Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one in a wrongful death accident can have lasting effects on surviving family members and friends. In addition to the emotional toll of losing a loved one unexpectedly, family members are often left with costly medical bills, loss of future income, property damage, and funeral and burial costs. However, if you lost a loved one because of the negligence of another party, certain surviving relatives could be eligible to pursue financial compensation for damages related to the incident. 

Before seeking compensation, it is important to understand that you may need to deal with multiple insurance companies besides your own, especially if you wish to seek the full and fair amount of compensation you may need to cover your damages. Having a licensed lawyer to help guide you through the process may be in your best interests.

At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our reputable team of legal professionals is prepared to listen to the details of your wrongful death claim in a complimentary, first-time evaluation. Our compassionate attorneys understand the emotional and financial struggles surviving family members often experience after the unexpected loss of a loved one. 

Dealing with the aftermath of a wrongful death can be devastating for surviving relatives and family friends. Besides the emotional trauma that may come with the unexpected loss of a loved one, surviving family members are often left to deal with expensive medical bills, costly funeral and burial expenses, loss of future wages, and significant property damage in some cases. 

This is why it is important to take certain necessary steps after losing a loved one in an accident that was the result of another’s negligence. Having a quality lawyer on your side could help you take these steps, so you can pursue the correct amount of compensation you may legally deserve to cover any financial losses related to the premature death of your loved one. 

If you need legal assistance with your wrongful death claim, contact Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today to schedule a cost-free, initial claim review. Our phone lines are open 24/7, so you can give us a call any time at (561) 609-1948.

Experiencing the loss of a loved one can be devastating for surviving family members and friends, especially when the death could have been prevented. When a fatality is caused by the negligence of another individual or entity, it is considered a wrongful death and surviving family members may be able to hold the at-fault party liable for certain damages. These damages may include medical bills, loss of future income, funeral and burial expenses, and loss of consortium. 

However, it is important to learn your legal rights from a qualified attorney before settling for a low-ball offer from the insurance company. Having a licensed attorney can help protect your rights to seek the full and fair amount of compensation you may legally deserve. For example, according to the Florida Statute of Limitations, surviving family members only have a limited amount of time to file a wrongful death claim to seek legal compensation. The details of your particular situation will determine the amount of time you have to file a claim.

If you or someone you know lost a loved one in a wrongful death accident in Miami, contact the law firm of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today to schedule a no-cost, initial consultation (by appointment only). Our compassionate attorneys have more than four decades of combined legal experience while recovering more than $100 million combined in successful verdicts and settlements for our past clients. 

The unexpected loss of a loved one can have devastating effects on individuals and their families, especially when the death was caused by negligent or wrongful acts. Victims who prematurely lose someone they love, often suffer from long-term emotional trauma and psychological problems, in addition to financial stress that can be an added burden for surviving family members.  

When a fatality is the result of a serious accident, surviving family members are often left with outstanding medical bills, loss of income, funeral, and burial costs. However, if the accident was the result of negligence, surviving family members could be eligible for financial compensation. Discussing your situation with a licensed attorney is crucial to pursuing the compensation you and your family may need.

At the law office of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we aim to protect the rights of the people of West Palm Beach and beyond (by appointment only), which is why we offer free initial consultations to individuals and families who lost a loved one due to an accident. We know how to properly apply local and state laws to help you hold negligent parties liable for damages, including claims involving wrongful death in Florida. Our firm has more than 40 years of combined legal experience, while obtaining over $100 million in successful verdicts and settlements for our past clients.  

After a car accident, injury victims and their family members who wish to recover compensation for their damages must understand their rights and potential remedies. Establishing fault after a Florida car accident is the most critical aspect of a personal injury claim. Typically if the other motorist’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness caused the accident, the victim may be entitled to compensation. However, if the other party establishes that the victim was also responsible for the accident, their compensation may be reduced by their fault level. Proving fault and refuting comparative negligence claims are a crucial part of the process.

Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that victims must file a claim with their insurance company after an accident, regardless of which party was at fault. The only exception to this rule is if the victim suffered permanent injuries or injuries involving scarring and disfigurement. In Florida, fault is a critical part of this process because the state follows the comparative negligence model of liability. Juries generally calculate two things, the total amount of the plaintiff’s damages and the percentage of fault that belongs to each party. Then a plaintiff’s recovery is reduced by the level of fault the jury attributes to them.

Florida victims must establish fault and refute comparative negligence claims if they wish to recover the maximum amount of compensation for their damages. Establishing fault requires the plaintiff to prove that the other party failed to act reasonably and breached their duty of care. One of the many ways a plaintiff can establish this is by gathering witness statements. Witness statements can provide juries with valuable insight into the events leading up to the accident. Next, digital evidence in the form of photos or videos can provide the jury with vital information. Moreover, if a victim can prove that the other driver was violating a Florida traffic law, the court may impute liability based on negligence per se. This often occurs if the at-fault party received a traffic citation or is arrested after an accident for a traffic crime such as impaired driving or speeding.

