Miami Wrongful Death Attorney

Florida Wrongful Death Lawyers

Losing a beloved friend or family member is a devastating and emotionally charged experience. When death is a result of someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence, the emotional burden is even greater and can change your life forever. 

Although no amount of money can ever replace the loss of your loved one, those who caused or contributed to the wrongful death need to be held accountable. You can take legal action to hold negligent parties accountable by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The last thing you should have to cope with after experiencing a loss of life is a financial burden.

Wrongful Death Miami

We know this is a difficult time for you, and we’re here to help. When you talk with us, you can expect straight answers and sound legal advice. It’s what you deserve. We will spend as much time as necessary to determine the merit of your case. When the consultation is complete, you will have a comprehensive understanding of your options.

Our Miami wrongful death lawyers have represented hundreds of victims in cases involving numerous types of injuries and medical conditions across the United States, and the results speak for themselves. Over just the last seven (7) years, we have recovered over $200 million dollars in trial verdicts alone on behalf of our clients. Collectively, we have recovered upwards of half a billion dollars on behalf of the people we represent.  

Ratzan Weissman & Boldt is a contingency-fee based practice. This means that there are no fees or costs to you unless we prevail through a favorable settlement or jury verdict and judgment. Because we don’t bill by the hour and only get paid when you do, our priority is maximizing the results in your case.

Call us today at (305) 374-6366 or use our online contact form

What Our Clients Say

I feel very fortunate that my family was able to work with Ratzan Weissman & Boldt as our attorneys during our family’s case. Throughout our case they treated our family with sensitivity, respect and kindness. Going through a malpractice lawsuit can be very emotional on a family, and they always understood and supported us. We never questioned any of the process because we knew they had our family’s very best interest at heart and wanted justice for our son. RWB Client
Stuart [Ratzan] and his firm, and I'm adding his firm - not just Stuart - every single member of his staff treated me and my family, or whoever talked to him on my behalf as if they were just...family. Every single member of his staff - and that has gone on, it didn't just end when the case ended, it still continues, our relationship with the firm. RWB Client
I was blessed to find Ratzan Law Group for my case. From my first phone call to that office up until the end of my case, I felt lucky to have such a strong team on my side fighting for justice for me. They truly cared about me as a person. They treated me like family. Ratzan and his firm are patient and explain the process to you as you go along. When I didn’t have a ride to get to the office, they had a driver pick me up. It was so comforting to know that they were taking care of me, taking the burden off my shoulders. I had no doubt in my mind that God put me in the right hands. I will always be grateful and thankful for Ratzan and his team for protecting me, guiding me, and representing me in the hardest time of my life. RWB Client
Mr. Ratzan took on my case and helped me finalize a fair amount of compensation for me and my girls. I can’t thank him enough. He and his firm fought relentlessly to obtain a successful result and they really care about their clients. I was extremely satisfied with his representation for my case. RWB Client
I, and my whole family, feel that we are blessed that RWB represented us during the most tragic time of our lives. They helped facilitate the legal process in a very professional manner. I always felt their support and protection. I have no words as to how satisfied I am not only with their legal services but also with the case results.

Yo, y toda mi familia, nos senitmos muy benedicidos que ésta firma de RWB nos representaron en un tiempo muy trájico en mi vida. Ellos me ayudaron con el proceso legal muy profesionalmente y muy humanamente. Siempre sentí que ellos me apollaban y me protegían y yo quedé muy satisfecho con los servicios legales y los resultados de mi caso.
RWB Client
The first takeaway for me [when it comes to my experience working with RWB] was Stuart's need to understand who we were and what my family was about. He actually came to the island [my home] for about three days to visit to get to know who my Son's friends were. He met his Godmother, he went to my Son's school, and we went to the cemetery to see the grave. To me, that was unbelievable, that an attorney would want to be part of who we were to really understand who it was that he was fighting for. RWB Client
I was extremely satisfied with the offices of RWB. They obtained a successful recovery for my accident. I felt they cared about me and really wanted to help me. They fought for justice to be fair compensation for the negligence I experienced.

