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Obtained Over $1 Billion in Settlements & Trial Verdicts
Pinecrest, FL Personal Injury Lawyer
Did You Lose Someone in an Accidental Death or Crime?
Pinecrest is one of the most popular suburbs in Miami-Dade County. Incorporated only 25 years ago, the community welcomes retirees, young families, and professionals looking for a small-town feel, while maintaining access to the larger Miami metropolitan area.
Like any community, Pinecrest experiences many accidents—and some of them are deadly. If you lost a loved one in an accident, reach out to Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP to speak with a Pinecrest wrongful death lawyer. We have the knowledge and experience you need to seek compensation.
Contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein today
You Deserve Justice
If you believe that your family member was wrongfully killed, give us a call for a free consultation today!
Contact us to find out how we can help by calling (305) 371-2692.
Wrongful Death Statistics
Florida’s wrongful death law identifies any death as “wrongful” when it is caused by the negligence, wrongful act, default, or breach of contract by another person. Most wrongful deaths are accidents that result in fatal injuries. Another subset of wrongful death cases stem from criminal acts like manslaughter or homicide.
According to the state’s Crash Dashboard, Miami-Dade County experienced 303 fatal crashes in 2022, resulting in 321 fatalities. The greatest number of fatal collisions occurred in the month of April, when there were 36 fatal collisions.
Florida workers suffer fatal injuries in transportation accidents, slip and falls, electrocutions, and other serious accidents. In 2020, the state saw 275 fatal work injuries. The construction industry had the greatest number of deaths, with 82, while the transportation industry also saw a large number. Men accounted for 88% of all workers killed in Florida.
Wrongful Death Examples
There is no typical wrongful death case. However, we have mostly represented people who lost a loved one due to:
- Car wrecks, including drunk driving, distracted driving, and speeding motorists
- Truck accidents involving semi-trucks, box trucks, and delivery vans
- Slip and falls and other premises liability accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Dog attacks and bites
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Negligent security
- Violent attacks, including homicide
Wrongful Death and Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle collisions are a major source of wrongful death cases. The key is to understand whether the defendant is liable for the accident because they drove negligently or recklessly. For example, we can bring a wrongful death claim against a driver who was:
- Driving on the sidewalk
- Drag racing
- Passing illegally around a corner
- Running a red light or failing to yield
- Texting and driving
- Driving while distracted
- Failing to exercise proper surveillance of surroundings
Similarly, a motorist might hit a pedestrian because of a failure to follow the rules of the road. They could make an illegal turn or run a light when a pedestrian is in the crosswalk.
In some cases, a vehicle defect will make a car unstable. The brakes might fail on a car, which can lead to a wreck. Or a tire might blow due to tread separation, which renders the vehicle unmanageable. We will review whether we can sue the manufacturer for causing the fatal accident.
Wrongful Deaths In The Workplace
Dolan Dobrinsky can assist anyone who lost a family member in a workplace accident. There are some legal complications, however. The good news is that the state’s workers’ compensation system provides a death benefit. A surviving spouse and minor dependents can receive benefits for a certain amount of time based on the deceased’s wages before death. There is also money for a funeral.
Workers’ compensation generally prohibits suing the deceased’s employer, even if they were at fault. That’s the trade-off in workers’ compensation.
The Pinecrest wrongful death lawyers at DDRB will review whether to bring a lawsuit against a third party. For example, defective equipment at work could have exploded and fatally injured your loved one. The manufacturer could be liable for a product defect. A third-party lawsuit is a good way to increase the compensation available for a loved one’s death.
What Steps Are Involved in a Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death claims are civil in nature, which means that the estate’s personal representative is primarily responsible for filing the lawsuit. There are certain steps which must be followed.
- Open a probate case after the death. You can’t file a wrongful death claim until your loved one passes. The probate court is the appropriate forum.
- Analyze the evidence to determine if there was a wrongful death. For example, it might be the case that your loved one is 100% responsible for what happened, in which case you can’t sue.
- Seek the appointment of a personal representative in probate. Your loved one should have named someone to serve in their will. This person is responsible for all probate-related tasks, including the wrongful death case.
- Submit a claim to the defendants responsible for the death. It is often possible to settle the dispute out of court.
- File a wrongful death lawsuit if settlement negotiations do not succeed.
The legal steps are confusing for most people, which is why retaining an accidental death lawyer in Pinecrest is beneficial. At DDRB, we can perform all the tasks for you in a timely manner.
Wrongful Death Compensation
Although the personal representative files the lawsuit, certain family members receive compensation for their damages. Generally, the surviving spouse, children, and parents may all be eligible. Dependent relatives can also qualify. The amount you can receive depends on who survives the deceased and other factors.
Florida law identifies the following damages:
- Loss of support. You can seek compensation to replace the financial support the deceased would have supplied had he or she lived. For example, a wife who worked as a nurse would have contributed years of income to her spouse and children. She might also have supported elderly parents.
- Loss of services. Lost services include home repair, cooking, cleaning, child care, or other services to the family.
- Loss of companionship. A surviving spouse can seek compensation for loss of care and protection. Children and parents can sometimes also qualify.
