Miami Wrongful Death Lawyer
There is nothing more traumatic or painful than losing a loved one unexpectedly. If you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, we at Freidin Brown, P.A. are here for you during this difficult time. Our Miami wrongful death lawyers can help you hold the responsible party accountable for your loved one’s death and recover the compensation your family needs and deserves.
You and your family should not face financial duress because of someone else’s negligence. Our firm has recovered substantial settlements and judgments for families across Miami, and we’ll devote our considerable resources to giving you every advantage possible in your family’s fight for justice.
Representing Families in Wrongful Death Cases for Nearly 50 Years
Under Florida law, wrongful death occurs when an individual suffers a fatal injury due to the “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person.” There are many facets to a wrongful death case, and we know how overwhelming it can feel in the wake of a loved one’s passing.
For more than four decades, we have guided families through personal injury and wrongful death cases following tragic accidents, medical mistakes, and major disasters in Miami, and our team can help you to:
- Investigate your loved one’s accident to determine its cause and who is at fault
- Identify liable parties and take legal action to initiate your case
- Collect evidence to support your case, such as eyewitness statements, videos, photographs, police reports, medical records, and expert testimony
- Handle paperwork and make sure you meet all deadlines
- Communicate with insurance agents, defense counsel, and other parties on your behalf
- Negotiate for the maximum possible settlement
We will not back down from pursuing your case all the way to trial if necessary. Our staff includes two Board Certified Civil Trial attorneys, including our founding partner Philip Freidin, who has tried more than 300 cases before a jury. We are passionate about getting your family the compensation you need and deserve.
Millions Recovered in Wrongful Death Cases
Our Miami wrongful death lawyers have a unique understanding of the court system and will uncover every loss you and your family experienced because of your loved one’s passing. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients in wrongful death cases:
- $1,875,000 settlement for the wrongful death of a child as a result of a negligently inserted feeding tube
- $1,800,000 settlement for a case against a security company for the wrongful death of a mother who suffered fatal injuries at the hands of an intruder when a house alarm failed
- $1,475,000 settlement for a motorcyclist who died in a traffic accident
- $1,200,000 for the wrongful death of a mother who died in an auto accident
- $1,000,000 jury verdict for nursing negligence involving a Miami-area patient
We work hard in every case to help our clients recover the maximum compensation. As skilled trial lawyers, we are ready and willing to take a case to court if we believe that it will benefit our client. Backed by 10 decades of collective experience, our firm has a solid track record of legal excellence. Contact us at (888) 677-7764 to discuss your case during a FREE consultation.
Our Firm Has Experience With Many Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Miami
Our attorneys can assist with wrongful death cases involving the following:
- Medical malpractice
- Car and truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Construction accidents
- Nursing home injuries
Recoverable Losses in Wrongful Death Cases
Wrongful death compensation usually falls into two categories: damages recovered by the deceased’s estate and damages awarded to surviving family members. In general, our lawyers can seek the following:
- Medical expenses. This category accounts for medical bills resulting from your loved one’s fatal injury, including emergency transportation and services, hospital stays, medical procedures, prescription drugs, and palliative care or hospice.
- Lost income. We can recover lost earnings from the time of your loved one’s accident until death. We can also seek compensation for income, support, and services the deceased would likely have provided had they lived.
- Personal property. We can seek the cost of fixing or replacing personal property damaged during your loved one’s accident, including vehicles, cell phones, jewelry, and electronics.
- Funeral and burial costs. We can secure compensation to pay for laying your loved one to rest, including the cost of services, memorials, caskets, urns, and burial plots.
- Intangible losses. Surviving family members can obtain awards for the loss of their loved one’s care, companionship, protection, and guidance.
Who Can Pursue Wrongful Death Damages in Miami?
Florida Statutes § 768.20 states that the decedent’s estate’s personal representative (executor) is the only party that can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. The decedent can name this person in a will, or a judge will appoint someone if no will exists (usually a surviving spouse, parent, or adult child). The executor is responsible for bringing the wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate and qualifying beneficiaries.
Family members who may be entitled to obtain damages include:
- The deceased person’s spouse
- The deceased person’s children
- The deceased person’s parents
- Financially dependent siblings
How Long Do You Have to Take Action?
You must file a wrongful death action within two years of the person’s death, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d). If you fail to do so before the deadline expires, you could lose your chance to recover compensation.
