Wrongful Death Attorney
The passing of a loved one can be devastating, and at Warner, Sechrest & Butts, we promise to do everything we can to help alleviate your emotional distress during this time. Knowing that someone’s death could be labeled as a wrongful death can only make the situation more difficult to handle, and the feelings of anger and confusion you may feel, along with wanting to hold the responsible party accountable for the death, can easily consume an individual.
It is during these most difficult times in the lives of our clients that our personal injury lawyers feel a responsibility to support our clients in any way necessary. We offer respectful, professional representation while getting to know each of our clients so that we can accurately portray their losses and the significance a loved one has had on their lives.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Wrongful deaths are more frequent in the State of Florida than you might imagine. The highest occurrence of wrongful death lawsuits stem from automobile accidents in Florida, but medical malpractice, slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, birth injuries and traffic accidents are also linked to many wrongful death lawsuits.
In Florida, a wrongful death is classified as a death that is caused by misconduct or negligence of another party. It is up to an attorney to establish that a wrongful death has occurred and that the accused party had an obligation to provide care to the deceased. It is also important to show that the actions or inaction of the person in question directly led to the death.
It is impossible to put a price tag on the pain, suffering and overwhelming feeling of loss a person experiences when a loved one passes, but too often we see that a person’s death can cause unimaginable financial burdens. Aside from medical costs, funeral costs and probate, we see clients who lose financial support due to untimely deaths.
In the State of Florida, wrongful death claims are civil actions filed by survivors of the deceased, and these claims are dictated by the Wrongful Death Act (Fla. 768.16-768.26). The Wrongful Death Act is a complicated section of statutes that is used to determine whether a person is able to make a wrongful death claim and make a recovery financially. It is this form of compensation that can help restore a semblance of balance to the lives of our clients as they try to move forward.
Financial Compensation for Wrongful Death
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawuit?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, surviving family members who depended on the deceased for financial support or services may be eligible for financial compensation. Survivors may include the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and individuals who are wholly or partially dependent on the dependent for services or support. Siblings, blood relatives and adoptive siblings may also be considered survivors.
Survivors may be able to make a wrongful death claim for any of the following:
- Medical costs and funeral expenses
- Mental pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of companionship to a minor
- Loss of services/support or future services/support
- Loss of future earnings
A spouse may seek compensation for the loss of protection and companionship as well as for mental pain and suffering dating back to the date of injury. Children who are minors may recover the loss of parental companionship, along with direction and guidance that they may have received, and mental pain and suffering. If a child is the subject of a wrongful death claim, both parents may seek compensation for pain and suffering, and in the absence of other survivors, parents of a deceased adult child may recover for mental pain and suffering.
Additional Compensation for a Wrongful Death
In addition to the financial compensation listed above, a court may decide to impose punitive damages in a wrongful death claim. This is more common in instances where grossly negligent, reckless or intentional actions or behavior resulted in the death. The punitive damages are used to punish the party as well as discourage similar behavior from the party or others in the future.
Consult a Qualified Wrongful Death Attorney
Because wrongful death claims are so complex, it is important to seek qualified, competent counsel from personal injury lawyers you can trust. The attorneys of Warner, Sechrest & Butts, P.A., have been serving Gainesville and the greater North Central Florida region for decades. We are dedicated to evaluating your case in a timely manner and providing the support you need. Our intimate relationships with our clients is one of the factors that has made us one of the leading personal injury law firms in Gainesville. Get advice and representation from our wrongful death attorneys who can understand the hardships you face following an unexpected, wrongful death.