Yo quedé muy satisfecho con la representación del bufete de Ratzan. Ellos adquieron un buen resultado para Mi accidente. Yo me sentí que ellos realmente querián aydarme a recibir un monto justo para el Los daños que me occurrieron.
RWB Client
I cannot express my gratitude enough to my attorney Stuart Ratzan for representing me in my case. Mr. Ratzan and everyone his firm were kind and understanding about what I was going through. They held my hand through the whole process and really made everything as easy as possible. Stuart Ratzan did not just represent me, he defended me and not just the case. He made me feel that he really cared about me as a person, and understood what I went through. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that Stuart Ratzan and his firm gave their all to obtain a fair compensation for me. I believe they are the best at what they do. RWB Client
I remember the deposition [where] one of the [defense] lawyers asked me "how much money would satisfy you"? This is really not about money and it wasn't about money for Stuart, I realized that - it was really about justice. This is what the trial afforded us - going through the process and getting justice. RWB Client
What I liked most [about working with RWB] was the way in which Stuart embraced us, the way in which he made us feel welcomed and that we were the only clients he had. You just got that feeling, you came to the office or you called him he was never too busy, he was never not available. Every single question he would ask you for your decision, he would want to clarify things, he was constantly back and forth telling you what the next steps were-totally transparent, there was not one decision he made without asking for your opinion. RWB Client
What I learned from the case over the period of about 2-3 years that it took, when I felt sometimes that I just wanted to give up and forget about it- there were too many things, what I came to learn is that the process and the extent of the investigations, the research that was done, the experts that were brought in, it gave me a full sense of what really happened with my Son that night. That brings me a lot of comfort, that I got to know exactly what happened and we got justice. RWB Client
During the worst time in my life, and after losing my son, the Ratzan team embraced me and my family. They actually became my family. I received excellent, professional and warm support from them to which I am very grateful. RWB Client
At one of the most uncertain times in our lives, we reached out to Ratzan law firm. They helped us uncover the truth and fought for our son so that he could get the care he needed due to medical negligence. Ratzan and Weissman were responsive and attentive to our case and working with them, on behalf of our son, was positive and rewarding. RWB Client
Top Case Results
Ratzan Weissman & Boldt is a Florida-Based National Wrongful Death Law Firm

Ratzan Weissman & Boldt is a Florida-Based National Wrongful Death Law Firm

Our Florida wrongful death attorneys focus their careers on helping the families of patients who were killed due to wrongful deaths. We selectively handle the most complex and catastrophic wrongful death claims in Florida and across the United States.  No city or state is too far.  

What is Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida is filed on behalf of an individual who has lost their life due to someone else’s negligence, misconduct, or wrongdoing. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against another person, business, or other entity that contributed to or caused the death. 

In Florida, a wrongful death suit is a civil lawsuit that seeks to award damages (more below) to the people who have suffered as a result of the wrongful death.

Below are topics we frequently discuss with our clients involved in wrongful death lawsuits in Florida:

FAQs

Who am I actually suing in a wrongful death claim?

When you file a personal injury wrongful death claim, you’re making a claim to the defendant's insurance company and not the defendant themself. The money that you’re asking for would be paid by the defendant’s insurance company and not the actual person who caused the harm.

Dealing with insurance companies is a complicated and time-consuming process. From a legal standpoint, working with a south Florida wrongful death attorney brings a lot of clarity to the situation and can help you recover the maximum amount of damages. 

What parties may be sued for wrongful death?

Wrongful death suits can be brought against a wide variety of different people, companies, government agencies, and/or employees.

As one example, in a car accident involving a poorly-designed or faulty roadway and an intoxicated driver, the defendants in a wrongful death claim might include:

  • The at-fault driver
  • The at-fault driver’s employer (if he or she was driving for work)
  • The construction company responsible for the roadway design and/or maintenance
  • A government agent who didn’t provide proper signage or an appropriate road safety crew for a roadway hazard
  • The installer, distributor, and/or manufacturer of a dangerous or faulty component of the vehicle
  • The owner (or employees) of the establishment that provided alcohol to the impaired driver 
How do I pay for a south Florida wrongful death attorney?

Most personal injury lawyers, including us, work on a contingency basis. This means that if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.

Consultations are always free, you have nothing to lose by talking with us about your situation. Call us today at (305) 374-6366 or use our online contact form.

What can a wrongful death attorney in Florida do for me?
  1. Talk with you about what happened, what your options are, and help determine if you have a valid claim.
     
