Do You Believe You Have A Wrongful Death Claim?
If you have suffered the tragedy of losing a family member in an accident, we offer our deepest sympathies. This is truly a tragic time in your life, one from which you will never fully recover. The attorneys and staff at Rue and Ziffra are prepared to assist you and your family in this time of loss.
If you believe that another party – whether it be an individual or large corporation – may be to blame for your loved one’s death, it is important that you speak with an attorney. You and your family may be entitled to financial recovery – and the reassurance that holding the responsible party (or parties) accountable may help prevent similar accidents in the future. Florida has a wrongful death statute that entitles families to seek financial compensation for accidental deaths; and at Rue & Ziffra Law Offices, we have been using this law to help members of our local community since 1976.
Our attorneys cover locations spanning from Palm Coast to Edgewater and from Port Orange to Orange City, we represent families throughout Central Florida. If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free consultation. Our attorneys will explain your options and help you make informed decisions about protecting your family’s rights. And if you decide to pursue a wrongful death claim, we will fight aggressively to win your case as quickly as possible.
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The following are some examples of our recent results in wrongful death cases:
$8 million wrongful death settlement following a fatal aviation accident
$2.6 million wrongful death settlement for a fatal motorcycle accident
$1.25 million wrongful death settlement for the family of an elderly woman who was struck by an automobile
$300,000 wrongful death settlement for the family of an elderly man who was struck by a reversing vehicle
$4.4 million trial verdict in a motorcycle wrongful death case
Common Wrongful Death Claims in Florida
In Florida, virtually all types of fatal accidents have the potential to support claims for wrongful death. At Rue & Ziffra Law Offices, we handle all types of wrongful death cases, including:
Thousands of people die in Florida car accidents every year. From high-speed accidents on Interstate 95 to collisions on local roads involving drunk or distracted drivers – with the extreme forces involved, far too many car accidents result in life-threatening injuries.
Truck accidents have a disproportionately high fatality rate. With approximately two-thirds of all commercial trucking accidents involving impact with the front of the truck, sadly, it is not hard to see why. If your family member was killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, dump truck, or other large commercial vehicles, we can use our experience to help you collect just compensation.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
Bicycle and pedestrian accidents often result in fatal injuries. Bicyclists have the same rights as motorists on the road, and pedestrians have the right of way in many circumstances. Unfortunately, this does not stop drivers from making thoughtless mistakes, and we have represented many families who have lost loved ones in these types of accidents.
We are passionate about fighting for the rights of bikers in Florida. Our motorcycle accident practice is led by partner and motorcycle rider David Sweat, and we developed AttorneysforBikers.com as a free resource for individuals and families who have suffered injuries and losses in motorcycle accidents.
According to Johns Hopkins, medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. This alarming statistic reflects a broad range of medical errors, ranging from misdiagnoses to mistakes during surgery. With our experienced attorneys, on-staff registered nurse, and network of trusted medical experts, we have the knowledge and capabilities needed to hold doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers accountable for fatal medical mistakes.
Dangerous and defective products are to blame for a significant number of fatal accidents every year. Electronics, vehicle components, children’s toys, and power tools are just some of the products that many of us use everyday and that have the potential to cause fatal injuries due to defects.
All types of workplace accidents have the potential to result in fatal injuries. Vehicle collisions are the most-common cause of work-related deaths, followed by falls, electrocutions, equipment, and machinery-related accidents.
Fatal medication errors can include overdosing, under dosing, prescription errors, and mistakes involving anesthesia. Each of these types of mistakes is alarmingly common, and each is to blame for numerous unnecessary deaths every year.
Aviation accidents of all types can result in fatal injuries. While in-air accidents are the most likely to be fatal (although they are extremely rare), accidents during takeoff, landing, and taxiing can cause severe traumatic injuries as well.
Q: What types of compensation are available for wrongful death?
The types of compensation available for wrongful death in Florida are established by statute. Florida’s Wrongful Death Act provides compensation for:
- Loss of support and services
- Loss of companionship and protection
- Mental pain and suffering
- Loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Loss of “prospective net accumulations”
Importantly, the specific types of compensation available are different for different family members. For example, the Wrongful Death Act allows surviving spouses to seek compensation for loss of companionship and protection, while compensation for loss of instruction and guidance is available only to surviving children. The law also provides that certain types of losses (e.g., lost earnings and prospective net accumulations) are only recoverable by the decedent’s estate, A wrongful death lawsuit which means that the claim must be filed by the estate’s personal representative.
These are complicated issues, and calculating the financial losses resulting from a family member’s death requires the assistance of an expert economist. In many cases, eligible family members will be able to seek additional compensation through what is known as a “survival action” as well. When you schedule your free consultation, our attorneys will walk you through everything you need to know about asserting your legal rights.
Q: Who can file a claim for wrongful death in Florida?
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act allows spouses, children, and parents may have to file wrongful death claims under the appropriate circumstances. In addition, as noted above, wrongful death actions will typically involve claims filed by the decedent’s estate to recover financial compensation for the loss of earnings that the decedent would have accumulated over their lifetime.
Q: Are wrongful death claims covered by insurance?
In many cases, yes. In the case of a fatal auto accident, for example, depending on the coverage available, family members may be able to file claims for:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Survivor Benefits
- Funeral Benefits
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Benefits
- Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Coverage
- Umbrella or Business Insurance Coverage (in the case of an accident involving a working driver)
However, not all forms of insurance coverage will be available in all cases. For example, UIM coverage is optional in Florida, and our state has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the nation. If adequate insurance coverage is not available to cover your family’s losses, our attorneys will explore other alternatives to help you collect just compensation.
Q: What is Florida’s statute of limitations for wrongful death claims?
Florida has a two-year statute of limitations for most types of wrongful death claims. The two-year limitations period will run from the date of death in most cases, although there are certain exceptions. However, due to the need to conduct an investigation and secure compensation for your family as quickly as possible, we strongly encourage you to discuss your case with us right away.
Nothing about dealing with a loved one’s wrongful death is easy. At Rue & Ziffra Law Offices, our mission is to help you get through the process as quickly as possible and without unnecessary emotional or financial strain. We offer free initial consultations and you can reach us 24/7, so call or click to request an appointment today.
Request an Appointment with the Attorneys at Rue & Ziffra Law Offices
To request an appointment at Rue & Ziffra Law Offices, please call (386) 788-7700 or contact us online. We will make arrangements for you to meet with a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.