Florida Wrongful Death Guide
The Florida Wrongful Death Guide was created by Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law to help residents who have been injured in an accident obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
What is Wrongful Death?
You might wonder if the loss of your loved one qualifies as a wrongful death case legally. Please understand that these matters are complex but, if it boils down to you having lost your loved one based on the carelessness or negligence of someone else, then you and your family are likely eligible for wrongful death compensation.
People often lose their loved ones in wrongful death accidents such as construction site accidents, medical malpractice, truck accidents and so on. There are certainly more circumstances in which you can have lost a loved one and could be eligible for wrongful death compensation. You only need to look at a famous case like Ron Goldman‘s family versus O.J. Simpson, in which they took him to court to get justice for wrongful death. If you believe that you have a case, you should absolutely reach out to our Orlando wrongful death attorneys as soon as possible.
We don’t want you to hesitate to reach out. We want to get started working on your case as soon as we possibly can. The sooner, the better. We understand that you were in a grieving process and we want to make this easier for you by taking legal action right away.
Wrongful death cases start with pursuing the insurance company who will be responsible for your financial compensation.
The Liable Party for Wrongful Death
If you can prove that there was a liable party in your loved one’s case who was directly responsible for your loved one’s death, then you have more of a chance of success. You need to be able to show that, had they acted any differently, your loved one would still be alive. Whether that was a medical doctor who should’ve done something differently or a property owner who should’ve added security measures or a dog owner who was careless and securing their animal, they need to answer for their wrongdoing. Our Orlando wrongful death attorneys are up to the task to hold them responsible and get you your justice.
The Plaintiff in Your Wrongful Death Case
The people who are legally eligible to bring a wrongful death claim are the family members of the passed victim. In most cases of wrongful death, the next of kin is going to be the plaintiff. If you are confused about who the next of kin is for your relative, please reach out to our lawyers as soon as possible to get that question answered.
Typically, the plaintiff in a wrongful death claim who is next of kin is the spouse of the deceased. If the deceased was not married, then the plaintiff is typically the children or the parents.
Like every family, every wrongful death claim is unique. Maybe the deceased victim was not married, their parents passed and they never had children. In some cases, then, the plaintiff would be a sibling or close friend, etc. We will work with you to make sure that you are set up for success. The sooner you reach out, the better.
Damages the Plaintiffs of Wrongful Death Collect For
We understand that putting a number on the damages that you’ve suffered after losing someone you love is quite difficult. There are no guidelines for how much the loss of a relationship with a person costs you in dollars. But we are going to make sure that the liable party and their insurance company is held responsible for their actions so maybe it won’t happen to someone else.
You will receive compensation for the pain and suffering your loved one had to endure before they finally did pass. You are entitled to compensation for the medical bills that they might have accumulated while they were receiving care in an attempt to save their life. Compensation includes funeral costs and burial costs. You also will see compensation for any wages your loved one would have brought in for your family had they lived out their expected lifetime.
Benefits Available In A Wrongful Death Case
One of my clients recently asked me, “What are the benefits that can be obtained through a wrongful death claim?” The answer here in Orlando, and in Florida, is that there are numerous damages and benefits that can be obtained – net accumulations, which is the loss of the income and the accumulation of wealth that someone would have developed over their lifetime; the loss of future earnings; the loss of companionship; and, things that the family would have experienced had that person lived the full extent of their life.
It’s very important that you hire a knowledgeable lawyer that can truly evaluate the case in these circumstances because to truly evaluate these numbers, experts should be hired. You need an economist and someone to look at past wages, future wages, their life expectancy. All of these things go into the benefits and damages that have impacted the family. That’s why it’s extremely important to hire a knowledgeable trial lawyer.
Choosing The Right Orlando Wrongful Death Attorney
One of the questions that we often see is, “How do I choose the right attorney for a wrongful death case here in Orlando?” The answer is you need to find someone that really focuses in on this area of the law. You don’t want someone that is a “jack of all trades” and does a little bit of everything around Orlando. You want someone that truly focuses on wrongful death cases.
Secondly, you want to make sure that the attorney you hire has a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with wrongful death cases, and is someone that has handled many of these types of cases because they are very specific and unique. Thirdly, you want to make sure that you hire a trial lawyer— not just someone that says they’re a trial lawyer, but someone that actually, from the beginning to end, works the case up and prepares it to go before a jury. The insurance company knows the difference between firms that work cases up to settle them and firms that work cases to go to trial to get full and fair compensation from a jury of their peers.
Cost Of An Orlando Wrongful Death Lawyer
One of the first questions we typically receive in our initial consultations involving wrongful death cases is about the cost to pursue a lawsuit here in Orlando. The answer is that it all depends on the case; however, that’s not something that you need to worry about. We will front all of the costs of the case. You do not owe us any cost unless we win or make a recovery for you. If you or a loved one lost someone as the result of someone else’s negligence, please contact us. We’re here for you.
Heirs Hiring Separate Attorneys
A question I recently received from a potential client regarded whether the heirs could hire separate attorneys to pursue a wrongful death claim here in Orlando. The answer is, yes, though it’s probably not in your best interest to have multiple attorneys involved, fighting against each other and against the insurance company. It is best for the family and their heirs to seek a single attorney who is knowledgeable, well-trained, very experienced, and a true trial lawyer to represent them in their wrongful death claim.
