The Florida Wrongful Death Guide was created by McKenzie Law Firm to help residents obtain the financial compensation they deserve after losing a loved one because of someone else’s negligence.
When you lose someone you love, it can be completely devastating, especially when this loss is caused by someone else acting carelessly or negligently. Accidents happen, and sometimes they can be catastrophic. If you lost someone you love in an accident, unfortunately you have to live with the grief of that loss and you have to face the financial burden that comes with losing someone. It is scary to think that you are dealing with medical bills, funeral costs, and likely the loss of someone who provided for your family.
Our Florida wrongful death attorney is here to help guide you through the process of a lawsuit. While we understand that no amount of money can erase the grief or turn back the clock, we know that these lawsuits can help keep your head above water. Taking care of your family after this is going to be a priority. We can help you financially support yourself and your family in this terrible time. We aim to protect your legal rights to full and fair compensation. You should be able to successfully pursue a wrongful death case so that, when all is said and done, you can move forward without the worry of struggling financially. After you read about your wrongful death lawsuit details below, please call our office to schedule a free initial consultation.
What Your Legal Rights Are in a Wrongful Death Case
According to the law, anyone who acted carelessly or negligently, including individuals, entities, or corporations, can be held legally responsible if their actions caused the loss of your loved one. There are certain delegated people who are permitted to bring a wrongful death case. That being said, you can bring a wrongful death claim if you are the surviving spouse, a minor child, or the parent of a minor who was killed in an accident. The types of compensation you can receive includes the following:
- Any medical bills that you have had to incur to try to treat your loved one prior to their passing
- Any funeral and/or burial costs
- All lost incomes and wages that your loved one would have brought in throughout their lifetime that would have been of financial support to your family
- The loss of companionship that the surviving members will have to live without due to the loss of this loved one
Coming up with the numerical figure to compensate for wrongful death damages can be extremely tricky. Assessing a number amount for lost companionship is not easy and may be subjective. It will likely require calling on an expert to help determine the amount of compensation that is fair. They will use information such as the life expectancy of your loved one should this accident have never happened to determine what their financial contribution would have been for your family. Our Florida wrongful death attorney can help you build a very strong case to go up against the liable party to make sure that you are getting the result you and your family deserve.
Types of Wrongful Death Cases
Whenever someone acts in a way that is careless, negligent, or in some ways breaches a duty to protect and someone is killed as a result of this behavior, there will be an eligible wrongful death case. There are many different types of incident and accidents that might contribute to a wrongful death claim including:
- Auto accidents (car, bus, truck, motorcycle, etc.)
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall resulting in fatality
- Severe dog bites
- Drowning accident at a swimming pool
- A malfunctioning or defective product resulting in fatality
When these things happen, whoever was responsible for the injuries and fatality of your loved one will have to answer to a wrongful death claim. This type of claim can be resolved through negotiations for a settlement against the party who was responsible. This can happen outside the courthouse.
Frequently Asked Wrongful Death Questions
How Do I Find the Right Attorney?
The first thing to keep in mind when choosing a wrongful death attorney is whether the attorney has relevant experience. This relevant experience is important for a variety of reasons, especially in the instance of a wrongful death. You need an attorney who is not only legally experienced but also emotionally experienced to deal with someone who is going through a very specific and very emotional trauma in their life. You need an attorney who has had enough life experience, as well as enough legal experience, to know how to handle those situations in the most appropriate way, so that everyone is as comfortable as possible through this very difficult time.
You need the person to also focus specifically on wrongful death cases. There are very specific statutes and requirements, as well as shortened timelines, in the state of Florida pertaining to wrongful death. For instance, in Florida, you have two years from the date of the accident to bring a wrongful death claim forward. There are also certain damages that apply specifically to wrongful death cases that do not apply in any other area of law. The right attorney will know what kind of testimony and evidence to collect in order to maximize every area of recovery available under the wrongful death statutes.
Third, you need to choose a trial attorney, especially in wrongful death cases. A trial attorney is absolutely essential because they are willing to go the distance for their clients. When you have catastrophic damages, such as the loss of a loved one, it is imperative that you have an attorney willing to go all the way to trial to ensure that maximum compensation can be recovered.
What Does it Cost to Hire a Wrongful Death Attorney?
For wrongful death cases at McKenzie Law Firm, we work on what’s called a contingency fee basis. What that means is that you don’t pay us any money up front for our representation — you only pay us in the event we make a recovery. If we make a recovery, the percentage that you owe us is established in our contract and regulated by Florida Law, and it will come out of any settlement or verdict amount that is reached on your behalf.
What Mistakes Can I Avoid in a Wrongful Death Case?
In a wrongful death case, there are a few specific things that need to be done as quickly as possible. The most common mistake we see is that a lawyer is not hired in a timely manner. If you believe you have lost a loved one or family member due to someone else’s negligence, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible. There are very specific things that have to be done in a wrongful death case that require contacting an attorney quickly, such as analyzing the autopsy and collecting evidence. This information can be lost if an attorney isn’t hired right away.
The second largest mistake that we see made in these cases is simply ignoring the circumstances of the wrongful death. If you have any suspicion at all that the death of a loved one is the fault of someone else, you should seek, at the very least, the opinion of an attorney to see whether they think any wrongdoing has occurred.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
There are various persons who are qualified to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of a lost loved one in Florida, but an estate has to be set up first. If we believe that there’s a claim, we will happily either assist you in setting up that estate or hire a specialized attorney who can set up that estate for you. As far as who can bring those claims or make a recovery, that is governed by Florida Law and subject to change. What we normally see is that a spouse, parent, or child under the age of 25 is eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their deceased family member.
How Much is My Case Worth?
In Florida, there are specific statutes in wrongful death cases that determine what the damages are. Our lawyers closely examine these, and we discuss with our client and their family what exactly applies to the circumstances of their case. The various factors include the support services their loved one was providing and how involved they were in their family’s life. The recovery also depends on the heirs of the estate. Is there a surviving spouse? What are the ages of the children? A various host of issues come into play that we as the attorneys will go through with the wrongful death client and their family in order to maximize their recovery.
How Long Will This Case Take?
At the beginning of a wrongful death case, it is impossible to determine how long the entire process will take. These cases are much more complex than your typical personal injury case. There are other legal actions that are involved in a wrongful death case, such as the setting up of an estate. We have to ensure that everything is processed in the correct way. Because there are so many different parties involved in a wrongful death case, the question of when something will be resolved becomes even more complicated to try and predict.
At McKenzie Law Firm, we can assure you that we’re going to do the best we can to get your case resolved as quickly as possible, but the particular needs and circumstances of your case need to be met so that we can maximize any potential recovery on your behalf.
Please Contact Our Florida Wrongful Death Attorney Today
A wrongful death lawsuit can be a very tricky legal situation that can involve a lot of different factors that you may not know about. Having a strong, dedicated and supportive Florida wrongful death attorney can be helpful in the pursuit of compensation. They will provide you with the guidance needed to be successful. Our attorney knows how to handle these cases successfully and has handled many cases like yours before. We can help you get the fullest and fairest amount of compensation for the emotional damages, as well as your financial losses. Please call our office as soon as you can to schedule a free consultation with our attorney to go over the details of your wrongful death case and get the legal guidance that you need.