If your close relative passed away from injuries received in a slip and fall accident, the Montero Law Center can help. We can talk with you and evaluate your right to compensation. We can investigate the accident, gather the evidence to prove your case, and work with experts as needed.
We do not charge upfront legal fees for handling these cases. When you have lost a loved one, you have enough to deal with without having another bill to pay. We handle these cases on a contingent fee basis, which means that our legal fees come out of the settlement or award at the end.
To set up your free, no-obligation consultation for wrongful death from a slip and fall accident claim, call the Montero Law Center today at 954-767-6500. We can take care of the legal issues so that you can focus on rebuilding your life.
Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident
To successfully sue someone for wrongful death from a slip and fall accident, the defendant’s negligence must have caused the accident. These cases fall under the heading of premises liability. For purposes of premises liability, a landowner is responsible when all three of these elements are true:
- There was a hazardous condition on the property. For example, a malfunctioning freezer compartment at a grocery store caused a frozen puddle around the equipment. Because of the lighting and the appearance of the floor surface at that location, it was difficult for shoppers to notice what was in essence “black ice” on the floor. This fact pattern constitutes a dangerous condition on the property.
- The owner knew or should have known about the danger. The people who worked at the grocery store had reported to the “black ice” problem to the store manager. As a result, the owner knew or should have known about the danger.
- The owner failed to take action to either correct the problem or block off and warn people of the hazard. The store manager scheduled a repair person to take a look at the malfunctioning freezer compartment but failed to block off the area or post warnings about the danger to prevent injuries to shoppers. This fact pattern satisfies all three elements for premises liability.
The store will be responsible for the losses of people who suffer injuries from the icy patch on the floor. The store’s negligence is the cause of any injuries from the icy patch.
Under Florida law, a property owner must use ordinary care to make sure that the property is reasonably safe for people who are on the property legally premises legally. A person is on the property legally when she:
- Is an invited guest
- Is at the location for a legitimate business purpose, such as a shopper in a grocery store
- Has an implied invitation to enter the premises, such as the UPS delivery person to bring you a package you ordered
- Is on the property pursuant to state or federal regulations or US postal rules, such as the mail carrier someone reading the electric meter.
Requirements to Bring a Wrongful Death Case in Florida
You have to satisfy both of these two factors to bring a valid wrongful death lawsuit under Florida law:
- You must have the legal right under the Florida statutes to file the wrongful death lawsuit. Our state limits the people who have the authority to bring these actions. The Florida Wrongful Death Act allows the personal representative of the person who died (decedent) to file the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the decedent’s estate and survivors.
- A right of action to sue the negligent party must exist. If the decedent would have had the right to sue for damages if he or she had survived the injuries, and someone else’s “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty” caused the decedent’s death, then there is a right of action, and the proper party can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
The Deadline to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida
You only have two years to file a lawsuit for wrongful death in our state. If you miss this deadline, you might never be able to seek compensation for the loss of your loved one.
Damages for the Wrongful Death of Your Loved One
The damages a person can receive for someone’s wrongful death depend on the relationship of that person to the decedent. For example:
The decedent’s estate can pursue damages for the decedent’s loss of earnings, which are the income the decedent probably would have earned during the remainder of his or her working life. The court will reduce these damages to present value, which is a lower number than the total loss of earnings.
The surviving spouse can seek damages for mental pain and suffering, and the loss of companionship and protection of the decedent.
A minor surviving child (or adult surviving child if there is no surviving spouse) can pursue a claim for the loss of support and services, mental pain and suffering, and the loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance.
The parents of a deceased minor child can seek damages for mental pain and suffering. The parents of the deceased adult child can seek those damages if there are no other survivors.
All survivors can be eligible for compensation for lost support and services from the point of injury until death, as well as lost future support and services.
The person who paid the final medical bills or funeral costs of the decedent can get reimbursement for those expenses.
Getting Legal Help with a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Slip and Fall
Although Florida law does not require you to hire a lawyer to handle your wrongful death lawsuit, the insurance company of the negligent party has many lawyers working for it, with one goal in mind, to pay you as little compensation as possible. With everything that is at stake in a wrongful death lawsuit, you do not want to try to handle this on your own.
You can set up your free consultation today by calling the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500. We will treat you with the respect and compassion that you deserve.