Miami Wrongful Death Lawyers
Serving Miami-Dade County & Throughout Florida
Death affects us in profound ways. The emotional, mental, and financial ripples of a loved one's death can stretch for years. The law recognizes the damage that death can cause to a spouse, children, parents, or siblings. That is why when someone is killed due to negligence, the law allows the surviving family to hold the at-fault party accountable.
Our firm has helped families receive compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of parental support
- Loss of financial provision
- Medical and funeral costs
The wrongful death attorneys at Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain, P.A. have 150+ years of combined experience handling cases nationwide. Our goal with every case is to prepare it as thoroughly as possible to help our clients receive what they need to move forward. We utilize everything from medical experts to trial simulations to make your case as strong and compelling as possible.
Call (305) 770-6335 today to see if our wrongful death firm can help you. We offer free consultations and represent clients from Florida, the U.S., and worldwide.
Florida's Wrongful Death Act
In Florida, if a person dies from "the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract" of another person, then their estate is empowered to bring a civil suit against the at-fault party. The suit is to be brought forward by a representative of the estate, who can either be someone named in their will or appointed by the court.
The civil suit, though filed by the estate representative, is on behalf of the family members left behind by the deceased person. The claim must list every survivor who has an interest in the case, and it must be filed within two years of the date of death. In rare cases, the court may extend or postpone the two-year time window; if you passed the two-year mark, speak with an attorney to see if you qualify for a "tolling" of your deadline.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
While wrongful death cases stem from scenarios where an entity failed to act according to “normal procedure,” there are a variety of wrongful death situations that each have their legal ramifications.
The following can result in a case involving wrongful death:
Malpractice that results in a wrongful death is one of the hardest situations for a family to endure. Hospitals and doctors exist to help a loved one through sickness or ailment. When a routine surgery turns into a wrongful death, a family can feel betrayed by the system. Malpractice wrongful death scenarios need to be heard in front of a court. In some situations, a successful wrongful death case against a practicing doctor can result in the revocation of his or her license. This means the pain you endured might be the key to stopping a negligent doctor from hurting another family.
Crashes happen every day. Often, they result in serious injuries. Even death. Drivers who carelessly get behind the wheel and take another life should be held responsible for the fatality they caused. Negligent driving maneuvers can include: failing to put on turn signals when changing lanes, driving through red lights, speeding, drinking and driving, texting and driving, and other non-compliant actions. All of these traffic violations can end with the death of a loved one.
- Work-Related Accidents
Fatal occupational accidents are devastating to loved ones left behind. When an employer has acted negligently and has killed someone through their actions, it is only appropriate that the dependents of the deceased receive compensation for their loved one’s untimely passing. This is especially true when the departed was the primary breadwinner of a family. In these scenarios, the company has not only taken the loved one from their family—but they've also taken their primary means of survival. Workplace fatalities can result in wrongful death cases due to the following scenarios: complications of chemical exposure, machine malfunctions, breaches in safety protocols, explosions, and other work hazards.
- Supervised Activities
Part of vacationing means you can try new things; however, numerous deaths occur each year during supervised recreational activities. Supervised activities require that clients put their trust in the hands of the company employees. When the company fails to uphold its safety regulations, people can be injured and killed. Managers may not be paying attention to their clients, safety protocols may not be given to customers, and staff may fail to do their jobs. These are all reasons why a family may sue a company for the wrongful death of their loved one.
To learn more, read the Florida Wrongful Death Act.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
The Florida Wrongful Death Act stipulates that the people who can be named in a wrongful death suit must either be the deceased's spouse, children, parents, or any blood relative or adoptive sibling who was at least partially reliant on the deceased person for support. In the case of children of unmarried parents, a child is automatically eligible to recover damages if the mother dies. If the father dies, a child is only eligible to collected damages if the father formally recognized the child as his own (or was obligated to pay child support).
What Do Wrongful Death Lawsuits Do?
Wrongful death lawsuits accomplish a variety of things. First, they hold negligent parties responsible for causing preventable death. Accountability is an important step to helping prevent future accidents that cause more suffering. A wrongful death case is also important for the financial recovery of a decedent’s surviving loved ones. Wrongful death provides compensation for pain and suffering, any medical bills that were accrued before a person died, the loss of a person’s income, and other losses associated with a person’s death.
When Does a Wrongful Death Occur?
A wrongful death occurs whenever a person was killed by the negligent or reckless actions of another person or party. For example, if a worker is killed because of an unsafe work environment, their employer could be liable for failing to prevent their death. Other situations that cause wrongful deaths include car accidents, medical malpractice, faulty products, unsafe college hazing practices, and anytime a person’s improper behavior triggers the death of someone else.
Damages You Can Recover in a Wrongful Death Case
Florida's rules for what damages can be claimed in a wrongful death suit are clear, as laid out in the Florida Wrongful Death Act. Unlike other states, Florida allows both surviving family members and the deceased person's estate to make separate claims for damages.
Damages can include:
- The monetary value of support the deceased offered to surviving family members
- Loss of companionship, guidance, or protection offered by the deceased
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering from the death of the child
- Medical or funeral expenses paid by surviving family members for the deceased
Aside from the damages awarded to family members, Florida allows the deceased's estate to claim: lost wages and earnings the deceased might have made if they didn't die; the lost value of earnings the estate would have collected had the deceased person lived; and medical and funeral expenses paid by the estate directly.
We Know How to Win Wrongful Death Cases
Many attorneys talk about the amazing results they obtain. Our law firm knows talk is cheap. The law is about results. Thanks to our approach, we have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. This money has helped them secure their futures, allowing them to grieve in peace without fear of financial insecurity.
Our case results have included the following:
- $14 million verdict for parents of a son killed in fraternity hazing prank
- $4.1 million verdict for children of a father killed while parasailing
- $2.1 million settlement for a man killed by an undiagnosed tumor
- Confidential mediated settlement for a death caused by fraternity hazing
As a result of our work, our firm has been selected to U.S. News' Best Law Firms® list, been invited into the Inner Circle of Advocates, have the highest-possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell® (AV® Preeminent™), and are board certified as experts by the Florida State Bar. However, what's more important than the accolades is what they demonstrate.
We are Miami wrongful death attorneys who are wholly committed to our clients' well-being, forming close relationships that go beyond legal service. When you want skill backed by compassion, experience fortified by empathy, then call Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain, P.A. as soon as possible. Our law firm has a nationwide reach.
Call (305) 770-6335 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our law firm. We are prepared to help resolve your case as effectively and quickly as possible.