Wrongful Death

Personal Attention for Wrongful Death Claims

More than 20 years of experience serving clients throughout Florida

A wrongful death is typically the result of another entity’s willful or negligent actions. It may happen as the result of medical malpractice, a car accident, occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or many other reasons. For these sensitive issues, you need a serious litigation firm that knows the law regarding wrongful death in Florida. At Loughren & Doyle, P.A., our West Palm Beach attorneys have years of experience with these types of cases, and we deliver the personal service you need during a difficult time for your family or business. We are also bilingual for the Spanish-speaking individuals and families of our State.

Exploring a wrongful death lawsuit

When a wrongful death occurs, the surviving family members may choose to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as lost wages, funeral expenses and emotional harm. Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, those who can sue for wrongful death are defined as the decedent’s survivors and limited to immediate family members (spouses, children and parents), life partners, financial dependents and distant relatives.

Wrongful death claims can be brought against any person, company or agency that is believed to be responsible for the decedent’s death, like the driver at fault for an auto accident, for example. However, in certain cases, government agencies and employees may be granted immunity from a wrongful death lawsuit. Immunity laws vary, and should be investigated with the help of an injury attorney.

For the lawsuit to be successful, the survivors must be able to prove that their loved one’s death was caused by negligence, recklessness or a deliberate act. If a wrongful death lawsuit is successful, there are generally three types of damages that may be awarded:

  • Economic damages. These damages cover things like medical and funeral expenses, loss of the decedent’s expected earnings, loss of benefits and other goods and services.
  • Noneconomic damages. These types of damages can be more difficult to prove, but generally cover things like mental anguish and loss of companionship.
  • Punitive damages. These forms of damages exist specifically to punish responsible parties for their conduct.

Must a lawsuit be filed?

It is not required that a decedent’s survivors file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, keep in mind that in most circumstances a two-year statute of limitations is enforced for filing wrongful death lawsuits in Florida. If you choose not to file and change your mind at a later date, it may be too late and the claim will be barred forever. In addition, choosing to forgo a wrongful death lawsuit can have significant effects on estate planning for survivors.

Negligence

Experienced Attorneys Handling Complicated Negligence Issues

Assistance with all types of premises and products liability cases

Negligence is any behavior that falls short of the legal standards established to protect others against harm. A person or corporation may face accusations of negligence if they have acted in a way that is significantly different than the conduct of a reasonably prudent person in the same situation. For dependable legal guidance for the negligence-related issues, consult with the Fort Lauderdale law firm of Loughren & Doyle, P.A. Our primary goal in any case is our clients’ satisfaction, and we leverage our more than 100 years of combined experience to benefit you in all ways possible. Work with our small, boutique firm for the personal attention and dedicated service you need.

Products liability issues

Sometimes product defects result in injury or other harm to users. This issue generally falls into one of three different categories:

  • Design defects. This is also known as an “inherent” defect, as the problem lies in the product’s design. An example of a design defect might be a car model that flips easily when taking fast turns.
  • Manufacturing defects. This type of defect results from mistakes in the manufacturing process, such as improper assembly.
  • Marketing defects. Marketing defects occur when the way in which a product is sold makes it dangerous to use. For example, an inadequate warning label might be considered a marketing defect.

Under Florida law, if a product is deemed unreasonably dangerous for any reason, the manufacturer will be held liable whether or not negligence was a contributing factor. It must be determined that the manufacturer had knowledge of the defects and refused to correct the problem to prove negligence. This is especially true if the defect caused a fatal accident, in which case you may need to file a wrongful death claim.

Property owner liability with premises liability

Premises liability addresses the issue of injuries incurred on another person or business’s property. “Slip and fall” cases are commonly seen in issues of premises liability. In these cases, if a person slips on a foreign substance in a business establishment, the establishment might be responsible for any resulting damages. As of 2010, Florida law requires that for a business to be found negligent, the injured person must be able to prove that the business had knowledge of the dangerous condition and refused to take remedial action.

