Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you have suffered the tragedy of losing a loved one in an accident or as a result of a medical mistake, we offer our deepest sympathies. You are going through something that no one should be forced to endure, and you are undoubtedly facing a long road ahead as you do your best to cope with your loved one’s untimely death. However, it is important to understand that you may be entitled to compensation, and an experienced Florida wrongful death lawyer can help you recover maximum damages.
Trusted Attorneys With Over 40 Years of Experience Handling Wrongful Death Cases in Florida
If another person or a large corporation is to blame for your loved one’s death, your family may be entitled to a financial recovery for the financial and emotional tolls you incur as a result of your loss. The costs of losing a loved one unexpectedly can be substantial; and, from your loved one’s medical expenses to your own pain and suffering, if you are entitled to compensation, you need to make sure you recover the compensation you deserve. As part of the recovery process, it is crucial that you speak with a wrongful death attorney in Florida about your legal rights.
Our firm is comprised of attorneys who have decades of experience fighting for families in cases of wrongful death. Having handled numerous wrongful death cases all across Florida, we understand what grieving families are going through, and we tailor our representation to our clients’ uniquely-challenging circumstances. While it is important that you remain up-to-date and make informed decisions throughout your case, we also understand that you need time to grieve, and we will make sure that your case plays as minimal of a role in your life as possible.
Florida’s laws are unique. Wrongful death claims must be asserted by the deceased’s personal representative, and the statute of limitations for most claims is two years (compared to four years for non-fatal injury claims), but statutes vary and only the immediate review by an attorney can tell you what statute of limitations might apply to your case.
Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims
Regardless of what happened or who you think may have been to blame, if you have lost a loved one unexpectedly, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your case. With decades of experience and millions of dollars recovered, we have the capabilities and resources needed to help you recover just compensation.
Our lawyers represent clients in Florida wrongful death lawsuits involving:
Aviation and Railroad Disasters
Fatal aviation and railroad accidents present numerous unique and challenging issues, and protecting your rights requires experienced legal representation. We have earned a national reputation for our work in these types of cases, and we can use our experience to help maximize your financial recovery.
With Florida’s high rate of fatal car accidents, far too many families lose loved ones every year. When we investigate the accident that resulted in your loved one’s death, we will examine all potential causes in order to make sure that we hold all of the responsible parties accountable.
Bicycle and Motorcycle Accidents
Bicycle and motorcycle accidents have a high rate of fatality compared to other types of traffic and motor vehicle accidents. We have significant experience proving liability in these difficult cases, and we can ensure that your loved one is not falsely accused of being responsible for his or her own fatal injuries.
Boating and Watercraft Accidents
Fatal boating and watercraft accidents present a number of unique challenges as well. If your loved one died as a result of an accident on the water, we can work quickly to gather the evidence needed to prove your claim for just compensation.
Dangerous drugs, drug interactions and hypersensitivity reactions can cause a number of medical conditions that can result in untimely death. From kidney and liver damage to asphyxiation, we are highly knowledgeable about the symptoms and effects of dangerous drugs, and we can make sure the pharmaceutical company, pharmacy or healthcare provider that is to blame for your loved one’s death is held accountable.
Golf Cart Accidents
Golf cart accidents are common in communities across Florida; and, due to the limited protections golf carts offer, many of these accidents result in fatal injuries. If you have lost an elderly parent, a child or another family member in a golf cart accident, we can help your family secure the financial recovery to which you are legally entitled.
Medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. If you suspect that your loved one’s death was preventable, your concerns are justified, and we invite you to speak with one of our medical malpractice attorneys about your family’s legal rights.
Falls and other premises-related accidents resulting in fatal injuries are avoidable, and property owners that fail to adequately protect workers, patrons and guests deserve to be held legally accountable. We handle cases involving construction sites, faulty elevators and escalators, industrial and commercial properties, swimming pools and other types of properties.
Dangerous and defective products are to blame for an alarming number of unnecessary deaths. We handle wrongful death cases involving all types of defective products, and have particular experience with airplanes, automobiles, children’s products, construction equipment, household products, landscaping equipment, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and playground equipment.
Truck accidents result in fatalities at a disproportionate rate compared to other types of motor vehicle crashes. Most often, it is the occupants of passenger vehicles who lose their lives in these dangerous collisions. We regularly handle cases against the trucking companies, and we can help your family secure just compensation.
Unsafe Medical Devices
If your loved one died as a result of complications from a medical device, we can hold the device manufacturer accountable for your tragic loss. A significant portion of our practice is devoted to unsafe medical device litigation, and we have a proven record of success in settlements and at trial.
Maximizing Recovery for Families Who Have Lost a Loved One
A wrongful death lawsuit cannot erase the sorrow of losing a loved one. Yet, having your day in court can bring a small measure of justice that the person or corporation responsible for your loved one’s death is paying the price. The damages recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit can also help your family meet the financial challenges that may arise as a result of the fatal accident.
