Orlando Wrongful Death Attorneys
The death of a loved one is never easy to handle. If it seems the death was preventable and occurred due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful conduct, it can be even more difficult to accept the loss. Clearly, you can’t turn back time and bring back your loved one; however, you may be able to find some peace and acceptance if you hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence and are compensated fairly for your loss.
The Orlando wrongful death attorneys at Warner & Warner represent family members who have lost a loved one because of wrongful or negligent conduct. If you are a surviving family member, we can help you navigate the complex Florida wrongful death laws to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled, and the responsible parties are held accountable.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
When a personal injury accident results in fatal injuries to the victim, the death may be considered a “wrongful death.” Although we commonly use the term personal injury “accident,” these are not true accidents. Instead, they are situations in which the wrongful or negligent conduct of another party was a contributing factor in the injuries sustained by the victim.
When those injuries cause the death of the victim, the law considers it a “wrongful” death. Some common examples of personal injury “accidents” that might result in a wrongful death claim include:
- Medical malpractice
- Truck accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Swimming pool drownings
- Automobile accidents
- Premises liability accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Criminal acts
- Defective products
The Florida Wrongful Death Act
In the State of Florida, the Florida Wrongful Death Act (FWDA) governs lawsuits brought by the surviving family members when a wrongful death is alleged to have occurred. Section 768.19 of the FWDA defines a wrongful death as “the death of a person that is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person.”
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
According to the FWDA, the decedent’s personal representative (usually the Executor of the estate) must initiate a wrongful death lawsuit; however, both the estate and the surviving family members may be entitled to monetary damages if the lawsuit is successful. Survivors, for purposes of recovering damages in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, include:
- The decedent’s spouse
- The decedent’s children
- The decedent’s parents
- Any 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
What Damages Are Available in a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In an Orlando wrongful death lawsuit, damages may be awarded to the estate, the survivors, or both. Damages awarded to the estate are intended to cover actual losses. Examples of damages that may be awarded to the estate include:
- 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.
- Medical and funeral expenses that were paid directly by the estate.
Unlike damages awarded to the estate of the decedent, damages awarded to a survivor represent the financial impact and emotional suffering caused by the decedent’s death. These damages may include:
- The value of support and services the deceased person provided to the surviving family member.
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased person.
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss of a child.
- Medical or funeral expenses any surviving family member has paid for the deceased person.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing an Orlando Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
One of the many reasons to consult with an experienced Orlando wrongful death attorney as soon as you suspect negligence is that the State of Florida imposes a two-year statute of limitations on most wrongful death claims. In practical terms, this means that most claimants in a wrongful death lawsuit must initiate the lawsuit within two years of the date of death or forever waive the right to pursue the lawsuit and hold the at-fault party (or parties) accountable.
When to Contact an Orlando Wrongful Death Lawyer
No amount of compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one; however, if another party is wholly or partially responsible for your loss, that party should be held legally accountable and you should be compensated for your losses and suffering. Moreover, your loved one would undoubtedly want you to be compensated.
Our experienced Orlando wrongful death attorneys understand the emotional and financial devastation survivors of a wrongful death experience and are committed to aggressively pursuing your right to compensation. Our extensive experience and resources ensure that we can identify all areas of loss and quantify those losses as fully and accurately as possible in order to maximize your recovery.
For help with your wrongful death case, please contact the Orlando wrongful death lawyers at Warner & Warner at 321-972-1889 or submit our “Do I Have a Case?” form online. We want to hear what happened to your loved one and help you pursue fair compensation for your loss.