Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be even more difficult if your loss results from someone else’s negligent or wrongful behavior. If your loved one suffered a fatal accident or injury they did not cause, you could hold the liable party accountable.
Our Gainesville, FL, wrongful death lawyers can help you pursue compensation for your family member’s medical care, lost wages, and other damages. We want to ensure you have the funds to pay for your loved one’s final expenses without jeopardizing your family’s financial security.
Did Negligence Cause My Loved One’s Death?
Florida Statutes §768.19 states wrongful death is caused by a wrongful act of negligence that disregards someone’s wellbeing. You can file a wrongful death insurance claim or lawsuit to pursue justice and compensation.
How Do Wrongful Death Attorneys Prove Negligence?
Four elements must be present to prove a party is responsible for your loved one’s death. The four elements of negligence are:
Duty of Care
The person in question must have had an obligation to provide reasonable care to your loved one to ensure they did not harm them. For example, if your loved one’s death resulted from a motor vehicle accident, the person had a duty of care as another driver on the road.
Anytime there is a chance someone could get hurt, there is likely an obligation of a duty of care to protect others from harm.
Breach of Duty
If the person responsible for your loved one’s death knew the expected level of care but failed to provide it or ignored it by performing negligent actions, they breached the duty of care. For example, a medical provider performs surgery improperly when they know the expectations.
If their actions led to the death of your loved one, you might be able to file a claim against them if they meet all the elements of negligence.
To get compensation for your loss, a Gainesville wrongful death lawyer must be able to show a connection between the negligent party’s actions and your loved one’s death. We can prove causation through evidence such as traffic footage, other drivers’ observations, and autopsy reports.
Our team has an excellent track record for compiling relevant evidence that helps us prove the negligence of the person responsible for the loss of your beloved.
The last element that needs to be present is the actual damages you’ve suffered as a result of the death of your beloved. Damages you may suffer can range from hospital bills to losses you can’t put a price on, like emotional distress.
Sometimes, negligence is clear, as in the case of a vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver. In other cases, proving fault for an accident may require collecting evidence, researching Florida law, and applying legal precedent. Fortunately, you do not have to do this alone. Our lawyers can:
- Investigate the cause of your loved one’s fatal accident or injury
- Gather evidence, including medical records, police reports, photographs, video, and witness testimony
- Determine liability
- Consult with crash reconstruction specialists, medical professionals, and other experts about your case
We Assist With a Variety of Wrongful Death Cases
Whether your loved one was involved in a collision on the highway or sustained a fatal injury elsewhere, our attorneys can help. We have experience with a range of cases, including:
- Car or motorcycle accidents: If your loved one was in a car or motorcycle accident, they might have suffered a high-impact collision that caused fatal injuries.
- Slip and falls: Whether a property owner’s failure to keep their property free of spills or another situation, a slip and fall can result in life-threatening injuries.
- Swimming pool accidents: The outer edges of pools are often wet, and if someone falls due to a lack of supervision, they could suffer a severe head injury that could result in wrongful death.
- Medical malpractice: If someone you love dies due to medical malpractice, such as lack of experience, improper training, or disregard for medical standards, you can hold the negligent party accountable.
- Construction accidents: Working in construction can be a dangerous job. Construction accidents can result in fatal injuries from falling structures, accidents with tools, or even falling from heights.
- Workplace Injuries: Depending on your beloved’s job, they could have suffered workplace injuries that led to their death.
- Childbirth injuries: Giving birth is a significant occasion, but it can also come with complications resulting in infant death if doctors don’t follow precautions.
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents: Riding a bike shouldn’t be dangerous, but bicycle and pedestrian accidents can become life-threatening if the rider or pedestrian collides with a car.
- Defective products: When a product doesn’t work as intended, it can have fatal consequences. A product may have harmful chemicals or unsafe properties that cause your loved one’s death.
- Boating accidents: Cruising the water is a great activity in the summer, but boating accidents can be tragic and result in the loss of a loved one.
- Nursing home accidents: Nursing homes are supposed to be safe places for senior citizens. But sadly, many fatal nursing home accidents occur due to staff negligence.
If your loved one passed away due to any of the accidents mentioned above, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death claim and financial compensation.
Who Can Pursue Wrongful Death Compensation in Florida?
Family members cannot file a wrongful death claim in Florida. Instead, the deceased’s personal representative (executor) must bring the claim. The executor can seek damages on behalf of the deceased’s estate and their surviving spouse, biological or adopted children, and parents.
If there are no primary beneficiaries, other family members can be part of the suit. The court could appoint one if the deceased did not name an executor.
Some wrongful death damages awards go to survivors, while others go to the estate. Compensation that goes to the estate is divided among eligible beneficiaries.
We Can Recover Awards for Your Loved One’s Medical Treatment and More
Your family should not suffer a financial burden during a difficult time like losing someone you love. If your loved one’s fatal injury was not their fault, the liable party should pay for economic and non-economic losses. Wrongful death compensation may include the following:
- Medical expenses: We can recover the cost of transportation by ambulance, emergency department treatment, medications, surgeries, hospitalizations, doctor fees, home health services, and any other necessary care resulting from their fatal injury.
- Lost wages: Our attorneys can pursue back pay from the time of your loved one’s injury until death. We can also seek future wages they would have earned had they lived.
- Funeral expenses: We can seek reimbursement for your loved one’s services or memorial, urn, casket, cremation, or burial plot.
- Pain and suffering: Our lawyers can seek awards for surviving family members’ mental pain and suffering. Survivors may also qualify for compensation for losing their loved one’s services, protection, and parental guidance.
- Loss of companionship: An experienced lawyer on our team can recover financial damages for this loss. We understand losing someone close to you can make every day without them difficult.
You may be eligible for many other damages depending on the accident your loved one suffered. You may be eligible to receive all the damages listed above or just some of them. A Gainesville wrongful death attorney from our law firm can help you determine what damages you qualify for.
Should I Pursue an Insurance Claim or a Lawsuit?
Our attorneys may be able to pursue an insurance claim to settle your wrongful death damages. For example, if your loved one sustained a medical malpractice injury, we can file a claim with the health care provider’s malpractice insurer. W suggest beginning with legal action from the start.
Our primary goal is to help you achieve successful case results quickly and efficiently. Our attorneys can advise you of your best course of action. Whether we pursue a claim or file a lawsuit, we will fight for you every step of the process. Our team will:
- Prepare and file your paperwork
- Manage case deadlines
- Calculate your losses
- Communicate with the insurance company
- Aggressively negotiate to secure the maximum compensation possible
- Make court appearances if needed
- Litigate your case if necessary
Remember, if your case goes to court, you are bound by the statute of limitations. According to Florida Statutes §95.11(4)(d), you must file suit within two years for your loved one’s death.
How Should I Approach the Insurance Company?
After you lose someone you love due to negligence, you’ll have to meet with the insurance company to get compensation. We understand meeting with an insurance adjuster is the last thing you want to do after your loved one’s death. But don’t worry, we’ll be right there with you.
It’s important to remember you should never agree to speak or meet with the insurance company without an experienced attorney by your side. Insurance company people are driven by profit and will use every tactic they can to deny your claim. We can do most of the talking and fight for fair compensation for your losses.
When the insurance claims adjuster asks you questions, it’s important to refrain from saying anything that may invalidate your right to a fair settlement. One of the most common ways to lose your settlement is to admit that your loved one was an at-fault party for their death.
Contact Our Team for a Free Consultation
Our Gainesville, FL, wrongful death lawyers can give you a no-obligation consultation and tell you more about your case. The call is free, and our services cost nothing upfront or out of pocket.
We Can Help.