Understandably, it can be quite difficult to deal with a time-sensitive wrongful death lawsuit while juggling all of the other tasks you need to handle after the deceased’s passing. You have a lot to take care of, but the limited window of opportunity means that you have to scramble to get it all done.
Our firm can ease your burden and take over the civil matter of a wrongful death case. You need only to give us a call, and our experienced lawyers and legal team can help give you peace of mind while fighting for financial compensation.
Our Clients Share How Freidin Brown, P.A. Helped Them
We are more than a law firm; we are a team and family. When you become our client, you also become a part of us and we will look out for you like we would our own loved ones. Here are a few testimonials from clients we have served:
- “We appreciate everything you did for us. Staying with us. Being patient with us. And, most importantly believing in us. Our family will forever have a feeling of gratitude for all that you have done.” – Amy D.
- “Phil Freidin did a magnificent job representing my wife and myself after she sustained critical injuries in Florida. He mastered every detail of the facts and of the law, and convinced everyone including the defense lawyers that the defendants were guilty of gross negligence that led to her injuries. Most important, he cared personally for her and supported us both emotionally through a horrifying experience. He is not only an extraordinary lawyer, but a fine human being.” – Nick K.
- “My family is forever grateful to the entire team at Freidin Brown. The A-Team in law. Everyone was very professional, courteous and truly inspiring. The attention, dedication, detail and especially patience during this very long case was remarkable. Outstanding outcome… Truly thankful to everyone (Jonathan and Phil). I highly recommend Freidin Brown to my friends and family!!!!!” – Marlene P.
Florida Wrongful Death FAQs
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death lawsuits are civil legal actions that hold a person or an entity accountable for causing another’s death through negligent, wrongful, or intentional acts. In general terms, wrongful death cases function similarly to personal injury lawsuits, seeking justice and financial compensation for incidents and damages someone caused or could and should have prevented.
One way to understand these cases is to view them as personal injury claims where the victim can no longer bring legal action on their own. Instead, another party (i.e., a personal representative of the decedent’s estate) will need to bring the wrongful death action.
What Do You Need to Prove in a Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death cases can involve a range of unique facts and circumstances, but they generally focus on a few important legal concepts and the need to prove fault and liability. To prevail, parties must prove these general elements:
- A legal duty existed – A wrongful death lawsuit will only have merit if there was some legal duty between the defendant and the decedent. This means the defendant owed the victim a “duty of care” to take reasonable steps that would prevent them from suffering harm. This “duty of care” can exist in many ways, depending on the circumstances. For example, doctors have a duty to treat patients in accordance with accepted standards and guidelines. Additionally, motorists have a duty to take reasonable steps in safely operating their vehicles.
- The legal duty was breached – Families bringing wrongful death suits must further prove that a legal duty owed to the decedent was breached by the defendant. This simply means the defendant failed to uphold their legal obligations, such as when a doctor provides below-standard care in treating the decedent or when a motorist violates their duty to safely operate a vehicle by driving under the influence or running a red light. Breaching a legal duty typically arises from negligence, but it may also involve intentional acts of violence or misconduct.
- Causation – Proving causation is one of the most important elements of a wrongful death action, and it requires families to show that a defendant more likely than not caused the victim’s death. To prove this element, claims must be supported by strong arguments and evidence, and often expert testimony. Such an example would include showing how a doctor’s mistake constituted substandard care and how that mistake more likely than not caused death. One way of explaining causation is to say “but for” the wrongful or negligent conduct, the injury or death would not have occurred.
- Damages – Wrongful death lawsuits are ultimately intended to help surviving family members secure justice for their losses, as well as a financial recovery of their damages. Because losing a loved one can cause many profound emotional and financial losses, wrongful death cases typically allow for the recovery of economic and non-economic damages, such as medical expenses incurred before death, funeral expenses, lost financial support, loss of emotional support or consortium, and other financial or emotional injuries. The Florida Statutes specifically explain the damages a family can recover, and they can be very difficult to determine given the intricacies and fact patterns of each particular case. If you think you might have a case, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer so that we can explain to you all your rights and what you may be entitled to recover as damages.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Miami?
Under Florida law, a personal representative of the decedent’s estate must bring a wrongful death action. This personal representative may be someone named in the decedent’s will or someone who represents the estate’s beneficiaries or survivors. This representative often brings the claim on behalf of surviving family members, including a decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parents, or other financially dependent beneficiaries.
