Wrongful Death Attorneys
You can rely on the sensitivity and expertise of our wrongful death attorneys (lawyers) to handle your wrongful death claim. This page provides answers to questions about Florida death cases and claims. When you need more specific answers, you can meet with our attorneys for a free confidential no obligation consultation. The respect and privacy of your family will be honored at all times.
Q: What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
A: Wrongful death lawsuits are brought by the family of a person who has died due to the deliberate, reckless, or negligent actions of another. The goal of this type of personal injury claim is to gain compensation for close relatives, in order to help defray medical costs and provide financial support. A wrongful death lawsuit may also seek damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, mental anguish, and loss of companionship or support for the surviving relatives. A wrongful death lawyer may attempt to ensure that the families emotional suffering is not augmented with unnecessary financial stress.
Q: Who has the right and the responsibility to make the claims for a Wrongful Death?
A: In order to be certain that there is proper compensation for each survivor or beneficiary it is common for the governing statue to provide that a particular category of person has the right and responsibility.
In Florida, the statutes require that the Personal Representative of the Estate for the deceased bring any claim and assure that the interest of each survivor is protected. The Personal Representative is frequently a spouse or parent of the deceased.
In situations where no Estate is needed for probate purposes it is necessary to open an Estate to accomplish the appointment of a Personal Representative.
Q: What are the losses or damages that determine the compensation in a claim for Wrongful Death?
A: The losses or damages are dependent upon the relationship of the survivor to the deceased. One example: A spouse is usually entitled to be compensated for the loss of the love, affection, companionship, support, and services of the deceased for the period of their joint life expectancy. Another example: A minor child (who might actually be in his or her twenties) is usually entitled to recover for the loss of the guidance, affection, support, and services of the deceased.
In each instance, the law seeks to allow compensation for the actual losses that have been experienced by each individual survivor.
It is also common for the Estate to have the right to seek compensation for the loss of the prospective estate that would have accumulated had the wrongful death not intervened.
Lastly, medical and funeral expenses are normally recoverable by the Estate or the survivor who has paid or is obligated to pay them.
Q: Who should start the investigation of a potential Wrongful Death claim?
A: Any person who believes he or she may be a survivor or beneficiary entitled to compensation because of a wrongful death would have the right to consider starting the investigation of a potential claim. Sometimes the most logical person to investigate or start a claim, such as a widow, is not willing or able to look into the matter. In such a situation, any survivor or beneficiary should contact an attorney experienced in handling serious injury or wrongful death claims. The attorney can ascertain whether the claim would have merit and what categories of compensation would be permitted under the law. He or she would also be able to determine who should be appointed as Personal Representative of the Estate of the deceased if the Estate has not been previously opened.
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Personal injury attorneys at Brumbelow Drechsel in St. Petersburg, Florida, represent clients throughout Florida and most frequently the Tampa-St. Pete metro area, including Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, Largo, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Pinellas Park, and St. Pete Beach; from counties including Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Citrus County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, Hernando County, and Pasco County.