Property owners owe guests a duty to ensure that their property is reasonably safe. The extent of the duty a landowner owes to a guest, however, will depend on the reason for the guest’s visit. Under Florida slip and fall law, invitees are owed the greatest duty, while trespassers are owed the lowest duty. Licensees occupy a middle ground.

Florida law distinguishes between public invitees and business invitees. A public invitee is a guest who is present on property that is generally open to the public for non-business reasons. A visitor at a public park is an example of a public invitee. A business invitee, on the other hand, is someone who is present on another’s property for some business purpose. A common example of a business invitee is a customer at a grocery store. Business invitees and public invitees are both owed the same duty by landowners. However, a public invitee may need to deal with sovereign immunity issues when pursuing a claim for compensation. Of course, to successfully bring a Florida premises liability lawsuit, the injured party must be able to show that the landowner owed them a duty, and that the landowner violated that duty.

In a recent Florida court of appeals decision, a plaintiff filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased against a Florida hotel and resort following a golf cart accident that resulted in the individual’s death. The defendant hotel provided a complimentary golf cart service to transport guests around its property and on its grounds. The golf cart was not allowed to travel on roads beyond the hotel grounds, but it could drop passengers off who could then cross a highway on foot.

Last month, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Florida wrongful death case discussing the permissible scope of a liability release waiver and whether such a waiver can prevent a plaintiff from pursuing a claim of gross negligence against a defendant. Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s case should proceed because the waiver signed by the plaintiff did not include the waiver of claims based on the defendant’s gross negligence.

The Facts of the Case

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was killed when she was run over by a tow-truck on the Daytona International Speedway. Apparently, the plaintiff was standing in a restricted-access area when two employees of the raceway instructed the tow-truck driver to back the truck into the restricted area. As the truck was backing up, it ran over the plaintiff.

Before the plaintiff entered the raceway, she signed a release and waiver of liability. The waiver stated that the plaintiff agreed to “release, waive and discharge” the defendant “for any and all loss or damage” resulting in injury or death. The agreement stated that it applied to “all acts of negligence.”

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In a recent Florida wrongful death case, the Florida Supreme Court reversed an intermediate appellate court’s decision that placed a limit on the amount of damages that a person could obtain through a wrongful death lawsuit.

The Facts

The specific facts of the case are less important than its holding. However, the case involved a wrongful death lawsuit brought by a plaintiff against a tobacco company. The plaintiff claimed that the tobacco company was responsible for her mother’s early death at the age of fifty-eight. The plaintiff was forty-two at the time of her mother’s death. There was extensive testimony regarding the closeness of the plaintiff’s relationship with her mother.

The case proceeded to trial, and the jury awarded the plaintiff $4.5 million in damages for the loss of her mother. The defendant tobacco company filed a motion with the court, asking it to reduce the damages amount, but the motion was denied. The tobacco company appealed.

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In a long-awaited decision, Chirillo v. Granicz, the Supreme Court of Florida provided much-needed clarity on the thorny question of the liability that may extend to a psychotherapist for his or her patient’s suicide. The decision resolves conflicting rulings from two of Florida’s Courts of Appeal and provides coherent guidance to litigants wondering whether the conduct of a treating psychotherapist is actionable.

Granicz was brought by the widower of a patient who had received mental health care treatment from a primary care physician for about three years prior to her suicide. The physician began providing treatment to the patient in 2005, and in September of that year, he switched the patient’s antidepressant medication from Prozac to Effexor. In October 2008, the patient contacted the physician’s office and told a medical assistant she had ceased taking the Effexor because she believed it was causing various deleterious side effects, including difficulty sleeping and digestive problems. After reading notes on this conversation taken by the medical assistant, the physician called the patient, told her that he was changing her prescription to Lexapro, and referred her to a gastroenterologist. The physician told the plaintiff that she could obtain samples of Lexapro from the office, but he did not schedule an appointment to meet directly with the plaintiff. Some days thereafter, the patient went to the office to obtain the samples.

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In a recent decision, Jones v. Alayon, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal addressed several questions arising from trial in an auto accident negligence case. At trial, the jury found that the decedent was, in part, responsible for his death because the evidence established he had not been wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. Among various arguments the decedent’s estate raised on appeal was whether the trial court erred in not directing a verdict in favor of the estate on the defendant’s seatbelt defense because the undisputed evidence showed that the seatbelt was actually inoperable.

Alayon was brought by the daughter of the decedent as the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The defendant in this case was the driver of the vehicle that rear-ended the decedent’s vehicle, which caused it to strike a guardrail and turn over. The decedent was ejected from the vehicle. The decedent died as a result of either ejection from the vehicle or being struck by other oncoming cars. The defendant was a off-duty police officer, who fled after striking the decedent’s vehicle and falsely reported that it had been stolen. At the time of the civil trial, the decedent was incarcerated on charges related to the hit-and-run. The defendant conceded liability but contended that his negligence didn’t result in the decedent’s death. Instead, the defendant argued that the decedent was comparatively negligent because he failed to wear a seatbelt.

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