- Mental pain and suffering endured by survivors.
- Bills paid by a family member, such as for medical care or burial.
The estate can also recover damages as well in a survival action, which our wrongful death lawyers can file at the same time. A survival action compensates for losses suffered by your loved one from the moment of the accident until death: medical bills, pain and suffering, income loss, and other damages.
Punitive Damages and Pinecrest Wrongful Death
Under Florida law, we can seek punitive damages when the defendant either intentionally killed your loved one or acted with gross negligence. Punitive damages punish defendants for this reprehensible conduct and seek to deter future violations. Not every case qualifies for punitive damages. For example, a distracted motorist might have been fiddling with controls on the dash when they hit your loved one. That probably isn’t grossly negligent behavior.
Let us review. Florida caps punitive damages in many situations, but there is no cap when the defendant intentionally killed your loved one.
How Much Can You Receive in a Pinecrest Wrongful Death Case?
There are many considerations when it comes to compensation. Our Pinecrest wrongful death attorneys can review all the relevant factors.
For example, your loved one’s age makes a big difference. If they were young, then odds are they had several more decades of income, which means family members can seek more money for lost support. By contrast, an elderly person might have already retired.
Another factor is whether the defendant has assets or insurance to pay. Your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance has a death benefit, but it is only a few thousand dollars. We need to see if the defendant has additional resources. Did they have liability automobile insurance? Homeowners or renters’ insurance (for a premises liability death)? If the defendant was a business, they probably have a liability policy with a decent policy limit.
Conversely, some defendants will have no money—no liability insurance and no assets we could reach if we won a court judgment against them. In that unfortunate case, the amount of compensation you receive could be small.
The state also has a damages cap for situations where they are the defendant. It is $200,000 in most cases for one person’s death. We will see if possibly we can add another defendant.
How Defendants Avoid Paying Compensation
Please call our Pinecrest wrongful death attorney for help as soon as your loved one passes. We strongly discourage trying to handle your own legal claim. As experienced lawyers, we know all the tricks defendants use to avoid liability. For example, they might argue the following:
- Their actions didn’t cause the death. For example, your loved one might have been involved in a T-bone collision. However, they don’t die until 5 days later while sitting in the living room from a stroke. The defendant might argue they weren’t the cause of the stroke, so they aren’t responsible for wrongful death.
- They weren’t at fault for the accident. They might blame the deceased (who is no longer here) for their own death.
- They don’t believe you deserve compensation. They might not value your mental pain or loss of companionship very highly. We know how to value your claim properly. This is a critical reason to consult an attorney. If you negotiate on your own, you might agree to a small settlement.
Other defendants will ignore phone calls or not respond to emails. They drag out an investigation, which puts pressure on you to settle. This type of delay is a deliberate tactic on their part. You can fight back by reaching out to our law firm to discuss your case. We can use the state’s “bad faith” insurance laws to pressure an insurer to investigate and settle a claim promptly. If they refuse, we might seek damages from them.
Deadlines for Wrongful Death Claims
At DDRB, our accidental death attorneys pay close attention to deadlines. They are critical for protecting your legal rights. Generally, the personal representative must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the deceased’s passing, with a minor exception to this deadline applying in the case of murder or manslaughter.
Two years might seem like a long time, but it’s not. If you go over, you can lose the ability to ever receive compensation. For this reason, it is critical to speak to a death attorney near me about your case.
How Do I Find a Wrongful Death Attorney Near Me?
Few people ever imagine they will need a lawyer for the death of a spouse, parent, or child. Still, there are certain things to look for when shopping for the best wrongful death lawyers in Pinecrest:
- Experience. Wrongful death cases are unique in personal injury law. You need someone who understands the different laws involved, as well as what evidence is useful. Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein has tackled multiple wrongful death cases involving motor vehicle wrecks, defective products, and negligent security. For our attorneys, wrongful death cases make up a sizable portion of what we do.
- Legal reputation. Recognition from a lawyer’s peers illustrate the attorney’s strong reputation. DDRB lawyers have received some of the highest honors in Florida, including election as Presidents of the Dade County Trial Lawyers Association and the West Broward Bar. One of our founders, Dan Dolan, has also been elected as a member of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates.
- Proven results. The best lawyers have a proven history of what they have accomplished on behalf of their clients. DDRB has obtained more than $1 billion for our personal injury clients over the years. We have fought some of the largest businesses and insurance companies in the state.
- Communication style and “fit.” You want to feel comfortable with the lawyer you hire. This is why schedule a consultation to ask questions and discuss your case. You can talk face-to-face about your loved one’s death and see if you want to go forward and hire the lawyer.
Wrongful Death Evidence
To bring a successful claim, surviving family members need to prove the death was wrongful. For example, your loved one might have been struck and killed in a pedestrian crash. But the driver could say your loved one ran into the road and was 100% responsible. Or your loved one might have died when she slipped and fell down some stairs, but the property owner alleges she was looking at her phone.
We need evidence to show your loved one died due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful act. Some evidence is easier to obtain than others but reach out to our legal team for assistance.