Investigating auto accidents

Auto accidents can have many different causes, but the most common cause in Florida is careless driving. According to Florida law, all residents are required to purchase car insurance that covers personal injury and property damage liability. Because Florida is a no-fault insurance State, a driver’s insurance will pay the medical costs resulting from an injury regardless of who was at fault. However, if it can be proven that the other driver was at fault due to negligence, the injured party can also collect damages from the other driver’s liability insurance. You may need the assistance of a skilled civil litigation attorney when dealing with these issues.

Property Insurance

Experienced Attorneys for Complex Property Insurance Disputes

Assisting will all types of commercial and residential issues

In Florida, policyholders have a right to obtain insurance coverage from a company that is financially stable and serviced by a competent and honest agent or broker. However, no matter the company, insurance disputes can still arise for any number of reasons. If you are dealing with a property insurance dispute, call on the talented Fort Lauderdale West Palm Beach attorneys at Loughren & Doyle, P.A.

We have more than 20 years of experience serving Florida businesses and individuals, delivering personal attention, dedicated service and knowledgeable representation when you need it most. Although we have worked with some of the largest organizations in the State, we keep our boutique firm small on purpose so that we can continue to focus on our clients’ needs. When you work with us, you will have one lawyer assigned to your case at all times so your most pressing questions are answered as quickly as possible.

Commercial insurance disputes

Commercial insurance generally covers property such as buildings, office furniture and machinery. Disputes generally occur when a business experiences property damage or revenue loss. These claims can be costly for insurance companies to cover, so business owners might find that their insurer denies, delays or attempts to underpay important claims. For example, an insurer might only be willing to pay for the current market value of a stolen or damaged item, whereas the insured expects to be reimbursed for the item’s original purchase price.

Residential insurance disputes

Regarding residential insurance, providers may offer unfair low settlements or refuse to pay a claim altogether. In cases involving damage claims, the insurance company might argue the damage exceeds the scope of coverage to avoid paying the full amount. A common example of a residential insurance dispute involves claims submitted for roof damage. While the homeowner might believe the damage was caused by extreme weather or a natural disaster, the insurance company might claim that the damage resulted from homeowner wear and tear, which is not covered by the insurance policy.

If an approach such as mediation is not successful, it might be necessary to engage in insurance litigation. Most claims are above the small-claims threshold and will require the help of a qualified insurance dispute attorney. Do not hesitate to speak with a qualified attorney to explore your option for fighting a denied claim through legal action.

Bad Faith Claims

Dependable Legal Assistance for Bad Faith Claims

Serving Florida businesses and organizations for more than 20 years

If an insurance company denies an initial claim, the policyholder may decide to file a “bad faith” claim in response. In these situations, it is important to work with an experienced insurance litigation attorney in the Fort Lauderdale area. At Loughren & Doyle, P.A., we are committed to providing our clients with the care and attention they need for their legal issues. We purposefully keep our firm small so that we can better serve you. If you need assistance with a bad faith insurance claim, you can trust in our team and our more than 100 years of combined experience.

About insurance bad faith claims

An insurance policy is considered to be a contract between the insured and the insurer, and according to Florida legal statutes, if an insurer does not attempt to settle claims in good faith when all circumstances indicate that it should do so, the insured may file a civil action lawsuit seeking damages. There are many ways in which an insurance company can act in bad faith:

  • Engaging in deceptive practices to avoid paying claims
  • Misrepresenting records to avoid giving reasonable coverage
  • Using an improper standard to deny a claim
  • Failing to thoroughly investigate a claim
  • Using abusive or coercive tactics to settle a claim, including persuading the insured to contribute to a claim settlement

Challenging denied claims

If your insurance claim is denied, the first step is to determine why it was denied. Some common reasons for denial include incomplete or inaccurate insurance information, failure to obtain prior authorization, coding errors and omissions or incorrect deductible amounts.

If you feel that your claim has been unfairly denied, you can appeal the decision using either an internal appeal or an external review. An internal appeal requests that the insurance company conduct a full review of the decision. An external review asks an independent third party to review the decision, and if the third party sides with the insured, the insurance company must pay the claim. If both of these options yield unsatisfactory results, the next step might be taking civil action against the insurance company with the help of Loughren & Doyle., P.A.

