Coping with the death of a loved one is always difficult, but when it seems that the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct, your sense of loss and confusion can be even more devastating. As experienced wrongful death attorneys, we know that no amount of compensation can make up for your loss. However, a wrongful death lawsuit can help you hold the negligent party or parties accountable and give you a sense of justice.
The Casselberry wrongful death attorneys at Warner & Warner represent family members who have lost a loved one because of wrongful or negligent conduct. We can help you navigate the complex Florida wrongful death laws to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled and hold the responsible parties accountable for their negligence.
Understanding the Florida Wrongful Death Act
The Florida Wrongful Death Act (FWDA) governs wrongful death lawsuits in the State of Florida. According to Section 768.19 of the FWDA, a wrongful death is defined as “the death of a person that is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person.”
Although surviving family members may be entitled to recover damages in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, only the decedent’s personal representative (usually the Executor of the estate) can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. According to the FWDA, the following “survivors” may be entitled to compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- The deceased person’s spouse
- The deceased person’s children
- The deceased person’s parents, if there is no spouse or children
- Blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters who are partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services
- Children born out of wedlock of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.
How Do I Know If My Loved One’s Death Was a Wrongful Death?
When a loved one dies, feelings of grief, depression, and even anger are common. You may even want to blame someone for the death of your loved one. Sadly, someone may have caused or contributed to their death.
We frequently refer to scenarios that result in injuries as personal injury “accidents” when in fact, those injuries are the result of negligent or wrongful conduct by another party. If those injuries were fatal, it may be a wrongful death. Examples of personal injury “accidents” that could result in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Automobile accidents
- Defective products
- Motorcycle accidents
- Swimming pool drownings
- Medical malpractice
- Truck accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Criminal acts
Understanding Damages in a Casselberry Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The law uses the term “damages” to refer to compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Damages may be awarded to the estate and to the legal survivors of the decedent in a Casselberry wrongful death lawsuit. Damages awarded to the estate may include:
- Medical and funeral expenses that were paid by the estate directly.
- Lost wages, benefits, and other earnings, including the value of lost earnings that the deceased person could reasonably have been expected to make if he or she had lived.
- Lost “prospective net accumulations” of the estate, or the value of earnings the estate could reasonably have been expected to collect if the decedent had lived.
Damages awarded to the survivors are intended to replace the financial benefits lost by the decedent’s death as well as emotional suffering. These damages may include:
- Medical or funeral expenses any surviving family member has paid for the deceased person.
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased person.
- The value of support and services the deceased person provided to the surviving family member.
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss of a child.
When Can I File a Casselberry Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If you suspect that another party’s negligence or wrongful conduct was a factor in the death of a loved one, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Casselberry wrongful death attorney immediately to ensure that you are within the time limits imposed by the Florida statute of limitations.
A statute of limitations sets the timeframe within which a lawsuit must be filed. Failing to file within the applicable timeframe bars you from pursuing the lawsuit. The State of Florida imposes a two-year statute of limitations on most wrongful death claims, meaning you only have two years from the date of death to initiate legal action.
When to Contact a Casselberry Wrongful Death Lawyer
If another party caused or contributed to the death of your loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit can ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable and that the surviving family members are fully compensated for their financial and emotional loss.
At Warner & Warner, our Casselberry wrongful death attorneys have seen firsthand the devastation caused by a wrongful death. We are dedicated to zealously pursuing your right to compensation and ensuring that the at-fault party is held legally accountable.
Please contact the experienced Casselberry wrongful death lawyers at Warner & Warner to discuss your legal options. Call us at 321-972-1889 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation and get started on your wrongful death case.