Losing a loved one can be quite devastating and it may prove difficult to recover from the loss, especially if it was due to an accident. Even in your grief, your family may also be dealing with financial hardships due to funeral expenses, loss of income, and more.
If your spouse or close family member has died in an accident, an Ocala wrongful death attorney may be able to help you recover compensation to pay for these expenses and other damages including, pain and suffering.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, an Ocala attorney will work on your behalf to prove to a judge, jury, or settling insurance company that the death of your loved one was caused by the negligent or reckless act of another.
If you have lost a spouse or family member in an accident, an Ocala wrongful death attorney may be able to review the facts of your case and help you pursue litigation to receive compensation for your losses.
Florida law imposes a time limit on when a lawsuit may be filed, so it is very important that you contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. To learn about your legal options, please fill out our free case evaluation form today.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act
The Florida legislature enacted the Wrongful Death Act to allow families to recover for losses associated with the death of a loved one.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act specifies who may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Under the statute, the following are entitled to receive compensation in a wrongful death case:
- Decedent’s spouse;
- Decedent’s children;
- Decedent’s parents;
- Blood relatives who are dependent on the decedent for support or services; and
- Adoptive brothers or sisters who are dependent on the decedent for support or services.
Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, a personal representative, who is generally named in the decedent’s will, must initiate the wrongful death claim.
If the decedent did not have a will or if the will cannot be found, generally the court will consider the surviving spouse as the personal representative.
If the decedent was unmarried or did not have a surviving spouse, the personal representative will be chosen by a majority vote by the decedent’s heirs. Finally, if the heirs cannot decide on who should be the personal representative, the court will appoint one.
Wrongful Death Damages
Placing a monetary value on a human life seems like an impossible task. Unfortunately, it is the only remedy the law is capable of offering.
As one would imagine, the calculation of damages in a wrongful death case is extremely complex. However, the Wrongful Death Act does provide some limited guidance:
- Each survivor is entitled to the value of both past and future loss of support and services from the deceased, based on the decedent’s probable net income and the life expectancy of the deceased and the survivor.
- The spouse is also entitled to compensation for loss of companionship and for mental pain and suffering.
- The parents of a minor child are entitled to compensation for mental pain and suffering.
- The parents of an adult child can receive compensation for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.
- Any survivor who has paid medical or funeral expenses on behalf of the deceased may recover them.
- The estate of the deceased may recover lost earnings from the date of injury to the date of death and any medical or funeral expenses due. The estate may also recover the savings the deceased would have accumulated had they lived, provided the deceased had a spouse or children.
Causes of Wrongful Death in Ocala
In Ocala, wrongful death lawsuits arise out of many types of accidents. Our Ocala attorneys have experience handling wrongful death lawsuits involving the following types of accidents:
- Car Accidents;
- Motorcycle Accidents;
- Boat and Jet-Ski Accidents;
- Workplace Accidents;
- Truck Accidents;
- Medical Malpractice; and
- Defective Drugs and Products.
Contact Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Today
No one who has recently lost a loved one should have to go it alone. At Morgan & Morgan, our Ocala wrongful death attorneys and staff are here to help families that have been devastated by the avoidable loss of a loved one.
If your family has lost a loved one in an auto accident, due to medical malpractice, a defective product, a workplace accident, or under any other unexpected and avoidable circumstance, we may be able to help.
While we cannot assuage your grief, we can give your family some financial peace of mind and the feeling that at least some justice has been obtained for your loved one. To find out what an Ocala wrongful death attorney may be able to do for you, please fill out our free case evaluation form today.