Palm Beach County Wrongful Death
After the sudden loss of a loved one, taking legal action might be the last thought on your mind. But bringing a wrongful death claim could be an essential step toward moving on with life. This is especially true if your family has incurred significant financial losses due to medical bills, lost income, and funeral expenses.
The Palm Beach County wrongful death attorneys at Donaldson & Weston understand how difficult it is to cope with the aftermath of a loved one’s death. We are here to alleviate the burden on your family by helping you overcome the legal hurdles standing between you and fair compensation. Call us today at 772-266-5555 for a free case review.What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Florida?
In the state of Florida, wrongful death is defined as a death resulting from negligence, a wrongful act, default, or breach of contract or warranty. Generally speaking, if the decedent would have been able to bring a personal injury claim if he or she had survived, family members could bring a wrongful death claim.
Some of the most common causes of wrongful death in Florida include:
- Car, truck, motorcycle, boating, and bicycle accidents;
- Elder abuse and neglect;
- Nursing home abuse and neglect;
- Dangerous premises;
- Accidents in the workplace; and
- Pharmacy errors.
The outcome of your wrongful death claim could have a huge impact on your financial future. It is critical that you find a reputable lawyer who has the experience and resources to represent your interests.
Here are a few qualities you should look for in a Palm Beach County wrongful death attorney:
- Trial Experience: Some attorneys spend 10 or 20 years practicing law but only go to trial a handful of times. An attorney with litigation experience would be willing to take your case to trial if the insurance company or defendant refuses to offer a reasonable settlement.
- Honesty: Ask the lawyer about potential outcomes of your case. A good attorney will not guarantee a specific outcome because claims proceedings can be unpredictable; however, your lawyer should be able to explain potential outcomes
- Communication Skills: No attorney can provide effective representation without having exceptional communication skills. Your lawyer should be able to provide detailed answers to all of your questions and make you feel confident in his or her ability to represent your interests.
- Responsiveness: It’s not easy to tell if an attorney will be responsive until you have worked with him or her. But your lawyer should give you a direct phone number and email address so you can always reach out whenever you have a question. This will greatly reduce the stress on you and your family.
No matter how strong your case seems to be, you should expect the opposing party to perform a thorough investigation to find reasons to deny your claim or reduce its value. To protect your case, it’s important that you avoid making mistakes that could lead to a dispute. Examples of such mistakes include:
- Providing Recorded Statements: It’s wise to contact a wrongful death lawyer before you’ve spoken to anyone affiliated with the insurance company. Your statements to the insurer will likely be recorded and admissible in court, and they may be used to dispute liability or damages. For example, if the claims adjuster asks about the cause of your loved one’s death and you say something that indicates he or she might have been partially at fault, this could reduce the potential value of your claim. A Palm Beach County wrongful death attorney from Donaldson & Weston can handle all correspondence with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Discussing Your Case on Social Media: If you go into detail about the facts surrounding your family member’s death, those posts might be used to dispute your claim. As tempting as it can be to use social networking sites to keep loved ones informed, it’s important that you’re careful about what you say. In fact, it’s best to stay off social media entirely while your claim is pending.
- Waiting Too Long to Initiate the Investigation: Your attorney will want to perform an immediate investigation so any time-sensitive evidence can be gathered. If you wait too long to consult a lawyer, important evidence might become unavailable. Although the thought of filing a claim might seem overwhelming after such a tragic loss, it’s wise to initiate the proceedings as soon as possible.
There are many other mistakes that could derail your case. The Palm Beach County wrongful death lawyers at Donaldson & Weston can protect your interests throughout the proceedings and help you avoid costly errors that might jeopardize your claim.How Long Will It Take to Resolve My Case?
Every wrongful death claim is unique. Some cases are relatively straightforward because there’s strong evidence of liability and damages, all parties agree on the relevant facts, and the amount of compensation being sought is fairly low; however, most cases involve at least a few complexities.
Although we cannot estimate how long it might take to resolve your claim until we’ve performed an investigation, you may find it helpful to know some of the factors that could influence the duration of the proceedings, which include:
- The Potential Value of Your Claim: Insurance companies tend to devote more resources to disputing claims that involve significant damages. If you’re seeking a substantial amount of compensation, there might be a higher chance of facing a dispute, which could draw out the proceedings.
- Whether Pertinent Facts Are Disputed: If there’s a disagreement regarding who caused the death, the percentage of fault assigned to various parties, the value of your claim, or other pertinent facts, this could lead to a dispute.
- The Strength of Your Evidence: The stronger your evidence, the less likely the opposing party may be to dispute your claim. To prevent unnecessary delays and complications, our Palm Beach County wrongful death lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation and compile all available evidence of liability and damages.
Finding success in wrongful death claims requires extensive knowledge of Florida law and refined legal strategies. The attorneys at Donaldson & Weston have both, and we will use our resources to help you and your family fight for the highest possible compensation. Call 772-266-5555 or use our Contact Form to schedule a free case review.