  2. If a valid claim exists, wrongful death lawyers can open a thorough investigation as to the basis of your claim by gathering and reviewing evidence. If necessary, expert witnesses can be hired to support your claim.
     
  3. Determine who is at fault, to what degree, and why.
     
  4. Determine the full extent of damages that you have suffered (more below).
     
  5. Issue a demand letter outlining what happened, who’s at fault, and who owes what (what you’re asking for).
     
  6. Review any settlement offers and discuss them with you.
     
  7. Negotiate with insurance companies about any settlement offers they might make.
     
  8. Represent you in trial, if it comes to that (more below).
What must be established for a viable wrongful death lawsuit in Florida?

Typically, in order to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, the following must be established:

  1. Breach of Duty: the defendant owed you or your loved one a duty of care and breached that duty. For example, anyone driving a motor vehicle owes everyone else a duty to drive safely, follow speed limits, and to obey traffic laws.
     
  2. Causation: the defendant’s actions must be directly related to causing the death of your loved one.
     
  3. Damages: the death must have caused actual damages (more below) to you. These damages can include things such as loss of income, loss of companionship, hospital bills, burial costs, etc.
What are common causes of wrongful death lawsuits?

A wrongful death lawsuit may stem from accidental death such as an auto accident or a malicious act like a violent assault. Wrongful death lawsuits may also arise from truck accidents, bike accidents, personal injuries, explosions, medical malpractice, construction accidents, defective products, dangerous conditions, drowning, and/or equipment. failure.
 

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida?

Each state sets its own laws around this topic.

In Florida, the law requires that a “personal representative” (sometimes called an “executor”) of the deceased person’s estate file the claim. 

When a personal representative files a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, he or she is acting on behalf of the deceased person’s estate and any surviving family members. The personal representative must list all potential beneficiaries on the claim. 

“Personal representatives” can include:

  • The survivor’s spouse
  • Minor children of the decedent
  • Adult children of the decedent (if there is no surviving spouse)
  • Each parent of a deceased minor child
  • A survivor who has paid medical or funeral expenses
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Florida?

Each state sets its own laws around this topic called the statute of limitations.

In Florida, wrongful death lawsuit claims must typically be filed within two years from the date of the wrongful death. Sometimes, special circumstances allow for some flexibility here. 

Who can be held liable for a wrongful death claim in Florida?

According to Florida Law, an individual, corporation, and/or government agency is liable for a wrongful death claim if the death was caused by the following:

  • A wrongful act
  • Negligence (failure to take proper care in doing something)
  • The default of another (failure to do something required by duty or law)

An individual who suffered a loss due to a wrongful death must be able to prove that the wrongful act, negligence, or default:

  • Was the actual and proximate (directly related) cause of death
  • Would have permitted the individual to recover from their injuries had they not lost their life 
  • Caused a monetary loss (resulting from the death)
What are damages in a wrongful death lawsuit?

Compensatory damages are money awarded to a plaintiff (the party or person that filed the lawsuit) to compensate for damages, injury, or another incurred loss. Compensatory damages are awarded in civil court cases (like a wrongful death claim) where loss has occurred as a result of the negligence or unlawful conduct of another party.

Punitive damages, or exemplary damages, are damages assessed in order to punish the defendant for willful and wanton conduct and/or to reform or deter the defendant and others from engaging in conduct similar to that which formed the basis of the lawsuit. Although not extremely common in wrongful death claims, if the defendant’s actions are egregious, punitive damages can be sought.

 

What types of compensation can be awarded in a wrongful death claim?

In wrongful death cases, monetary damages are paid to the survivors of the decedent (the plaintiff/s) by those who caused the harm (the defendant and their insurance company). These damages are calculated on what the injuries ‘cost’ from physical, mental, and/or emotional standpoints.

In Florida, there is a clear distinction between the estate of the deceased and the survivors - both parties are eligible for wrongful death claims.

The estate of the deceased may be compensated for:

  • Lost income (wages), benefits, and potential future earnings
  • Medical and/or funeral expenses
  • Loss of future earnings of an estate - money that the decedent would have otherwise provided for the family had they not died

Family members (survivors) of the deceased may be compensated for:

  • Loss of companionship for a spouse
  • Loss of companionship, guidance, and/or instructions for minor children
  • Mental pain and suffering for children and/or the surviving spouse
  • Mental pain and suffering for the parents of a deceased minor child

This is not a complete list - speak with one of our Miami wrongful death attorneys today to learn more about your legal options.

