The unexpected death of a loved one is a tragic event in any family’s life. Knowing that their death could’ve been avoided can be devastating. If you’ve lost someone due to the negligence of others, Pensacola wrongful death lawyer Joe Zarzaur is here to help. We work tirelessly seeking justice for survivors and have returned record-setting verdicts for our clients.
If you’re considering filing a wrongful death case, the jury trial experience of your lawyer can have an big effect on the value of your case. Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer with record jury verdicts in both Escambia and Santa Rosa County. Only 1 percent of the lawyers in Florida are Board Certified.
What Is Considered Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death claim is a special type of personal injury claim filed in court on behalf of a person killed as a result of the negligence or otherwise wrongful conduct of another. Wrongful death lawsuits are most often filed personal injury lawyers who specialize in the litigating of such cases.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is designed to hold liable parties accountable for their actions and financially compensate the executor of estate (typically family) for the loss of a loved one.
Wrongful death lawsuits are commonly filed as the result of auto accidents, defective drugs, defective medical devices, medical malpractice, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other death cases involving the negligence or wrongful acts of others.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim’s family or personal representative bears the burden of proving that the defendant’s negligent actions caused the death of the victim. In a homicide case, the defendant can only be convicted if the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant caused the victim’s death. This is different from the standard for proving a wrongful death case. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim’s personal representative only has to prove their case on the balance of probabilities. This essentially means that they have to prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s negligence or wrongful actions caused the death of the victim.
In some cases like wrongful deaths resulting from medical malpractice, medical experts will be required to provide expert testimony to prove that the defendant’s actions fell below the standard of care expected in the same or similar circumstances. Zarzaur Law employs an on-staff medical doctor that works with the firm in investigating and preparing cases. We also have access to other expert resources that may be necessary in establishing the standard of care for other types of negligent or wrongful acts that result in death.
What Type of Damages Can Be Recovered?
Damages that are most often sought after in wrongful death lawsuits include compensation for:
- Funeral, burial, medical, hospital expenses
- Pain & suffering experienced prior to death (degenerative diseases / debilitating injuries)
- Losses incurred by the deceased’s family: loss of wages; mental anguish; financial support; companionship; parental guidance (in cases where deceased has children)
- The pecuniary compensation provided for by wrongful death lawsuits serves to void any financial issues related to the passing of a loved one.
These damages will determine the value of your wrongful death case. There are some damages that are easily computable with receipts and invoices because they are tangible. These are called economic damages and they include such things as funeral and burial expenses. The noneconomic damages are usually the more complex damages to compute. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, and mental anguish. The value of noneconomic damages are subjective and the award a family receives may depend largely on the jury’s discretion, if the case is taken to trial. We have access to economists and other financial professionals who can give convincing expert evidence to support the value of noneconomic damages claimed in a case.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Florida?
Following a death caused by negligence, all survivors of the deceased have the right to sue for wrongful death and receive compensation according to Florida’s Wrongful Death Act. This not only includes the immediate family, but others as well. Our wrongful death lawyers are here to help and can answer any specific questions you may have.
Is There a Statute of Limitations To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Florida, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the death in most cases. A wrongful death lawsuit must be filed before the statutory deadline passes. The statutory deadline places a cap on the amount of time that the executor of estate has to file a wrongful death claim before any such claim is deemed null and void.
What is the Difference Between Wrongful Death and Homicide?
There are several things that distinguish a wrongful death from a homicide. While both result in the death of a person, there are significant factors that make them different. To start with, homicide requires intent. The defendant must have, in their mind, an intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to the victim. With wrongful death, there is no conscious intent to cause harm to the victim, rather the defendant is careless about their actions, which cause the death of the victim. Homicide is a criminal offense that is prosecuted by the state against the defendant. This is because a homicide is an act not just against the victim, but against society. The desired outcome in a homicide prosecution is punishment for the defendant. In a wrongful death case, the beneficiaries of the victim make a claim and prosecute the case against the defendant. The case does not involve the public. It is a private dispute between the victim’s family or beneficiaries, and the defendant. The desired outcome is not necessarily to punish the defendant, but to recover financial compensation for the loss of their loved one.
Our Lawyers Can Help
Losing a family member due to the negligence of others is a tragic occurrence that no family should have to endure. Zarzaur Law’s Pensacola wrongful death attorneys will work to hold them accountable and get your family the justice you deserve.
Be confident you have a legal expert on your side.
No Cost, No Fee, Unless We Win
Zarzaur Law is a pure contingency fee law firm. There is NO FEE unless you win. If you don’t collect, we don’t either. Results matter, so make sure to check out our case results as well as our client reviews see what are clients have to say about our firm.
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