In addition to grieving for the loss of a loved one, family members of someone who endured a wrongful death may also be dealing with medical bills, and the loss of income or support of the deceased. No one deserves that in their time of need and mourning.
Our wrongful death attorneys have decades of combined experience helping families in the Fort Myers – Cape Coral area recover financially after the death of a loved one. We understand that the period following a fatal accident can be an extremely difficult time for the victim’s family. A wrongful death lawsuit may help ease the financial burden you and your family are facing following the death of a loved one.
In Florida, there is a time limit in which a wrongful death claim may be filed, so it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. If your spouse or immediate family member has died in an accident involving negligence, medical malpractice, or another type of wrongful act, our Fort Myers wrongful death attorneys may be able to help.
Fill out our free case review form today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation from our Fort Myers office.
How an Attorney Can Help Determine If You Have a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Your attorney will review the facts of your case to determine if you have a viable claim for damages under the Florida Wrongful Death Act. This statute defines wrongful death as a death caused by a wrongful act such as negligence, medical malpractice, or breach of warranty. Your attorney may review medical records, accident reports, and police records to determine if a wrongful act caused, or contributed to, the death of your family member. Your attorney may also work with medical experts to determine the cause of death and to help establish that the death would not have occurred if not for the wrongful actions of another.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The Florida Wrongful Death Act specifies who may file a lawsuit in the event a loved one is killed due to negligence, malpractice, or another type of wrongful act. The following relatives may be able to receive compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Blood relatives who were dependent on the victim for support or services
- Adoptive brothers or sisters who were dependent on the victim for support or services
Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, a personal representative of the deceased generally must be the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit. Usually, the personal representative is named in the decedent’s will. If the will does not name a personal representative or if the decedent did not have a will, a court may appoint the surviving spouse as the personal representative. If the decedent did not have a surviving spouse, the personal representative is chosen by a majority vote of the heirs. If the decedent’s heirs are unable to select a personal representative, the court will appoint one.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The following types of damages are available in a wrongful death lawsuit:
Medical and Funeral Expenses: Through a wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving spouse and certain relatives of the decedent may be able to recover medical costs incurred as a result of the incident that lead to the victim’s death. In addition, funeral expenses may be recovered through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Loss of Income and Retirement Benefits: The victim’s spouse and family members may be able to receive compensation for the value of lost earnings and retirement benefits. To determine the value of this loss, our wrongful death attorneys will work with economic experts and actuaries who will review the decedent’s employment history and explain to a jury, if necessary, the economic loss that the family will suffer as a result of the wrongful death.
Loss of Services: In cases where the decedent performed household services for the family, the surviving spouse and certain family members may be eligible to receive compensation for the value of these services.
Mental Pain and Suffering: The Florida Wrongful Death Statute provides that a victim’s spouse and family members may be able to receive financial compensation for the emotional pain and mental anguish caused by the death of their loved one.
Loss of Parental Companionship: Minor children (and adult children if the decedent does not have a surviving spouse) may be entitled to compensation for loss of parental companionship, guidance, and instruction.
Punitive Damages: Although rare, punitive damages are awarded by courts in cases involving intentional, reckless, or grossly negligent conduct. Punitive damages are intended to discourage others from engaging in similarly dangerous behavior.
Causes of Wrongful Death in Fort Myers
Our wrongful death attorneys handle lawsuits involving:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Boat and jet-ski accidents
- Birth injuries
- Defective products, including prescription drugs and defective medical devices
- Unsafe premises
- Workplace accidents, including exposure to hazardous chemicals
- Pedestrian and bike accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Drowning accidents
Fort Myers Verdicts & Settlements
- $3 million verdict for the family of a 16-year-old boy who was killed after being hit by a truck walking to school.
- $2 million settlement for the surviving children of a 68-year-old killed in a car accident on the highway.
- $1.5 million settlement for the wife of a 65-year-old man after his death in a head-on collision.
- $1.5 million settlement after a 58-year-old man was hit head-on by a truck and died.
If your spouse or a family member has died because of the negligent, reckless, or intentional act of another, a Fort Myers wrongful death attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for your losses. Please contact our Fort Myers office for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.