Most people that have lost a loved one through wrongful death in Florida don’t know what happens next – whether the case will go to trial or not, and if it goes to trial, which types of damages they are entitled to. Today, we focus on what happens in West Palm Beach.
Whatever you get from the lawsuit depends on how prepared you are. Working with our skilled West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney gives you an edge over the case.
Types of Damages Available in a Wrongful death Lawsuit
When you lodge a lawsuit for the wrongful death of a loved one, you stand to be awarded two types of damages:
- Compensatory damages – these are awarded to you for different categories of injuries or damages due to the conduct, acts, or omissions of the defendant.
- Exemplary or punitive damages – These are awarded to act as a punishment for the defendant for engaging in intentional, reckless conduct or negligence that can endanger other people’s safety, health, or welfare. Bad behavior doesn’t refer to accidental behavior. On the contrary, it is intentional behavior and was meant to cause harm right from the start. It might also refer to behavior that was too negligent to go unnoticed.
Either way, it is upon the jury and the court to assess the types of damages awarded to you depending on the information you provide and the ability of your lawyer. A lawyer can make a reasoned, well-supported argument that will make the court award punitive damages.
How Exemplary Damages in West Palm Beach Work
These damages are awarded as a multiple of the total compensatory amount you have received. For instance, if the court awarded you $50,000 as compensatory damages, it can award you $100,000 as exemplary damages to bring the total to $150,000. The aim is to increase the defendant’s liability so that they don’t repeat the same mistake.
These are either given to you in full, to the state or the federal government, or you get to split them with the government.
Proving Exemplary Behaviour
It is not an easy task to prove exemplary damage occurred. This is why you need to work with a West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney that understands this field and is ready to go to all lengths to prove that damage happened.
One of the best pieces of evidence is to prove that the defendant knew of the consequences of their actions but still went ahead to do it.
When it comes to road accidents, the likelihood of proving exemplary behavior is low. However, if it was an accident resulting from DUI and the driver had previous accidents caused by alcoholism, then punitive damage claims can be filed.
Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim
When you suspect gregarious conduct on the defendant’s part, you need to know that many legal challenges await you. When calculating exemplary damage, help is necessary. Adding a personal injury lawyer to your team can be advantageous; the attorney informs you if your case holds water and how much you might be eligible for.
An experienced and knowledgeable West Palm Beach wrongful death attorney takes you from the point of filing the claim to the resolution of the case. He also makes sure you have time to grieve as he takes the case load off your shoulder. Our offices are open; call us to schedule an appointment so that we can discuss your case and come up with a solid plan.