Kissimmee Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death is a fatality that occurred as a result of careless or negligent actions, or lack of actions, intentional or unintentional of another person. When a wrongful death occurs, it is always the surviving family members who must somehow pick-up the pieces. At NeJame Law we understand firsthand how difficult it is for the spouse, the children, and the parents to take the steps necessary to provide for one’s emotional and economic well-being, after an unexpected and tragic loss. When you need an experienced Kissimmee wrongful death lawyer our personal injury attorneys are here to help. Wrongful death cases are complicated, and require a very special set of skills and knowledge to be handled properly. Experience counts! Don't make your decision lightly!
Wrongful Death Claims Under Florida Law
Under Florida Law when a person's death "is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract" of another person or some other entity, the estate of the deceased person may bring a civil lawsuit, seeking a legal remedy for that death and the losses stemming from it. In most cases, the action will be brought either where the wrongdoer resides or where the action causing the death, occurred. If the person does not reside in Florida, then they action may be brought or transferred to a Federal Court. This is why it is important to select a personal injury attorney who is familiar not only with Florida courts but also Federal Courts. At NeJame Law, we have ample experience in both.
Examples of Wrongful Death Cases
There are many types of accidents, caused by the negligence of others, that can result in a wrongful death. Below is a list of some of the most common ones:
- Car, Truck and Motorcycle Accidents caused by negligence actions such as speeding, driving under the influence, reckless driving, fatigue, texting and driving, and construction in roads.
- Workplace Accidents including, not limited to, falls, electrocutions and struck by falling objects. Cases happen more frequently in construction, manufacturing and railroad sites.
- Medical Malpractice, including birth injuries, surgical errors and wrong diagnosis or treatments caused by failure to follow the proper medical procedures.
- Defective Products
Who has the Right to Sue for Wrongful Death in Florida?
Florida law requires the personal representative of the deceased person's estate to file the wrongful death claim. The personal representative may be named in the deceased person's will or estate plan. If there is no will or estate plan, the personal representative will be appointed by the court.
The personal representative files the wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person's estate and any surviving family members. In the wrongful death claim, the personal representative must list every survivor who has an interest in the case.
Among the survivors with an interest in the case lawsuit may be:
- immediate and distant family members including spouse, children (born in or outside of wedlock), parents and other dependent blood relatives
- financial dependents
- life partners
- putative spouses
If you wish to discuss a wrongful death claim with a wrongful death lawyer, please know that we have the determination and the resources to take on complicated and high-stakes matters involved in a wrongful death claim.
Why Suing for a Wrongful Death?
There are many reasons why it may be reasonable to file a wrongful death claim if a loved one looses his/her life due to the negligence actions of others. Among them are:
- Accountability - People should assume the consequences of their negligent actions, especially when their negligence results in a loss of a human life. This affects not only the person who passed away, but his/her loved ones.
- Protect your financial future - The unexpected loss of a loved one, especially If he/she was the main bread-winner of the household, may be not only emotionally, but financially devastating. The surviving dependents may not have enough income to cover medical, funeral bills and even the means to cover future live expenses such as healthcare, mortgage and education.
What are the statutes of Limitations in Florida for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
In most cases a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida must be filed within two years of the date of death. This deadline may be postponed under a few very specific circumstances. Our Kissimmee wrongful death lawyers have extensive experience in handling wrongful death cases and can help you determine exactly when the statute of limitations expires in your specific case.
It's critical to understand that, if you miss the deadline set by the statute of limitations, you could lose your right to bring your wrongful death lawsuit to court forever! Help is Here! Contact us today!
Damages that can be recovered under the Wrongful Death Statute
Florida law also sets forth specific categories of damages that can be recovered under the Wrongful Death Statute. According to Florida law, both the surviving family members and the estate can recover damages. The surviving family members can receive damages for the value of support and services the deceased person had provided to the surviving family member, loss of companionship and guidance provided to the family member, mental and emotional pain and suffering in cases where a child is lost, as well as compensation for any medical and funeral expenses any family member has paid for the deceased person. The individual’s estate can receive damages for lost wages, benefits, and other earnings, this includes the potential for future earnings as well, medical and funeral expenses that were paid by the estate, and the value the estate could reasonably have been expected to acquire if the deceased person had lived.
A wrongful death case is a civil claim. This means that it is brought to court by the deceased person's estate, not by the government. Liability in a wrongful death claim is expressed solely in terms of money damages. Although a criminal case related to the death might also be filed in court, it addresses different concerns, and it typically does not result in damages being paid to the estate or the surviving family members.
Florida Statutes section 768.21 sets out the state's rules for awarding damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages that surviving family members may receive in these kinds of cases include:
- the value of support and services the deceased person had provided to the surviving family member
- loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased person
- mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss of a child, and
- medical or funeral expenses any surviving family member has paid for the deceased person.
The deceased person's estate may also recover certain types of damages. These include:
- lost wages, benefits, and other earnings, including the value of lost earnings that the deceased person could reasonably have been expected to make if he or she had lived
- lost "prospective net accumulations" of the estate, or the value of earnings the estate could reasonably have been expected to collect if the deceased person had lived, and
- medical and funeral expenses that were paid by the estate directly.
- Further, as to family members, spouses typically have claims for lost companionship of the deceased person and for that spouse’s emotional trauma that arose from the death. The decedent’s minor children can also be awarded damages for the lost benefits of their relationship with the deceased parent, including comfort and support. The only circumstances in which parents can recover are those where their child was still a minor and specifically for their emotional trauma and the lost relationship with the child. Parents of adult children cannot typically recover in many cases.
In certain cases, where there is intentional, reckless, and malicious conduct, punitive damages may also be awarded to the surviving family members. Punitive damages exist in order to punish a certain behavior, although there is a limit to the amount of punitive damages that can be recovered.
Contact our Kissimmee Wrongful Death Attorneys
Wrongful death lawsuits can be long and complex, and often require a specific set of skills and knowledge that only personal injury attorneys with a lot of experience on this type of cases have. NeJame Law has handled many wrongful death claims from Kissimmee clients and across Central Florida. Our wrongful death lawyers are experienced, compassionate, conscientious and ready to step in and help you with your claim. Our offices are conveniently located in downtown Orlando, minutes away from Kissimmee. We value your privacy and will keep any information strictly confidential.