According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) records from 2018, accidents are the fourth most common cause of fatalities in Florida—and the leading cause of non-disease-related deaths overall. When these fatal accidents are the result of negligent or reckless behavior on the part of another, a civil wrongful death case may be pursued.
The attorneys at éclat Law in Altamonte Springs, Florida have helped families throughout Florida navigate the emotionally difficult process of wrongful death claims. There’s comfort in knowing that you have a trusted legal advisor to talk to and guide you from the very beginning. We can’t bring back your loved one, but we can help you get justice.
OUR ALTAMONTE SPRINGS WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEYS PROVIDE SMART LEGAL STRATEGIES AND COMPASSIONATE ATTENTION TO YOUR NEEDS
When you and your family are just struggling to deal with emotional trauma, count on our lawyers to build a strong, convincing case on your behalf. We do this by:
- Knowing the full value of your claim. There are often many expenses that grieving family members don’t know about or don’t look for.
- Taking the burden of dealing with lawyers for the defense and worrying about going to court off your shoulders.
- Understanding when it is better (and less stressful) to negotiate a settlement rather than going to court. If a trial is in your best interest, we have the experience, skill and resources to help get you the compensation you deserve.
WHO CAN FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, the “estate of the deceased” may bring suit “When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those on navigable waters.” A personal representative (sometimes referred to as executor or administrator) files on behalf of the estate and the surviving family members. If the deceased didn’t have a will or didn’t name a personal representative in the will, the court will appoint one. An individual family member may also file a lawsuit if they were “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.” This generally includes:
- A spouse
- Child/children: Minor children may be entitled to greater compensation than older children
- Children born out-of-wedlock: Those of the deceased mother, or, the deceased father, if there is proof that he was supporting the child/children prior to his death
- Blood relatives
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR FILING A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?
Wrongful death claims are brought in civil court. Because the law is complex, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced Florida wrongful death lawyer. Steps in the process generally include:
- Investigation: Your éclat Law attorney will talk to witnesses and go over medical, autopsy and other pertinent records
- Filing and Notification: Your attorney will determine the jurisdiction in which the lawsuit should be filed, and serve (notify) the defendant (the party allegedly responsible for the wrongful death) of the claim.
- Discovery: This is where both parties request information from each other, such as evidence to support their respective case.
- Trial: Once discovery is completed; the case goes to trial.
- Verdict: At the end of the trial, the judge renders a decision. If the outcome is unacceptable, you may be able to file an appeal.
It’s important to note that there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim, commencing with the date of death.
TYPES OF DAMAGES YOU MAY RECEIVE IN A FLORIDA WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT
In addition to medical bills and funeral costs, lost wages, earnings, and benefits that the deceased would have otherwise contributed over the course of their lifetime are also compensated. When the death of a child is involved, parents may be awarded compensation for the emotional suffering and mental anguish associated with this most tragic of losses. Likewise, a surviving spouse may also be awarded compensation for loss of consortium (loss of affection and companionship).
CONTACT THE ATTORNEYS WHO STAND WITH YOU THROUGH EVERY STEP OF A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE
We hold those who caused the death of your loved one accountable for their negligence. To learn more about how we can help get you the justice and compensation you need to move forward, please call us at 407-636-7004 or contact us online to set up a free and confidential consultation.