It is never easy when a loved one passes away. When the death is sudden and preventable, the pain is even more pronounced. Many families feel helpless and lost while they grieve the sudden death of a loved one. On top of this, there are funeral and burial expenses to consider, an expense that few families can afford without notice.
In the United States, everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The first of these items means that no one should be able to take your life from you. Unfortunately, it still happens. If someone took your loved one’s life through negligence or malice, you have the right to bring them to justice.
Wrongful death cases allow you to do just that. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can take legal action against the person or company that caused this tragedy, and you can seek compensation for the death of your loved one. Though a settlement will not bring your loved one’s life back, it can help to support you during this difficult time.
For many years, our firm has been helping Orlando families with wrongful death claims. We represent you when you’re facing the most difficult point in your life and navigating an impossible situation. We take the time to get to know your family and exercise compassion and patience throughout your case. We know that this is difficult, and we do everything we can to help make things easier.
Though we are compassionate with our clients and their families, we are ruthless in the courtroom. We have no patience for individuals or companies who take the lives of other people. We do everything in our power to bring them to justice and earn you the settlement that you deserve.
Florida Statutes Section 678.18 states that a wrongful death occurs “when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person.” With the exception of willful murder, most wrongful deaths occur unintentionally and usually from negligence. These include things like medical malpractice, other common medical errors, a car accident, bicycle accident, an accident at the workplace, a faulty consumer product and being provided an illegal drug. This can also include criminal acts such as violent robberies, drunk driving or another negligent act by a driver who is determined to be at fault. Wrongful death can also occur in a nursing home or assisted living facility when there is a lack of care or negligence. If there has been a wrongful death, “the estate of the deceased person may bring a civil lawsuit in Florida’s courts, seeking a legal remedy for that death and the losses stemming from it.”
Wrongful death lawyers who focus on wrongful death lawsuits see many cases that have common issues:
Your individual case will likely be unique. Since these cases are usually accidents, they don’t always proceed in a uniform manner. We will take the time to review your case closely and use every detail to your advantage in court.
Wrongful death cases are intense and require lots of time, attention, and expertise. Though the situation may seem clear-cut to you, the offending party will do everything that they can to shirk responsibility. They will try to blame the situation on the deceased in a grotesque display of irresponsibility. Unless you know how to fight them using the law, you will likely lose your case.
It’s important to note that grief is a significant force. You cannot assume that you will behave in court in a manner that’s appropriate or effective. Many family members become emotional, which is not an option if you’re trying to argue your own case. It’s always best to get a qualified wrongful death attorney from Badgley Law Firm to help you.
Your specific settlement will depend upon your unique situation and how directly the offender caused your loved one’s death. However, there are certain factors that are usually accounted for in a wrongful death settlement.
The settlement should always cover funeral and burial expenses for your loved one. These charges were unexpected, so it’s important that they are covered. This also allows you to properly celebrate and honor your loved one and give them the burial and funeral that they deserve.
Another factor in your settlement will be compensation for lost income. Most families rely on the income of their members. If a family member dies who brought money into the family, the family loses out on that income. This is a situation that few can afford. Your settlement should account for income that your loved one would have made if they were still alive. This can help to support your family and keep you on track with your finances.
Finally, your wrongful death settlement should account for any medical bills that your loved one accrued due to the incident. For example, if your loved one was hit by a car and brought to a hospital where they later passed away, the hospital bills from their time there should be covered by your wrongful death settlement.
For your wrongful death case to be valid, it’s important that your attorney can prove the death was the result of negligence or a wrongful act. Depending on the situation, this can be difficult, especially if the perpetrator argues for their own innocence. The proof that we accumulate will depend upon your loved one’s unique situation. However, these are some ways we may prove that you deserve a wrongful death settlement:
There may be other options depending on your situation. We will review your case thoroughly to determine what tactics are best for your case.
When a wrongful death case occurs in the workplace, the situation becomes more complicated. It’s not uncommon for workers to be caught in machinery, hit by falling objects, slip and hit their head, etc. If the employee passes away, there are limitations to the actions we can take. We still have to prove negligence, meaning that something has to be amiss for there to be a wrongful death case. It’s also important to note that in many cases, you cannot sue the deceased’s employer.
At Badgley Law Group, we have represented many clients in Orlando and throughout Central Florida in wrongful death claims. Our attorneys have fielded many questions from clients in this complex legal area.
If someone you love has been killed by someone else’s negligence, peruse the questions and answers below and contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced lawyer from Badgley Law Group.
Family members who may recover damages in a Florida wrongful death case include:
Although Florida law requires the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file the wrongful death claim, it can be on behalf of any of those listed above.
In certain circumstances, unrelated minor children living with and supported by the decedent may also bring a claim for wrongful death.
In order to bring a successful wrongful death cause of action, the following elements must be present:
A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida must be filed within two years of the date of death in most cases, according to Florida Statutes Section 95.11(4)(d). The deadline may be “tolled,” or postponed, under a few very precise instances.
According to Florida Statutes section 768.21, possible damages that can be awarded to family members of the deceased include:
The deceased person’s estate may also recover certain types of damages. These include:
A wrongful death lawsuit can be quite complicated and involves gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, and researching relevant case law. It is all to be started within the statute of limitations and will likely coincide with the grief you’re experiencing over the loss of your loved one. It’s important that you have a trusted adviser who knows and understands the process. Someone who can help guide you in seeking justice in one of the most stressful times in your life.
If your family member has been the victim of wrongful death, you need the services of our Orlando wrongful death attorneys. We encourage you to contact us online so that we can learn more about your potential case and review it at no charge.
Call us for a free consultation at 407-781-0420 or contact us online.