We typically rely on:
- Autopsy reports
- Physical evidence from the scene (DNA, hair, fingerprints)
- Video evidence
- Any statements your loved one made before perishing
- Statements made by the defendant
Our Experience Representing Injured Victims
DDRB has established itself as a pre-eminent Florida personal injury law firm. Our experience embraces all aspects of personal injury law, so we know how to tackle even the most challenging wrongful death cases. Here is a narrow sampling of our results:
- $1 billion for a smoker who died from lung cancer.
- $5 million for the mother of a woman killed by a drunk driver.
- $4 million for the family of a man killed by a driver.
- $3.9 million for the family of a woman who was killed in her home due to a security defect.
- $3.5 million based on the fatal accident of a 20-year-old motorcyclist.
- $1.1 million based on the nursing home death of an elderly man whose pressure ulcer became infected.
These are a fraction of the cases we have settled or won at trial. Some are confidential so we can’t reveal the details on our website. Please call our firm to discuss your case with a Pinecrest wrongful death attorney at DDRB.
Wrongful Death FAQs
Who is the best wrongful death law firm near me?
You should schedule a consultation to uncover in depth what services the lawyer offers. We can’t emphasize enough that communication is vital in any case, and you want to feel confident in the lawyer you hire.
Can I negotiate my settlement on my own?
You can certainly try. In our experience, family members receive more compensation when there is a lawyer helping them. Many insurance companies are not afraid to deny liability or offer very tiny settlements. Many people without a lawyer accept these small settlements because they have no idea how much they qualify to receive.
What if my loved one was partially to blame for the accident?
That fact will impact the amount of compensation you might receive. Florida has a comparative negligence law which helpfully allows you to seek compensation even if your loved one is partially to blame for their accident. However, the damages a defendant needs to pay are reduced by the deceased’s share of fault.
Here is an example. A jury might agree that your claim is worth $1 million. But your loved one is 45% responsible for their fatal accident. Thus, the defendant will need to pay at most $550,000.
My spouse wasn’t wearing a seat belt during the fatal accident; does that matter?
Failure to wear a seat belt could impact the case. Florida requires that people buckle up, so refusal to wear a belt is unreasonable. Your damages could get reduced as a result.
When can I bring a wrongful death claim for medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is one of the more complex areas of law. Few lay members of the public have any idea what a doctor or other provider should have done for treatment. Helpfully, we work with a network of expert witnesses who can help us identify any medical errors.
Many medical malpractice cases are based on:
- Diagnostic errors: a doctor could fail to make a diagnosis, make a wrong diagnosis, or delay in making the correct diagnosis. A radiologist could contribute to diagnostic errors by failing to read imaging test results properly. Diagnostic errors lead to early death because a patient does not receive proper treatment.
- Medication errors: patients can become even sicker and die when they receive the wrong medication, the right medication at the wrong dose, or a prescription drug that interacts negatively with other medication.
- Surgical errors: sadly, many people don’t come out of the operating room alive due to a surgical mistake. For example, a patient might receive too much anesthesia and suffer a heart attack, or a surgeon could carelessly damage a vital artery.
- Healthcare associated infections: many of the infections in hospitals and clinics stem from inadequate sterilization and cleaning. Unfortunately, some of them are highly resistant to standard treatments, so the infection might be fatal.
The fact that a loved one died isn’t 100% proof that their death was wrongful. After all, some illnesses are incurable. Still, you should schedule a consultation to discuss the case.
Can I afford the wrongful death lawyers near me?
You can afford to hire DDRB. Call to discuss our fee structure. We work on a contingency fee basis. In essence, we only get paid if we win your case.
Are wrongful deaths crimes?
Some are. For example, if your loved one was killed by a drunk driver, then the assailant could face DUI manslaughter charges. That’s both a crime and a wrongful death. But some wrongful deaths aren’t criminal. For example, a motorist who briefly looks away from the road will probably not face criminal charges if she hits your loved one. But that type of negligence qualifies as a wrongful death.
Will the defendant go to jail?
Not if you win a wrongful death case. Because it is a civil claim, the defendant only pays compensation for your losses suffered.
What if the defendant was a drunk driver?
The state might ultimately bring DUI charges against them. However, drunk driving is also a civil wrong which supports a wrongful death case for monetary damages. You should still reach out to one of our Pinecrest wrongful death attorneys to review.
Searching for Pinecrest Wrongful Death Lawsuit Lawyers Near Me? Call Us
Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, has established an unparalleled reputation in the greater Miami area for wrongful death and personal injury cases. We believe the little guy deserves the same top-shelf legal representation as big companies, and we are proud to have obtained more than $1 billion in compensation. Please call us today to speak with a wrongful death lawyer.
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– Mary B.
Mr Dobrinsky and his team represented me and advocated on my behalf with such care, eventually reaching a settlement from a large corporation that demonstrated it had the resources and willingness to rebuff my case and my injury as long as served them. They were constantly sensitive to my personal experience but also keen enough to identify the best ways to lean into the merits of my case and how best to make me whole. I am so grateful to them, their heart and their acuity as a firm.