Searcy Denney is a respected Florida wrongful death law firm established more than 40 years ago. We have the experience and the resources to accurately determine and solidly prove the cause of a fatal accident and the damages that resulted.
We understand that your family is grieving. We handle your legal case so you can concentrate on taking care of your family. Our goal is to maximize the damages you recover and to hold the negligent party responsible so another family will not suffer this devastating loss.
Types of Wrongful Death Damages
The damages you recover depend upon the individual facts of your case. Our law firm thoroughly investigates the case and consults with experts to calculate and prove damages. Matters we consider include:
- Damages your deceased loved one was entitled to for his or her personal injury claim
- Medical bills and expenses of treating the personal injury
- Wages your loved one would have earned
- Lost benefits, such as health insurance, Social Security or veterans’ benefits
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost companionship, friendship, support, guidance, advice, love and affection
- Loss of services, including childcare, accounting, housekeeping, landscaping and security
- Your pain and suffering over your loss
- Your lost wages as you cared for your loved one and grieved
Beneficiaries Entitled to Wrongful Death Damages
The personal representative of your loved one’s estate is tasked with filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of beneficiaries with standing, including your loved one’s spouse, children and, in some cases, parents, certain dependent blood and adoptive relatives. Upon conclusion of the personal injury case, the personal representative collects the damages and distributes them to the heirs.
Recovery for Minor Children
We are truly saddened when an untimely death leaves a young child without a mother or a father. Although money can never replace the loss of a parent, these children deserve the financial security their parents would have provided. Our lawyers advocate for these young children’s rights. We ensure the damages are paid in a manner that offers protection, sometimes by establishing legal protections for recoveries of minor children.
Contact a Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation
Did you lose a loved one due to another person or company’s negligence? If so, a Florida wrongful death lawyer at our firm can help you recover your rightful damages. To schedule your free initial consultation, please call (800) 780-8607 or contact us online. You can reach us 24/7, and if we are not available immediately a member of our firm will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.
Who can file a wrongful death claim in Florida?
Under Florida law, only the deceased’s personal representative is eligible to file a claim. The personal representative files the claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate; and, if the claim is successful, the damages recovered are then distributed to the eligible beneficiaries. Beneficiaries who can be eligible to receive wrongful death compensation include spouses, children, parents, and certain other dependent relatives.
Is there a deadline for filing a wrongful death claim in Florida?
In most cases, the deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida is two years. However the facts of any given case can effect the ultimate statutes of limitation that apply.
Why is it important to seek legal counsel soon after a wrongful death?
First, if you miss the deadline for filing a wrongful death claim, you waive your rights to recover damages. Second, an early, hard-hitting investigation can uncover crucial evidence that might otherwise get lost or destroyed if you delay in pursuing your claim. The sooner you speak with an experienced Florida wrongful death lawyer, the better your chances of obtaining maximum compensation.
What types of financial and non-financial losses can be recovered through a wrongful death claim?
Each case is unique, and the compensation available in your case will depend upon the unique facts and circumstances involved. Generally speaking, however, the types of compensation available in wrongful death cases include:
- Any damages your loved one could have recovered in a personal injury claim had he or she survived the accident (including medical bills and lost earnings and benefits)
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost companionship, friendship, support, guidance, advice, love and affection
- Loss of childcare, accounting, housekeeping, landscaping, security and other services
- Eligible family members’ pain and suffering
- Eligible family members’ income lost while providing care and grieving their loved one’s death
Can my loved one’s creditors seek payment from our family’s compensation award?
Yes. Since the compensation awarded for wrongful death is technically awarded to the deceased’s estate, creditors have the same right to seek payment from a wrongful death compensation award as they do from other assets of the estate. However, creditors’ rights are not absolute – time limitations and other conditions apply – and Florida’s wrongful death statute makes clear that only creditors, “who have complied with the requirements of probate law concerning claims” can seek payment.
Are there any differences between adult children’s and minor children’s right?
Yes. While minor children can recover compensation for, “lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury,” these damages are not available to adult children. Otherwise, adult children’s and minor children’s rights are similar.
If I remarry, will this affect my right to compensation for my former spouse’s wrongful death?
No. Florida’s wrongful death statute is clear on this point. Evidence of remarriage is admissible.
How do I know if I have a valid wrongful death claim?
Searcy Denney offers a free consultation to family members who have lost a loved one and to the personal representatives of the deceased person’s estate. We dedicate the time and attention necessary to fully review your claim and give you a candid, well-informed assessment of your options.
What are my options if I cannot afford to pay a lawyer to take my case?
Under our contingency fee policy, you do not pay us until we recover damages. In the unlikely event that we do not recover compensation, you owe us nothing. You can, therefore, pursue justice regardless of your ability to pay.