Consultations are always free of charge. Call us today at (305) 374-6366 or use our online contact form

How long will this process take?

There isn’t one answer, and ultimately this can depend on you. Insurance companies almost always offer an initial ‘low-ball’ dollar amount to settle quickly. Many times, this amount isn’t even close to what is actually recoverable or what you deserve. 

As your wrongful death lawyer builds up the case to request the full amount of recoverable damages, the defendant's insurance company will likely draw out negotiations with the hope that you will accept a low offer, because you’re tired of waiting. Frankly, this process can be tedious, and patience is key. The defendant wants you to settle for less than you deserve - that’s their job. Our job is to recover as much as legally possible, and sometimes that takes time.

Remember, you are always in control of this process, and if you decide to accept an offer at any time, you have that right. 

Does my case have to go to trial?

In truth, many wrongful claims do not go to trial but settle outside of court. Although it may take time to get an appropriate pre-trial offer for your case, part of a wrongful death attorney’s job is to negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company, as it’s usually in their best interest to settle before trial - even more so if your case is especially strong. You have the final say on what offers you will or will not accept, and if you don’t accept any, your case is likely headed to trial. 

It is EXTREMELY important to work with a wrongful death lawyer that has a reputation for taking cases to trial, even if you decide you don't want to. 

If the defendant’s insurance company knows your lawyers usually settle without putting up much of a fight, they will absolutely try to take advantage of you. Here, a strong offense is usually the best defense. For the defendant’s insurance company, a strong defense is usually the best offense. 

When would a case likely go to trial?

When liability is contested - if parties cannot agree on how an accident happened or who is at fault, they may not produce any settlement offers. This usually results in a case going to trial.

When there is a disagreement about your damages - if parties cannot agree on the type and/or amount of your damages, for example, maybe the decedent had a pre-existing condition, and the defendant placed too much blame on that, your case may go to trial.

When the settlement offers are too low - the defendant’s insurance company will almost always offer numerous ‘low-ball’ offers hoping that you’ll accept less money than you’re asking for. It’s their job to settle cases for as low as possible, and oftentimes they succeed. It’s your wrongful death lawyer’s job to recover as much as legally possible for you. 

How to Choose the Best Wrongful Death Law Firm

No matter who you consider working with, Ratzan Weissman & Boldt wants to help prepare you when deciding which wrongful death attorney to partner with. We suggest speaking to or meeting with more than one firm before making a decision. Establishing rapport with your attorney should feel natural if it’s a good fit.

One area to consider here is a firm’s track record. Actions speak louder than words, and getting a handle on a law firm's history is very important. RWB’s Miami wrongful death lawyers have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. In just the last seven (7) years, we have recovered over $200,000,000 in trial verdicts alone. Collectively, we have recovered upwards of half a billion dollars on behalf of the people we represent. 

Another area to consider when searching for a wrongful death attorney is the size of the firm and the number of cases they handle in a given year. Bigger does not mean better, and more times than not, bigger can end up meaning worse. A firm with too many lawyers, numerous offices, and dozens of cases will almost always underperform compared to a smaller, more specialized firm. RWB is meticulous in the cases that we handle, and this allows us to devote the time, energy, and capital necessary to successfully prosecute and pursue the cases we take on. 

Learn more about our firm and our approach, here.

Contact Us For a Free Consultation

Ratzan Weissman & Boldt is a contingency-fee based practice. What this means is that there are no fees or costs to you unless we prevail through a favorable settlement or jury verdict and judgment. Because we don’t bill by the hour and only get paid when you do, our priority is maximizing the results in your case.

If the life of a loved one has been taken as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing, contact us today. We are here to help you shoulder the burden of dealing with insurance companies and financial matters so you can focus on healing.   

When you talk with us, you can expect straight answers and sound legal advice. It’s what you deserve. We will spend as much time as necessary to determine the merit of your case. When the consultation is complete, you will have a comprehensive understanding of your options.

Call us today at (305) 374-6366 or use our online contact form.

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