Searcy Denney: When You Need a Top Wrongful Death Attorney in Florida
Trusted Florida Wrongful Death Lawyers With Over 40 Years of Experience
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 wrongful death attorney in Florida can help you recover maximum damages.
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, our wrongful death attorneys 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.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Your wrongful death lawyer will discuss your relationship with your loved one. You must have been a close relative of the decedent to recover monetary damages from the person who was responsible for their death. The list of people who may be able to recover in a wrongful case include:
- The decedent’s one’s spouse
- His or her children
- The decedent’s parents
- Other dependent blood and adoptive relatives
Your attorneys can work with the personal representative of your deceased loved one’s estate to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of all beneficiaries who have a right to wrongful death damages. Once the personal injury case is over, the personal representative collects the damages and distributes them to you and any other eligible heirs.
Explanation of Damages From a Wrongful Death Attorney in Florida
The costs leading up to losing a loved one can be substantial. And some types of loss are hard to measure. From your loved one’s medical expenses to your own pain and suffering, you need to make sure you and others recover the compensation you are all legally entitled to and deserve. As part of the process of recovering all the money you should, it is crucial that you speak with a wrongful death attorney in Florida, who is experienced in handling legal cases like yours so you can concentrate on taking care of your family. At Searcy Denney, our goal is to maximize the damages you recover and to hold the proper party responsible so another family will not suffer the same kind of devastating loss.
Compensation Available in Florida Wrongful Death Claims
Whether and to what extent you can recover damages will depend upon the individual facts of your case. A Searcy Denney wrongful death attorney in Florida will take the time and resources to thoroughly investigate your case, consulting with financial, forensic, medical, and other 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
Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Help Children Whose Parents Suffered a Fatal Accident
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 the special rights of children who suffer from the loss of a parent. We take our role as the wrongful death attorney in Florida responsible for representing the interests of children very seriously. We do all we can to ensure the damages are paid in a manner that offers protection, sometimes by establishing legal protections for recoveries of minor children.
Wrongful Death Recovery When a Parent Loses a Child
There can be no greater tragedy than the loss of a child. When the loss is the result of the negligent or bad acts of another party, the grief the family experiences is indescribable.
When courts attempt to determine what damages can be paid to the parents and other survivors of a young child whose life was ended, they look at a number of different factors, including:
- Costs of the medical expenses the child incurred before death
- Loss of love and companionship of their child
- Grief and mental anguish the parents experience
- The cost of mental health services to help the whole family cope with this extreme type of loss
In cases where the child who died was a legal adult — 18 years or older — the question becomes whether and to what extent the parents might have been dependent on the child financially. Often, parents who relied on the financial contributions of the adult child have a case for damages for wrongful death. Your Florida wrongful death lawyers will help you determine what damages you might be entitled to in the event you experience the tragic loss of your child.
Causes of Death and Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed in a variety of situations that caused the death of a loved one, including motor vehicle and other types of accidents, medical malpractice, or use of products with manufacturing defects. A wrongful death attorney in Florida can also file a lawsuit if a loved one was a victim of a vehicular homicide, murder or other criminal act that lead to death.
Wrongful Death Following an Accident
A Searcy Denney wrongful death lawyer in Florida can represent clients in wrongful death lawsuits involving all kinds of accidents, including:
- Car accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating and watercraft accidents
- Golf cart accidents
- Truck accidents
- Premises liability and falls
Wrongful Death Following Medical Malpractice
If a loved one died as a result of healthcare-related negligence, a firm wrongful death attorney in Florida can represent you in any of the following types of cases:
Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys for Fatalities from Faulty Products
You can rely on a Searcy Denney wrongful death attorney in Florida to handle any cases for wrongful death damages arising from the use of a dangerous or defective consumer product, such as:
- Malfunctioning automotive parts, like airbags, seatbelts, electrical and brake defects
- Chemical irritants and toxins in household or agricultural products
- Food that is contaminated that causes food poisoning or other illnesses
- Poorly designed or manufactured machinery and tools
- Badly constructed recreational equipment and products
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Dangerous toys and other children’s products
- Unsafe or unstable furniture
Wrongful Death Cases After Vehicular Homicide, Murder, and Other Acts of Violence
Some wrongful death cases follow on the heels of criminal prosecutions. This may happen in car wreck cases when the person who caused the accident was driving drunk or acting in another manner that showed such reckless disregard for human life that they are charged with manslaughter, vehicular homicide, or DUI manslaughter.
Other times, a wrongful death case can be brought after a family member died as a result of an intentional act of violence, such as murder. It is often hard for family members to wrap their minds around the reality that their loved one was victimized in such a manner. After undergoing the stresses of the perpetrator’s criminal prosecution, families are often left feeling that their ordeal will never end.
This is especially the case when the person who killed your loved one escapes conviction.
A wrongful death attorney in Florida will help you file a civil lawsuit against the person who caused the death of your loved one through violence. You are entitled to pursue a case for damages against the person responsible for your family member’s death, whether they were convicted of the murder or not.
The level of proof necessary to convict a person of a crime is extremely high. While a solid case is still needed to prove wrongful death, the level of proof for your case for civil damages is significantly lower. In a criminal case, guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case like a wrongful death lawsuit, the family must show that the preponderance of the evidence points to guilt.
Sometimes bringing a civil case following a criminal case can be to the family’s advantage. The evidence presented in the criminal case can prove useful at the civil trial. Furthermore, it is likely that evidence that could not be used in the criminal case would be admissible in a civil case.
Why You Should Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney in Florida As Soon As Possible
Generally speaking, wrongful death claims must be asserted on behalf of the deceased’s personal representative within the statute of limitations time period of two years. The laws vary, however, and the only the immediate review by a wrongful death attorney in Florida can tell you what time frames might apply to your case.
If you miss the deadline for filing a wrongful death claim, you waive your rights to recover damages. Additionally, 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.
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.
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 a wrongful death attorney in Florida to discuss the facts of your specific situation as soon as possible so you do not lose your rights to damages.
Contact a Florida Wrongful Death Attorney for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation
Did you lose a loved one due to another person or company’s negligence? If so, a wrongful death lawyer at our firm can help you recover your rightful damages.
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.
To schedule your free initial consultation, please call (855) 436-3817 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.
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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.
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. Our Florida wrongful death lawyers 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.