One of the biggest misconceptions about wrongful death cases is that people make a claim because they want cash.
In our experience, people would much rather not face the great tragic loss of a loved one. We've lost count of the number of times we've heard "I wish it never happened."
In fact, people are consumed with grief and making a claim is the last thing on their mind. Also, many find it difficult to put a dollar value on the absence of the companionship or love a loved one provided. It's true that there is not enough money in the world to adequately compensate for such a loss. That said, wrongful death compensation makes it possible to pay for the future of the victim's children, counseling and therapy the family may need to continue life without the companionship and love they had expected to experience.
It's negligent not to hold parties responsible for their actions
People feel like it's not dignified to seek money for the death of a loved one when in reality it's not about seeking money because of personal greed. It's about recovering what is rightfully yours and also about holding the person or persons or companies or corporations responsible for violating safety rules that led to the death of a family member. It is negligent not to hold that parties accountable for the harm and the death that they caused.
The right to file a claim does not depend on the other party's intention to harm. Instead, the fact that someone else's negligence or wrongdoing caused the death is sufficient to make the case.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Miami?
Another misconception appears when adult children lose adult parents through the negligence of another, and insurance companies or defense firms try to minimize that loss. It's like saying that that relationship was about to be over anyway, or adult children didn't see their parents that much so the loss is not worth that much.
Family relationships are often complicated, but when parents die, they're no longer living on this earth. You'll never speak to them again, see them again, hug them again, and you'll never be able to seek advice from them again. When adult children lose adult parents, we don't approve of the way the insurance companies and defense firms try to minimize that.
Also, some folks believe that only a spouse or child can bring a wrongful death action. This fact is not true. Next of kin, such as siblings, also have the right to file wrongful death claims. In some situations, even someone who had a proven financial dependence on the decedent can make a claim.
Biggest mistakes to avoid in Miami wrongful death cases
- Talking to the insurance company. In a wrongful death claim, it's vital that you realize the insurance company does not have your best interests at heart. Its goal is to make a profit, to protect its own interests even if that means offering you a settlement far below what you legally deserve. As such, even a seemingly innocent conversation may be used against you. While it may seem helpful, it will use any information gathered from you to leverage its interests.
- Settling early with an insurance company. An insurance company will try to persuade you that it will deal fairly with your family. While this might be the case, it never hurts to have a professional in the field look over the settlement agreement before you sign it. An insurance company may try to trick you into accepting a lower settlement amount by making it seem generous and the best available offer. They take advantage of your situation, may offer an unfair settlement, and they will push you to sign paperwork to settle quickly. However, never accept such a settlement without consulting with your attorney who will look for what's best for you and could negotiate a higher amount of compensation.
- Waiting too long. It's difficult to think about going to court and starting a case right after the death of your loved one. However, it's important to take prompt action, as according to the Florida Wrongful Death Act, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death case is two years. This means when two years have passed from the day your loved one died, you cannot file a claim against the responsible party. It can take time to find a good wrongful death lawyer, arrange all the required documentation, and gather evidence. That is why you should take action as soon as possible.
- Letting differences of opinion prevent you from seeking justice. Some relatives may not want to pursue a wrongful death case and others may want to. These differences may feel insurmountable, but they are often the result of incomplete information. Instead of letting them keep you from pursuing a wrongful death claim, make sure everyone knows what a wrongful death claim is and isn't and why it is essential to consider.
- Representing your case without the help of a lawyer. Even when you have done thorough research on the subject and think that you can handle your wrongful death case on your own, you may find yourself struggling with understanding legal terminology, finding relevant evidence, coping with court requirements, and keeping up with the deadlines. This is likely to happen because you cannot learn everything within a few weeks through online guides. The insurance company has its lawyers advising it the whole way, it has its adjusters who are trained in handling the cases in its interest. Many people have been burnt by insurance companies and learned the hard way.
Recover what is rightfully yours after a wrongful death in Miami
If you're mourning the wrongful death of a loved one because of a house fire, car accident or another type of accident, The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary can help. You may have a rightful claim to financial compensation.
While this will not undo what happened, it can help your family recover and rebuild after this trauma.
Take the first step toward protecting your interests after a fatal accident by contacting us for a free case evaluation.