Taking civil action against bad faith claims

When considering whether to take civil action against an insurance company, keep in mind thatyou must give the insurance company adequate notice. Florida law requires that before taking action against an insurer, you must give the company 60 days’ written notice of the violation. The notice must be on a department-issued form and include details regarding the specific statute the insurer violated, a description of the circumstances of your situation and names of any individuals involved in the violation. If you receive a request for more specific information, the 60-day period will not begin until you resubmit the notice. Speak with an attorney for more information.

Coverage Disputes

An Experienced Attorney Handling Coverage Disputes

Delivering personal attention and responsive service to your business

An insurance policy is accepted as a contract between the insured and the insurer, in which the insurer agrees to financially protect the insured from loss, damage or liability. From time to time, however, insurance companies and their customers disagree about whether or not certain expenses should be covered, resulting in coverage disputes that often need to be settled in court. If this is the case for you, seek the guidance of the experienced litigators at Loughren, Doyle and Reising, P.A. We offer individualized attention and personal service to you or your business, delivering the answers you need when you need them.

Corporate coverage disputes

When it comes to employer-sponsored health insurance and workers’ compensation claims, there are many ways in which poor communication and misunderstandings can lead to insurance coverage disputes.

  • Employer-sponsored health insurance. Employers offering health insurance are required to provide benchmark coverage, which is level of coverage that is equal to one of several federally approved benefit packages. Regardless of the benefit package, insurance policy language can be difficult to understand and contract revisions modifying benefits happen regularly. It might be beneficial for policyholders to consult with an attorney to ensure current benefit guidelines are clearly understood.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance. According to Florida legal statutes, if an employee is injured or dies while performing work within the scope of his or her employment, the employer needs to pay compensation or benefits. However, it must be established that the work injury is the major contributing cause (responsible for more than 50 percent) of the resulting injury, and the process of making this determination can often lead to disputes.

Property owner coverage disputes

According to Florida law, if a person is injured while on another person or entity’s property, the property owner may be held liable for injuries. Many homeowner’s insurance policies offer limited personal injury liability coverage, but disputes may arise concerning the circumstances of the injury and whether or not the property owner was actually liable for the injury.

If the visitor is invited to a public space or a business, or invited into a home as a social guest, the property owner is required to maintain the premises to a reasonable degree, to correct or warn of any known dangers and to guard against any foreseeable third-party crimes. A skilled insurance litigation attorney can help with these complex issues.

Personal Injury

Knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach

More than 20 years serving clients across the State of Florida

If you are dealing with a personal injury issue in South Florida, work with a dedicated attorney with years of experience in this area of the law. At Loughren, Doyle & Reising, P.A., we are serious litigators for serious issues, and we have served individuals and businesses throughout the State for more than 20 years. Our boutique law office is purposefully small so that we can continue to deliver unparalleled personal attention to each and every one of our clients. Whenever you have a question about your legal challenges or litigation issue, you get a quick, comprehensive answer from a member of our team.

Dealing with the pain that comes with a wrongful death claim

Some accidents are so severe that they cause the untimely death of a person involved. This is never easy on families, who may choose to pursue a wrongful death claim to recover economic damages, like funeral expenses and loss of income, as well as noneconomic damages like lack of companionship and mental pain and suffering. In addition, there are sometimes punitive damages that seek to prevent a similar incident to happen to someone else in the future.

Investigating negligent property owners and product manufacturers

When a person is injured due to the negligence of a property owner or product manufacturer, it may be necessary for that person to seek compensation from the responsible parties. This is common in cases of premises liability when a customer at a business slips and falls due to hazardous conditions or becomes the victim of a crime because the property did not offer adequate security. In other situations, end users suffer injuries due to defective or poorly designed products that the manufacturer failed to recall or notify users of the dangers involved. In either case, a thorough investigation with the help of an experience personal injury lawyer is warranted.