The personal representative can be a family member, including a surviving spouse or adult child, or it can be anyone else selected by the survivors. At Freidin Brown, P.A., we guide our clients through the entire process of naming a personal representative.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Generally, surviving families and representatives typically have two years from the decedent’s date of death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. However, that time limit or “statute of limitations” may be different in certain cases, such as those involving misdiagnosed illnesses or claims against government entities. Because the statute of limitations may vary, and because these cases require much time and investigation before a lawyer can file a lawsuit, it is important that families contact a proven and experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
What Happens If There Is a Criminal Case Involved?
In some cases, defendants who may be liable for another’s death may face criminal charges, such as in the case of a fatal drunk driving accident. It is important to remember that even when criminal cases are involved, they are handled in separate proceedings in criminal court, focus on whether a person is guilty of a crime, and use a different burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt). They do not focus on financial liability for the death and are not a viable source of compensation for surviving family members.
As such, families would need to pursue wrongful death actions in civil court, which uses a lower burden of proof (a preponderance of the evidence or “more likely than not”) to determine if a person is financially responsible for another’s death and resulting damages.
Because criminal and civil actions arising from incidents involving death are separate and distinct matters, the outcome of one does not always indicate the outcome of the other. Even if no criminal charges are filed or if defendants are found not guilty in criminal court, they may still be held civilly liable in a wrongful death suit. For example, in the case of O.J. Simpson, he was found not guilty in his criminal case, but he was held liable in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the families in civil court.
Do You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer for Your Case?
The law never requires you to have a lawyer when bringing an insurance claim or taking legal action against an at-fault party. However, pro se litigants are often unsuccessful against other lawyers and insurance companies. This is why having a lawyer on your side can make all the difference.
As attorneys who handle wrongful death lawsuits, we know how to deal with complex and confusing legal proceedings while respecting and understanding our clients who may still be recovering from the shock of losing a loved one. We do all we can to handle challenging legal work on behalf of our clients, which can require extensive experience, resources, and even professional connections with needed experts.
When you depend on having a case to secure the justice and compensation your family deserves, there is no substitute for enlisting the help of legal professionals. In addition, wrongful death cases can be costly. When you retain our services, we will pay all upfront costs, and you only owe us a fee if and when we secure compensation for you and your family.
Florida Wrongful Death Video FAQs
What is a wrongful death medical malpractice claim?
A wrongful death medical malpractice claim is a claim where someone in the family dies as a result of medical negligence or medical malpractice. These cases are limited to surviving spouses or children under the age of 25, and that’s a suit for the wrongful death of that person. It’s really a personal injury case, but it resulted in death instead of injury.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim?
The statute of limitations in Florida for filing a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death, but it’s really important to contact a lawyer right away, because a lot goes into the filing of a law suit for a wrongful death. So it’s important to give your law firm as much time as possible to do the research, due diligence and investigation before filing your claim.
What kinds of damages are recoverable in a Florida wrongful death claim?
In a wrongful death claim, the damages are first and foremost economic damages, if there’s loss of support because someone was supporting a family, if there’s loss of net accumulations, if there was an amount of money that would have been inherited, if there’s economic losses such as medical bills. Then the most important part of any wrongful death case is basically the loss of comfort, the relationship, the pain and suffering of losing a parent or a child. Things like that.
Will it cost me any money to bring a Florida wrongful death case?
It won’t cost our clients any money to bring a Florida wrongful death case, or a malpractice case, or any other case. Because we always charge a contingency fee based on the recovery only, and no client ever pays anything out of pocket.
Have You Suffered the Loss of a Loved One? Freidin Brown, P.A. Is Here to Help.
Always caring and professional, our legal team can provide you with the attentive legal services you need and deserve at this time. While we understand that taking legal action will not change the past, we believe that in doing so, you and your family may obtain some closure. In addition, taking legal action may help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.
The Florida wrongful death lawyers at Freidin Brown, P.A. handle all wrongful death claims on a contingency basis, which means that you won’t pay any up-front or out-of-pocket fees to retain our services. In fact, you won’t pay us a cent unless we recover compensation on your behalf. We also start each case with a free initial consultation, so you would have nothing to lose by contacting our firm today. Call (888) 677-7764 to discuss your case with an experienced Miami wrongful death lawyer.