Losing a loved one can have a significant impact on the surviving family members’ lives, both emotionally and financially. This loss can be exasperated when the death is the result of someone else acting recklessly or negligently, causing a fatal accident. This is known as wrongful death, and it is covered by Florida tort law and provides a legal channel for the surviving family members to seek compensation from either the defendant or the insurance company representing the defendant for their actions (or inactions). There are many different situations that can qualify for a wrongful death claim, just as there are many situations that can qualify for a personal injury claim for a non-fatal accident.
Tort law is complicated, and the legal process of getting the compensation you deserve can be contentious and overwhelming, especially for someone who is inexperienced with these types of cases and is trying to handle the emotional impacts of this significant loss at the same time. This is why it is so important that you partner with an Orlando wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible after this tragedy. The award-winning team at Fasig | Brooks understands what it takes to provide you with the legal support you need while giving you the peace of mind that you deserve through this process.
Contact Us Now For a Free Consultation
The sooner you contact us, the sooner we will be able to relieve you of your legal burdens so that you can focus on the things that truly matter, such as your emotional health and the health of your family during this trying time. We offer a free initial consultation for prospective wrongful death clients so that we can use this no-obligation opportunity to talk about the specifics of their situation and how we can help. At Fasig | Brooks, our top priority is the needs of our clients, including your need for emotional space and time to focus on recovering.
Read more below to get a general idea about some of the important details of a wrongful death claim. Contact us now in order to schedule your free initial consultation, where we will be able to address the following information and more in great detail.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a type of tort case that claims places the responsibility of death on the reckless or negligent actions (or inactions) of a specific party. If it is found that the defendant is, in fact, responsible for the death, then the next step is to determine an appropriate amount of compensation that the plaintiff deserves for their loss.
Realistically, a wrongful death claim is very similar to any other type of personal injury claim. The first step in establishing a claim is to prove that the defendant acted negligently or recklessly, which in turn caused the fatal accident. Once this fault has been established the next step will be to quantify the damages that the victim (or in the case of wrongful death, the surviving family) have suffered, and are therefore entitled to compensation for.
Common Examples of Wrongful Death
The following are just a few examples of common wrongful deaths, but as long as we are able to establish fault and negligence, there are nearly infinite possibilities for this type of claim. Whether or not you see your situation listed below, contact us now to learn about your rights and options.
- Fatal drunk driving crashes
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Assault or other acts of violence
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
Again, this list is nowhere near comprehensive but is simply a few examples of common causes that we are happy to help you through.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death in Florida
The following are just a few of the most common questions that we answer during initial consultations, and of course work to refine the answers to over the time that we are working together on this case. These answers are intended to give you a general idea of what you can expect for your own situation, but we will need to go into the specifics of your claim in order to reach conclusive answers together.
Is there a statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Florida?
There is a statute of limitations for filing claims against wrongful death in Florida that allows for two years after the accident to take legal action. After the statute of limitations has expired, there is little to no chance for someone to take action against the responsible party, so it is extremely important that you begin working with an attorney as soon as possible. There are rare and specific reasons that someone may be able to have their statute of limitations extended, but it is safest to assume that you will not be able to have your statute adjusted.
During these two years, we will be able to hopefully negotiate directly with the defendant and their legal team or insurance company in an attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement. A settlement is generally the preferred outcome of a claim, since it avoids costly, emotional, and time-consuming court dates and allows us to keep control of the outcome (as opposed to leaving it up to a disinterested third party).
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Orlando?
Generally, the individual who is responsible for the estate of the deceased is the one who will actually file a civil complaint, but there is a variety of relationships to the deceased that may be able to seek compensation for the wrongful death. They include:
- The spouse, parents, or children of a wrongful death victim
- Blood relatives who rely on financial support from the deceased
- Adoptive children or parents
Since a lot of determining who can file has to do with the financial situation that the deceased left behind, we will need to go into detail about your case and your relationship to the victim in order to determine your eligibility and the most effective path forward with this claim.
How are compensatory damages calculated in a wrongful death claim?
As with any tort case, the foundation of a wrongful death claim will focus on the measurable financial impacts that this loss has caused, known as economic damages. In addition to the economic damages, an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Orlando will set out to make a clear and strong argument for non-economic damages that go beyond the financial impacts and address things such as the emotional and psychological injuries that this type of loss will cause.
Economic damages include any sort of financial support that the deceased provided the plaintiffs, as well as any medical bills or treatment costs accrued before the death. Non-economic damages will seek compensation for things like the loss of companionship, emotional suffering, and possibly even the pain and suffering that the deceased endured as a result of the fatal accident.
Do I need a lawyer to file a wrongful death claim in Orlando?
There is no legal requirement to work with an attorney for a wrongful death claim, but there are many benefits to this partnership that go beyond simply getting the money you deserve (although that is an important benefit). When you have a legal professional handling your claim, it will give you the mental and emotional space that you need and deserve so that you can focus on recovering from this tragedy and finding normalcy in your life.
We at Fasig | Brooks understand and empathize with the situation that you are in, which is why we pride ourselves on going above and beyond to provide our clients with a level of care that helps them feel like a valued member of our team during this time. Your case will be no different, which we hope will be apparent from the start of our free initial consultation.