Pursuing action against negligent parties

Individuals and organizations have an obligation to take reasonable action to prevent harm to another person. For example, when you get into a vehicle, you must operate it responsibly and avoid texting while driving and other distractions. If an accident occurs due to someone’s negligence, whether it is a car crash or slip and fall, the injured party may engage in civil litigation in an effort to secure compensation to cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.

Civil Litigation

Dedicated Civil Litigation Lawyers in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale

Work with attorneys who have more than 100 years of combined experience

For serious litigators handling serious issues, turn to the experienced West Palm Beach attorneys at Loughren & Doyle, P.A. Our firm has served businesses, organizations and individuals throughout Florida for more than 20 years, and we have built a reputation for providing knowledgeable representation, personal attention and dedicated service to each and every one of our clients. Our skilled litigators are committed to you and your top concerns, working with you directly throughout the entire process. Whenever you have questions, you can turn to your dedicated civil litigation attorney for quick, comprehensive answers.

Navigating through complex negligence cases

When an accident occurs, it is common for the injured parties to claim that those responsible for the accident were negligent and failed to provide reasonable safety measures that could have prevented the injury. The following are the most common issues related to negligence we see at our firm:

  • Product liability. If a manufacturer designs and sells a defective product, the user could suffer a serious injury. Negligence is often the reason for defective or poorly designed products.
  • Premises liability. Property owners, especially businesses, have a responsibility to maintain reasonably safe conditions for customers and guests. If there is a safety hazard and the property owner failed to address it in a timely manner, there might be grounds for lawsuit.
  • Auto accidents. One of the first steps to take after a car crash is to determine fault. In many cases, distracted driving or driving while under the influence are factors in Florida car accidents, and it takes a knowledgeable lawyer to investigate the exact cause.

Helping you file a wrongful death claim

After the death of a loved one in an accident, the family members of the deceased may decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible. These lawsuits tend to seek economic, noneconomic and punitive damages, especially if negligence or recklessness were factors in the death.

The laws surrounding this issue are guided by the Florida Wrongful Death Act, which allows the survivors of the deceased to file a wrongful death claim. Survivors includes immediate family members (spouses, children and parents), life partners, financial dependents and distant relatives.

Insurance Litigation

A Law Firm Helping with All Aspects of Insurance Litigation in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale

More than 20 years of experience serving Florida businesses

For the most complicated issues associated with insurance litigation, you can trust in the experienced attorneys at Loughren & Doyle, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale. We have more than 100 years of combined experience, which we leverage to benefit you and your organization. No other firm in South Florida gives you the personal attention and responsive service we do, as our firm remains purposefully small so that we can best serve our clients. You work with one lead attorney the entire way through your case, and you will find that you get the answers you need exactly when you need them. Do not wait to call on a dedicated insurance litigation lawyer today.

Coverage disputes

Miscommunication or misunderstandings can result in litigation related to insurance coverage disputes between insurers and insured individuals or organizations. The following are two of the main types we deal with:

  • Corporate coverage disputes. Employers who provide insurance to their workers must meet certain standards and benchmarks. They must also fulfill their obligations for providing workers’ compensation benefits to employees injured while on the job.
  • Property insurance disputes. When an injury occurs on the property of a business or individual, the liable parties often assume that their property insurance will cover the costs of providing compensation. That is not always the case and coverage disputes and litigation can arise.

Bad faith claims

If an insurance company denies a claim, the policyholder may accuse the company of acting in “bad faith.” To be considered bad faith, the insurer must have engaged in deceptive practices to avoid paying a claim, used improper standards in analyzing a claim or deliberately misrepresented records. Many denied claims result in bad faith litigation between the two parties.

Property insurance

Property insurance disputes are common in Florida, in both residential and commercial settings. Whether the damage is from storms, burst pipes or vandalism, insurance companies may be hesitant to pay out large sums of money to pay for repairs or replace damaged or stolen items. If a property insurance claim gets denied, litigation is often the next step as business owners and homeowners aim to secure compensation for the damage done to their properties.