If your loved one’s fatal injuries were caused by another party’s carelessness or reckless behavior, you could file an insurance claim or wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensatory damages. Lakeland personal injury lawyers from our firm are ready to serve you.
Discuss your case with an attorney for free today. We provide complimentary initial consultations for those who have lost loved ones in car accidents, falls, and other incidents. During this initial legal consultation, we will explain the legal process and discuss your family’s legal rights.
We Offer Comprehensive Help on a Contingency-Fee Basis
We represent families in wrongful death claims and lawsuits based on contingency fees. We will not ask for a retainer or other costs paid in advance.
We use our financial resources to build your case and only charge fees once your case is closed. You will only pay our attorney’s fees if you receive compensation. Even then, payment for our help comes from the settlement we secure for you, not your income.
The Deadline for Beginning a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida
You have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, per Florida Statutes §95.11(4)(d). Two years isn’t a lot of time with all the obligations your case needs to reach completion.
You must complete this deadline to seek financial recovery. We ensure our clients meet this deadline to protect their rights and hold at-fault parties accountable.
What Damages Are Recoverable in a Lakeland Wrongful Death Case?
Under Florida Statutes §768.21, you can claim compensation for your loved one’s passing. Compensation in your case could comprise:
- Medical bills, such as hospice or life support: Medical care expenses your family has incurred because of your loved one’s injuries.
- Loss of future earnings and benefits: This includes the loss of wages your family would have earned had your loved one lived. Loss of income and benefits include lost wages, retirement benefits, Social Security payments, and other sources of income.
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering encompass your family’s physical and emotional pain.
- Ambulance transportation costs: Ambulances transport patients to hospitals when they need emergency treatment. In some cases, ambulance services transport patients to funeral homes. These charges should be included in any wrongful death award.
- Property damage fees (if your loved one’s car was damaged or totaled in a collision): Property damage fees cover vehicle repairs after collisions. Your Lakeland wrongful death lawyer may request these fees from the defendant.
- Funeral and burial costs: Insurance policies often cover funeral and burial costs. If your loved one died without having health insurance, you might be able to recover these costs from the person responsible for their death.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages are awarded against defendants who act recklessly or intentionally harm others. They’re meant to punish wrongdoers and deter them from committing similar acts in the future.
- Loss of services performed by the deceased: You can seek compensation for the loss of services your loved one provided before they passed away. For example, if your loved one worked as an accountant, you can seek compensation for their work on your behalf.
- Loss of parental guidance and love: Parents play a huge role in shaping children into adults. When a parent dies, the child loses the opportunity to learn important lessons from them.
- Loss of companionship and other emotional losses suffered by the spouse: Spouses suffer many types of emotional losses when their partner passes away. These include grief over losing their loved one, guilt over not being there to provide comfort, and anger over the circumstances surrounding the death.
If you believe someone else caused your loved one’s death, contact a Lakeland wrongful death attorney today.
Court Considerations for Wrongful Death Compensation
In addition to compensating families for their losses, Florida law requires courts to consider several factors when awarding damages. These factors include:
- The nature and extent of your loved one’s injury or illness: The more serious the injuries or illnesses were, the higher the number of damages you might receive.
- Whether your family member suffered conscious pain and suffering: Conscious pain and suffering is defined as “the mental anguish, distress, or hurt experienced by the victim.” It includes things like severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
- Whether your loved one had a long life expectancy: A longer life expectancy means that your loved one would have been around to enjoy retirement benefits, inherit property, and make financial contributions to your family.
- The age and condition of your loved one at the time of their death: This factor affects how much money you’ll get paid for your losses. For instance, younger people usually don’t earn as much as older people. Also, people with disabilities may need more help than those without physical limitations.
- The relationship between you and your loved one: If you were married to your loved one, this factor would affect how much money you’ll be able to collect.
- The financial resources of the accident victim: Your loved one’s ability to pay for medical and funeral expenses will also influence how much money you’ll receive.
- Any prior history of violence or abuse inflicted upon your deceased family member by the defendant: Prior acts of violence or abuse are relevant because they show that the defendant was capable of inflicting harm.
- The amount of punitive damages you seek: Punitive damages can be awarded if the defendant acted maliciously or wantonly. They’re meant to punish the defendant and deter others from committing similar crimes.
- The total amount of damages to be awarded: In some cases, the jury must decide whether to award all of the damages requested by both sides in the case. In other cases, the judge decides which damages should be awarded.
Parties Who Can File for Compensation
It is important to note that Florida law limits who can file a wrongful death action. Generally, these parties have the right to pursue compensation:
- The party named as the executor of the decedent’s will
- The administrator of the decedent’s estate plan
- The person appointed by the probate court
Parties Who Could Receive Wrongful Death Compensation
The personal representative does not necessarily benefit financially from the outcome of these cases, either. Instead, the money is distributed according to each party’s relationship to the deceased and the will or estate plan. Those who could receive compensation through a negotiated insurance settlement or lawsuit include:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The decedent’s children
- The parents of the decedent
- Other heirs named in the will or who paid the decedent’s final expenses
During your free case review, we can help you identify who can pursue legal action for your loved one’s passing.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Protect Clients’ Right to Recovery
Our Polk County wrongful death team provides clients with the responsible legal care they need and deserve.
We protect their rights while going the extra mile to help them navigate this difficult time. We are proud of our client testimonials because they show that those we helped in the past recommend our team to their friends, families, and others in similar situations.
We Pride Ourselves on Direct Communication
When you sign a contract for legal assistance from our team, you will receive your attorney’s direct phone number and meet the personal injury attorneys who will guide you throughout this process.
You can expect your lawyer to respond to your calls and emails, provide frequent case updates, and answer your questions as they arise.
What Is Considered a Wrongful Death?
Per Florida Statutes § 768.19, a wrongful death occurs when a party with a viable personal injury claim passes away from their injuries before they can take legal action. We’ve advocated for families who have lost loved ones due to:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle collisions
- Truck crashes
- Boating accidents
- Swimming pool and drowning incidents
- Dog bites
- Medical malpractice incidents
- Construction accidents
- Defective products, drugs, and devices
Elements of Negligence in Wrongful Death Cases
We must prove the at-fault party was negligent in all personal injury and wrongful death cases. This involves demonstrating the following:
- Another party owed the deceased a specific duty of care, often by following a law, rule, or ordinance.
- Another party breached that duty of care.
- Another party’s action or inaction caused the incident or accident.
- The decedent suffered fatal injuries.
We understand the legal concept of negligence can get complicated. However, our experienced lawyers will manage everything your case requires.
Meet with an Attorney Serving Lakeland About Your Case Today
Speak with a compassionate attorney from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine about your loved one’s death and rights today. You can also complete our online case evaluation form to tell us about your circumstances.
We provide free initial consultations so we can learn as much as possible about your case and help you determine your next steps, including pursuing financial compensation for you and your family. Contact us today to learn more.
We Can Help.