing these awards to present value is not always complex, it can be complicated depending on what it is that is being valued, the level of difficulty in determining the appropriate interest rate(s), the methodology employed, and the duration of the economic loss. Naturally, a talented and experienced expert economist is important when there is opportunity for others in the field to offer a much different valuation based on alternative methodology. The wrongful death and personal injury attorneys at the Port Orange based law firm of Rue & Ziffra, P.A., work alongside expert economists that have the style and skill to effectively and persuasively explain damages to a jury. The Rue & Ziffra attorneys know when and who to hire and thereafter engage in thorough joint case preparation to maximize compensation for their clients in their time of need.

At the basic level, the expert economist is retained to develop a theory of damages, conduct a “but-for” analysis, generate models and spreadsheets based on appropriate data and information, and make the necessary adjustments. The “but-for” analysis essentially asks what would be the results if the event had not taken place. In order to generate models and spreadsheets, the economist examines the individual in terms of his or her prior occupation, industry, past and future outcomes, and market and economic conditions. When making the requisite adjustments, the economist considers things such as inflation, taxes, anticipated duration of loss, life expectancy, time value of money, and productivity.

In litigation, the economist can serve a variety of functions depending on the complexity of the case and the appropriate fee considerations. For example, during the discovery phase, the economist often prepares an expert report regarding economic losses, assists with data and document collection, review and production, evaluates the opposing party’s expert report, and helps the attorney develop a line of questioning for the opposition.

Thereafter, the economist frequently works with the attorney to present various economic damage claims and likewise evaluates any settlement offers that are submitted. During the trial phase, the expert economist naturally presents testimony based on the damages reports and exhibits and opines as to cross-examination techniques for the attorney to employ as to the opposing party’s expert.

Visit rueziffra.com to learn more about Rue &Ziffra’s practice areas, attorneys and impressive results. The attorneys at Rue & Ziffra have been handling wrongful death and personal injury cases for over thirty years. Rue & Ziffra attorneys work cooperatively with various expert witnesses to promote the best interests of their clients and to maximize recovery against the responsible party or parties.

The Economist’s Role in Florida Wrongful Death Actions
Written by: Allan L. Ziffra, Esq.
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