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There is no experience more devastating than suddenly losing a loved one because someone else acted recklessly, carelessly, or illegally. While pursuing civil litigation in the midst of your grief may understandably feel like a lot to deal with in the moment, it is ultimately in your family’s best interests to begin a legal proceeding.

Support from a compassionate personal injury attorney can be vital to minimizing additional stress on your family while maximizing your chances of securing a favorable case result. From settlement negotiations to a possible court trial, your dedicated Miramar Beach wrongful death lawyer could put your needs first and work tirelessly to get your family the compensation you deserve.

Basic Rules for Filing Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death does not just have to be the result of a criminal act. They can result from any action of negligence that leads to a car crash, pedestrian collision, medical malpractice, or other accident that leads to a loss of life.

The primary purpose of wrongful death litigation is to compensate immediate family members for their financial and emotional losses. That said, the family members who can recover compensation through a successful wrongful death claim are not the ones who have standing to file such a claim.

Instead, that right and responsibility falls to the personal representative—sometimes called the “executor”—for the decedent’s estate, which is generally someone nominated in the decedent’s estate planning documents. If the personal representative elects to file a wrongful death claim, they would be pursuing recovery on behalf of all eligible beneficiaries of the decedent.

Notably, wrongful death cases can proceed simultaneously with criminal proceedings related to the death in question, but each case would be totally separate and would have no bearing on the outcome of the other. However, it is vital to contact a Miramar Beach wrongful death attorney as soon as possible so that there is enough time to investigate and file the claim within the statute of limitations. Incidents that occur prior to March 24, 2023 have a statute of limitations of four years, while incidents occurring after that date have a deadline of only two years.

Potential Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

Through a successful wrongful death case, surviving loved ones may recover for both economic and non-economic consequences they will experience due to the loss of the individual. The losses most frequently included in these claims are:

  • Emotional anguish and suffering
  • Lost companionship, guidance, and instruction
  • Lost household services and support
  • Lost consortium
  • Lost financial support or future value of inheritance
  • Funeral and burial expenses

The decedent’s estate representative may also seek restitution for certain losses sustained by the estate or by the decedent themselves between their initial injury and their eventual death. This tends to be for medical expenses and lost earnings. As a qualified attorney can explain, if a wrongful death in Miramar Beach stemmed from egregiously negligent or intentionally malicious conduct, the court ruling on a civil case may impose punitive damages against the defendant as well. Punitive damages are meant to warn others in the future against committing similar acts.

Consider Working with a Miramar Beach Wrongful Death Attorney

Any accident which results in a fatality is a tragic and traumatic event for everyone who knew and loved the person. Whether their death was indeed an accident or whether it stemmed from some kind of intentional criminal act, you may have standing as a family member to recover financially for harm you have sustained.

A Miramar Beach wrongful death lawyer can stand by your side, both in business and in life, working tenaciously to ensure your case has a positive outcome. Fill out a contact form and speak with someone from Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon.