Orlando Wrongful Death Lawyer
When tragedy strikes, the last thing on a mourning’s family’s mind is often finances. However, the loss of a loved one can incur incredible financial losses. Not only can medical bills and funeral expenses easily reach the tens of thousands and above, but the loss of a major breadwinner can be the crippling blow to a family’s future. We understand that no amount of financial compensation can make such a tragedy go away or even ease the tremendous emotional pain, but when the death of a loved one is the fault of another, the negligent party should be responsible for the financial damage they caused. You may be entitled to compensation for medical and funeral expenses, what equates to emotional pain and suffering, and loss of income that would have been provided by the deceased. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one that was the fault of a careless or reckless act of another, contact an experienced Orlando wrongful death lawyer today.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury claim – both seek damages for harm and losses that are the direct result of another’s negligence or wrongful act. The primary difference between a wrongful death suit and a personal injury suit, however, is that the plaintiff in a personal injury suit is the injured person themselves; in a wrongful death claim, the injured party has suffered fatal harm, and therefore the plaintiff is a surviving family member or the representative of the deceased’s estate. Florida statute allows for a wrongful death suit to be filed when a person’s death is the result of the negligence, wrongful act, breach of contract, or default of another party. The law allows for such a civil action to be filed by the personal representative of the deceased’s estate (who may be named in a will or appointed by the court); damages are recovered on the behalf of family members, such as a surviving spouse, children, or parents.
It is also important to note that a wrongful death action is a civil action, not a criminal one. The outcome of a civil wrongful death case will have no effect on a criminal case, and there will be no criminal repercussions for a defendant who is found ‘guilty’/held liable in a wrongful death suit. Similarly, if there is a criminal action pending against a defendant, the outcome of this case will not yield any civil benefits–including monetary compensation–to the family members of the victim.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Suit in Orlando
When a person dies unexpectedly and wrongfully, surviving family members and dependents often suffer undue financial and emotional harm as a direct result. Florida law allows these parties to seek damages for the economic and noneconomic injuries they have incurred, including compensation for:
- Medical bills incurred prior to death;
- The value of the deceased’s lost wages and loss of earning capacity and future benefits;
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Loss of prospective net accumulations of the decedent’s estate;
- Loss of companionship and guidance provided by the deceased;
- Loss of the value of support and services of the deceased; and
- Loss of consortium.
Losing a loved one can have a profound effect on your psychological state and your ability to support yourself and your family moving forward. While filing a wrongful death claim may seem intimidating or overly complex, it may be the only way to recover the compensation to which you’re entitled, and which you need.
Loss of Consortium is Similar to Pain and Suffering
When a member of a family dies, a lawsuit will often determine what the family deserves in terms of financial compensation for the loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is the loss of companionship. It is particularly relevant to families with young children, as they will have to grow up without one of their parents.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
If your family member has died due to the wrongdoing or negligence of another party and you are thinking about filing a wrongful death claim for damages, we recommend meeting with an Orlando wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and initiate the claims process. The statute of limitations in Florida for bringing forth a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of death (not the date of the accident). If you wait longer than two years to file your claim, you could be barred from recovery.
Accidental Deaths Are Almost Always Avoidable
While wrongful death civil lawsuits stem from both intentional and unintentional fatalities, murder is of course much less frequent than accidental deaths. However, that does not excuse the guilty party. There were 130,557 unintentional injury deaths in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Not all of those were the fault of others, though that number does not take into account the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by doctors and healthcare workers. Sadly, mistakes made in emergency rooms and hospitals in general are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., according to new research published in the Journal of Patient Safety. Wrongful death lawsuits derive from medical malpractice, car collisions, truck collisions, motorcycle and bicycle crashes, faulty or unsafe products, workplace mishaps, premises accidents, and many other types of avoidable scenarios where one or more parties displayed varying levels of negligence. In terms of traffic fatalities, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety lists alcohol as one of the main contributors. However, illegal measures do not have to be taken in order for a party to be held liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. Technology distraction is a growing problem, as is drowsy driving due to the short hours Americans sleep each night.
Contact Our Experienced Orlando Wrongful Death Lawyers
No matter the scenario, if a loved one died due to the negligence of another, you and your family deserve to be financially compensated. The statute (95.11) of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is two years in Florida. To talk with an experienced Orlando wrongful death lawyer, call The Pendas Law Firm at 1-888-573-6327. Let our successful lawyers help you today.