When your loved one dies because of a third party’s negligence, the aftermath is devastating and has a resounding negative emotional and financial impact on your family. Your loss can be intensified when it seems like the responsible party will not be held responsible for their negligent conduct. We will work to help you to hold the responsible party accountable. Although no amount of money can bring the loved one you have lost, it is critical to explore your right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit as soon as possible after the tragedy you have suffered. We can counsel you on your rights and help you obtain the financial security and support based on the facts of your case so that you can focus on your journey to emotional healing.
What is wrongful death?
A wrongful death is when an individual dies as the result of a third-party’s negligence or intentional wrong-doing. A wrongful death can also occur as the result of a defective product or dangerous premises. Some common examples of scenarios leading to a wrongful death are:
- Vehicle and motorcycle accidents (including those involving a DUI)
- Semi-truck accidents
- Falls from ladders, rooftops, or other heights
- Dangerous premises
- Construction accidents
- Job-related accidents
- Dangerous or defective products or pharmaceuticals
- Neglect or abuse in a nursing home
- Surgical errors, incorrect diagnosis, and other areas of malpractice
- Criminal action (manslaughter, murder, aggravated assault etc)
How a wrongful death claim works in Florida
Although in most cases, blood relatives can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit, under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, a personal representative of the deceased estate must file the wrongful death lawsuit. In cases where there is not a will naming a representative, then the heirs of the decedent typically select a representative amongst themselves. If necessary, the court will appoint a representative. The personal representative files the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of all of the beneficiaries. A wrongful death law suit must be filed within two years of the death of your loved one. This deadline is called a statute of limitation and can forever bar a claim if the deadline is not met.
What kind of damages can I seek in a wrongful death lawsuit?
No amount of money will ease the pain of your loss or return your loved one to you but may be entitled to compensation, especially if your loved one provided financial support. In a wrongful death lawsuit you may be entitled to the following damages:
- Lost wages from a spouse
- Lost investments that would have likely been made
- Lost inheritance that the deceased would have likely contributed
- Lost savings that the deceased would have contributed
- Funeral expenses
- Hospital or medical bills related to the accident or injuries that resulted in their passing
- Loss of love and companionship
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of care and nurturing
- In some cases, punitive damages
It is important to consult with an experienced attorney to negotiate the terms of your wrongful death lawsuit. Our attorneys hold over 20 years of trial experience, some of which was spent defending companies and individuals who were accused of wrongfully causing the death of another. Let us evaluate your case with experience and compassion you deserve. If you believe you have a claim for wrongful death, call our office for a free consultation.