Wrongful Death Lawyers
Wrongful Death Definition
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 wrongful death attorney in Orlando, or in any other place in Florida, our lawyers are here to help. Although we have our main office in Orlando, we handle wrongful death and personal injury claims throughout Central Florida as well as the entire State of Florida.
Contact us at (407) 500-0000 to learn more about our case results and how we’ve helped other families heal after their loved one’s untimely passing.
Wrongful Death Claims Under Florida Law
Florida Statutes section 768.19 states that 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 in Florida's courts, seeking a legal remedy for that death and the losses stemming from it. Therefore, in most cases, the action will be brought either where the wrongdoer resides or where the action causing the death, occurred. The exception, of course, is 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.
Wrongful Death Examples
If you suspect that someone’s negligence or wrongdoing led to the death of your family member, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim to obtain compensation. Though we understand nothing can take the place of your loved one, our lawyers have demonstrated success in recovering the maximum amount of compensation for families we’ve taken on as clients.
Some of the most common accidents we’ve seen lead to wrongful death claims include:
- Product liability: Some products can malfunction and cause fires or explosions, while others may be mislabeled or fail to come with proper warnings. Others can cause complications that lead to death, such as faulty braking systems on cars or defective airbags that fail to protect car drivers and passengers upon impact.
- Motorcycle, truck and Car accidents: Car crashes are one of the leading causes of wrongful death claims, killing millions of people annually. Whether your loved one was a driver, passenger, motorcyclist, or pedestrian, you can trust our team to find the responsible party and ensure they don’t get away with their carelessness. Some common causes of auto accident fatalities include DUI, distracted driving, and fatigued driving.
- Medical malpractice: Medical professionals must be extremely careful and vigilant when treating or diagnosing patients, especially if patients are suffering from a health condition that must be treated immediately. One small mistake can lead to death if a surgery goes wrong and an organ is damaged, or if someone’s cancer isn’t diagnosed in time before the patient becomes extremely sick.
When there is a wrongful death, NeJame Law understands the strong desire to see the wrongdoer—whether an individual, a company, or an organization—held accountable for their actions. Our skill and experience in handling wrongful death suits ensure that your claim will be handled with appropriate aggression while always maintaining the dignity and respect owed the deceased and their survivors. An attorney from our firm can work with you to make certain that you understand what is occurring in your case.
If you wish to discuss a wrongful death claim with an Orlando 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.
Who Can 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.
Although the wrongful death claim is filed by the personal representative, it is filed 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.
Family members who may recover damages in a Florida wrongful death case include:
- Dependent blood relatives
- Child born outside of wedlock of the mother or father (if it can be established that said father has assumed responsibility for support of the child)
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Florida Law limits the time these lawsuits can be filed This is called the statute of limitations. A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida must be filed within two years of the date of death in most cases, according to Florida Statutes section 95.11(4)(d). The deadline may be "tolled," or postponed, under a few very specific circumstances. We at NeJame Law have the experience in handling Florida wrongful death cases and can help you determine exactly when the statute of limitations expires in a certain case.
It's critical to understand and follow the deadline set by the statute of limitations, otherwise you could lose your right to bring your wrongful death lawsuit to court forever. It is important that if you suspect a wrongful death action, you contact us at NeJame Law ASAP.
Wrongful Death Damages
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.
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
- 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
- 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 Orlando 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 in this type of case have. NeJame Law has handled wrongful death claims in Orlando, Central Florida, and throughout the state.
Our lawyers are also well-aware of our state’s time limits on cases and can get to work so you don’t miss your opportunity to seek justice on behalf of your loved one. Florida’s statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is two years from the date of death. Our caring team is experienced, compassionate, conscientious, and ready to step in and help you with your claim.
Call (407) 500-0000 to schedule a free consultation with our team of Orlando wrongful death attorneys. We value your privacy and keep any and all information confidential.