Partial Fault For A Wrongful Death
Sometimes I get questions from clients regarding whether there is still a claim if a loved one was partially at fault for their death, in Orlando. The answer is yes. Here in Florida, we are a comparative fault jurisdiction, which means that even if someone is partially responsible for their death, they can still recover for the percentage of negligence attributed to the other party. It is extremely important that you have a knowledgeable, well-trained lawyer review your case and evaluate it to determine what those percentages of fault might be and what possible recovery there is for your case.
Passing Away Due To Injuries
I was recently contacted by someone whose family member survived for a period of time after the initial injury and, unfortunately, then succumbed to those injuries, which resulted in her death. The question was how that would impact their wrongful death case here in Orlando. The answer is it does have an impact, because that person lived the last weeks of their life in extreme pain and suffering. Those are damages that they can be compensated for, that the family can be compensated for, the estate can be compensated for.
That’s why it is crucial when hiring a lawyer that you obtain someone that has the education, experience, and knowledge of specifically dealing with wrongful death cases, to prepare that case for trial and to maximize the full recovery for you and your family. If you’ve lost a loved one as the result of someone’s negligence, please contact us.
Sibling Filing A Wrongful Death Claim
Recently, I had an inquiry from a potential client asking if, as a sibling, they could file a wrongful death claim. The answer is possibly, but initially what you have to do is you choose who’s going to be the person who will be the personal representative and represent the family in a wrongful death claim. Typically, there is an order that is followed, starting with the spouse, the children, the parents, and then could result down to a sibling being the person that’s handling the wrongful death claim. Again, that all depends on the specific facts involved with the case and the family involved.
That is why it is important that you reach out to a knowledgeable attorney who handles wrongful death cases on a regular basis. If you have lost a loved one as the result of someone’s negligence, please reach out. We’re here to help.
Speaking To Insurance After A Wrongful Death
A question I frequently receive from clients is, “Should I speak to the insurance company when they contact me when a wrongful death case is involved?” The most basic, straightforward answer is no. You should never speak to the insurance company before hiring a lawyer. The insurance company is there to do a job, and the job is to protect their insured, not you. Their job is to protect their money, not you. Before speaking to an insurance company, you should immediately contact a knowledgeable, well-trained trial attorney who can help guide you through the process and protect you from something that might later result in an adverse impact on your claim.
Wrongful Death Cases
Recently, I had a friend reach out to me regarding what might be important to know when discussing a wrongful death claim in Florida. The answer here in Orlando is that wrongful death is when someone is tragically killed as the result of the negligence of another, meaning someone did something wrong that resulted in the death to an individual. When that happens, there are many things that need to be investigated, need to be determined, need to find out why, how, and could it have been prevented. Then we need to go in and determine the damages, how it’s affected the family, how it will continue to affect the family for the rest of their lives, and how that sad person that lost their life didn’t get to live their life the way they should have.
When something like this happens, it’s very important that you contact a knowledgeable, experienced trial attorney. If you have a loved one that was lost as the result of another’s negligence, please contact us.
Wrongful Death Case Timeline
One of the questions that new clients typically ask is how long a wrongful death case will take. The answer here in Orlando is it depends. There are a lot of factors that go into this. How long are the courts themselves setting the case out for trial? Typically, that can be 12 to 18 months from the date that a trial is requested. In the hands of an experienced and knowledgeable trial lawyer, however, many insurance companies decide to be fair and reasonable in the first few months after a wrongful death, rather than going all the way to trial. If that is the case, these cases can typically be resolved in six to twelve months.
The simple answer is it depends on the specific facts in dealing with your wrongful death case. If you have lost a loved one, please contact us. We’re here to help.
Wrongful Death Case Value
One of the questions that’s typically asked at the beginning of a case is, “What is the value of my wrongful death case?” The answer in Orlando is, it all depends. There are many unique factors that go into each case. Each case is very different and has specific things that need to be looked at. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced, knowledgeable trial lawyer.
Some of those factors can be as simple as how old the person was. How much were they making in their profession? What is their loss of income to the family? How many children did they have that they were supporting that are now losing that support? Were they married? Did they have adult children? All of these different issues factor in. Because of that, as I’ve said, it’s extremely important that you hire a knowledgeable trial lawyer.
Wrongful Death Punitive Damages
Recently, I had a potential client ask me if punitive damages were recoverable in a wrongful death claim here in Orlando. The answer is yes, if the circumstances warrant it. Those circumstances could be for numerous reasons. They could be as the result of a drunk driver. They could be as the result of texting and driving. That’s why it’s extremely important that you hire an attorney that focuses on these wrongful death cases to do a proper investigation as to all of the causes of the crash and to determine whether punitive damages are possible in your particular case.
Wrongful Death Survivors
One of the questions that frequently arise at the beginning of a wrongful death case is who is considered a survivor here in Florida. The answer is it depends. Obviously, a spouse of someone who has lost their life is a survivor. The children are going to be survivors, as well. In some circumstances, unfortunately, in which a family has lost their child, the parents will be survivors. It all depends on the unique facts of that specific situation. That’s why it’s very important that you hire an attorney that deals with wrongful death cases all the time, that is familiar with the Florida statutes and knows who is going to be a survivor so you can truly maximize recovery for the family who has lost a loved one.
Call Our Orlando Wrongful Death Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation
We want to be by your side to defend your rights when you lose someone due to negligence or carelessness. We will bring you and your family justice for your loved one who has passed on. Please don’t hesitate to call us as soon as you possibly can so we can get started on building you a strong case. Call to set up your free initial consultation today.
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