After the death of a loved one, a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind. However, if your loved one was killed due to an unexpected and preventable accident caused by another, our attorneys in Sarasota can fight to get justice for your family. A wrongful death lawsuit will not only seek to hold this party accountable for their actions, but can also provide your family with compensation for loss of income and other expenses related to your loved one’s unexpected death.
If you have unexpectedly lost a spouse, parent or child and believe you could have a wrongful death claim, fill out our free, no-obligation case review form today. There is a statute of limitations in Florida for when a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible so that the attorneys in our Sarasota office can begin investigating your potential claim.
Do I Have a Case?
Typically, wrongful death lawsuits can only be filed when someone has died as a result of another’s recklessness or negligence. Negligence refers to another person or entity’s failure to act as a reasonable person would in a similar circumstance. For instance, if a driver is speeding and kills another person in an accident, your attorney may be able to prove that the driver was negligent in causing the crash. Not every accident makes for a viable wrongful death or personal injury claim. Our attorneys will work closely with you to review the details specific to your situation to help determine whether you can take legal action.
The wrongful death attorneys in our Sarasota office have experience handling lawsuits stemming from the following types of accidents:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, including accidents where the other driver was driving under the influence of alcohol
- Boating and jet-ski accidents
- Workplace accidents, including accidents at construction sites
- Airplane accidents
We also handle wrongful death cases involving defective products, such as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, criminal acts, and medical malpractice.
Who can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under Florida law, the following family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person, corporation, or healthcare organization whose negligent or reckless conduct contributed to the death of their loved one:
- Deceased’s spouse
In addition, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters who relied wholly or partly on the deceased for support or services may be able to take legal action. Under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, the term “services” means tasks, usually of a household nature, that are regularly performed by the deceased that will be a necessary expense of the survivors.
How Long do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
A wrongful death lawsuit generally must be filed within two years of the date of death. Under Florida law, lawsuits involving medical malpractice must be filed within two years of when the negligent act that caused the injury occurred. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time period, you may be prevented from recovering any compensation from the parties responsible for the wrongful death.
How Much Compensation can I Recover?
The amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive will depend on a number of factors specific to your case. Typically, your attorney will seek compensation for the following types of damages under the Florida Wrongful Death Act:
- Medical and funeral expenses that were paid by the deceased or the deceased’s estate
- Loss of wages and earnings
- Loss of benefits (pension, medical benefits)
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship for the surviving spouse and children
- Loss of parental guidance for surviving minor children
- Punitive damages
To recover compensation for all damages incurred as a result of a wrongful death, Morgan & Morgan’s Sarasota attorneys may work with a financial expert to help value the economic losses that your family will incur as a result of the wrongful death. The expert may testify as to your loved one’s future earning capacity and the replacement value of all services provided by the deceased family member.
How Much Does Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Cost?
At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you will only pay a fee if your lawyer is able to obtain a favorable resolution of your case. Under the contingency-fee system, your attorney may receive a percentage of the amount of money that you recover through a lawsuit or out-of-court settlement.
If you have lost a loved one because of the negligence, recklessness, or malpractice of another, please complete the free case evaluation form to learn how the experienced wrongful death attorneys at Morgan & Morgan may be able to help you.