What are Florida Wrongful Death Damages?
When you bring a wrongful death claim, please understand that it is a civil claim. That means that it is not a government-brought claim, it is involving your loved one’s estate. This is basically saying that while there is wrongdoing in your loved one’s death, this is not going to be a criminal case. There are certainly criminal cases that turn into wrongful death civil claims but, for the interest of the justice you are seeking with a wrongful death case, it is civil first and foremost. The justice that you are seeking is solely financial. You are not putting anyone behind bars in a wrongful death claim. A criminal claim would not involve financial compensation for the surviving family members. The following are damages that you and your loved ones are entitled to after losing someone in a wrongful death case:
- The loss of a relationship with a family member and the support they would have provided for you and your loved ones
- Mental and emotional suffering as well as pain and suffering after having lost a family member
- The cost of medical services provided to the family member who you lost
- Burial and funeral costs
Our Nassau County wrongful death attorney will help you understand exactly what you and your family are entitled to. We will make this an easy process for you and everyone affected by this loss.
Frequently Asked Wrongful Death Questions
Are Punitive Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Action?
Yes, you can get punitive damages in a wrongful death action. The laws can be rather complicated about punitive damages. Over the last 30 some odd years, the law has gotten complicated about that, but yes, you can recover under appropriate circumstances if the conduct of the person at fault rises to certain levels and other things happen. Yes, you can recover. These are matters for experienced lawyers. Our wrongful death attorney has been in practice for 38 years and has handled wrongful death cases with punitive aspects to them. If you think you have that kind of case which has occurred in Nassau County or Duval County, call us. We’ll sit down and talk about it and make the decisions that are right for your case.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim for a Sibling?
Generally speaking, the answer is no. If you are the personal representative, which is who files the claim for the wrongful death, then you can file it on behalf of the estate. Now, there are some very limited circumstances where a sibling might be able to recover directly. If a sibling came to us with that question, we would ask them a lot of wide-ranging questions about the other survivors, surviving spouse, children, etc. to see if they fit under the survivors of the wrongful death act, which controls these kinds of cases. If you have that question and your loss has occurred in Nassau County, Duval County, or the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down. We’ll talk about it. We’ll get the answers to those questions for you.
Can the Heirs Hire Separate Attorneys for a Wrongful Death Case?
In wrongful death case, there are often multiple survivors. Sometimes, they want to know if they can get their own lawyer for a variety of reasons. Maybe they don’t get along. It happens and it has happened once or twice at our practice. Survivors or heirs can hire their own lawyer but it is not something we recommend. It causes control issues and any number of problems, which can reduce the value of the case and would not exist if one lawyer represented everyone. One thing that you must remember is a wrongful death case is prosecuted by the personal representative of the estate. That person is the quarterback of the case. That is the person who makes the decisions in the case. The heirs can hire their lawyers, and if there is disagreement, it can cause problems, notwithstanding the fact that the personal representative makes the final decision. If you have that situation and those questions come up in a wrongful death case in Nassau County, Duval County, or any of the surrounding areas, we can help. Call us today to discuss.
How Do I Choose the Right Wrongful Death Attorney?
When looking for an attorney in these matters, there is absolutely no substitute for experience in a wrongful death case. These are different kinds of cases. The damages are different. The emotions are high. You need a lawyer who has gone in the trenches, handled these cases, tried these cases, and knows what a jury can do with these cases. Our wrongful death attorney has been in practice 38 years and handled multiple wrongful death cases. Again, these are not simple cases. It’s imperative that you get a trial attorney who has been around, who has been into the court room and has handled these things. If you’ve suffered this loss in Nassau County, or Duval County, or any of the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down at your convenience. We’ll go over things. We’ll come up with a plan that suits you the best.
How Do You Determine the Value of a Wrongful Death Case?
Sooner or later in a wrongful death case, we begin talking about the value of the case. A wrongful death valuation is different from a personal injury because what you look to recover is the loss that the surviving person, be it the spouse, surviving children, or other relative. It’s a little bit counter intuitive but that’s how you determine that. These valuations are not done quickly. They generally get made later in the case. Once we have acquired evidence and have learned more about the family, the surviving spouse and children, what exactly their loss was, or what kind of person the deceased loved one was, we can begin to assess value. As we get closer to trial date or other key points, we will begin to make that valuation range and have those discussions. If you’ve suffered a loss of a loved one and you think you may have a wrongful death case in Nassau County, Duval County, or surrounding areas, give us a call. We’ll sit down with you, go over your case, and see how best we can help you.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Wrongful Death Case?
There are variables, as with every case, but typically these cases take 9 to 14 months. If we have to file a lawsuit, you can add a year at least to that. If it gets complicated, it will be longer than that. There are other processes which can extend that time. The point is that is not going to be over in a couple of weeks or even four to six weeks. Once that timeframe is set and clients have that kind of an expectation, then they can go through a better healing process of recovering as best they can from the loss of a loved one, the spouse, the child, and can have a confidence that their case is with an experienced lawyer who will handle their case properly and with compassion. If you’ve suffered that kind of loss in Nassau County and Duval County, call us. We’ll sit down at your convenience. We’ll go over things and figure out how best we can help you.
Should I Speak to the Insurance Company Regarding My Wrongful Death Case?
Should you talk to the insurance company of the liable party? That answer is always no because they do not have your interest in mind. They have the interest of their insured, the driver or owner of an automobile, the owner of a company, the owner of a product, anything where that person died as a result of the negligence of their insured. They are gathering information for the benefit of their insured. We always advise clients in our first meetings to not talk to anyone connected to the other side. Instead, have them call us. Information will go to and from this office appropriately, and that’s how we handle it. You will never talk to the insurance company directly. If you have a wrongful death case in Nassau County or Duval County, call us right away. We’ll direct you appropriately and lay out a road map to help you.
What Benefits Are Available in a Wrongful Death Case?
What are the things that we can recover in a wrongful death case? You can recover several things. These cases are brought by the estate, by statute. Whatever claims the estate has for recovering medical expenses and things of that nature, those are benefits that can be recovered. The intangible losses that surviving spouses or surviving children have, such as the loss of companionship, pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of the capacity to enjoy life because that loved one is gone, can also be recovered. If you have suffered a loss of a loved one in Nassau County and Duval County, call us. We’ll go over those things and so much more. We’ll lay down a road map for how we can help you.
What Does It Cost to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim?
Clients who come to us with wrongful death cases sign what is known as a contingency fee contract. What that means is, if there is a recovery, our fees come from that recovery. In other words, we advance the cost of the case. If there is a recovery, those costs come out of the share of the survivors and the estate. The costs vary widely. It can be anywhere from $5,000 or $10,000 upwards up to six figures of cost. Every case is different. Every case has its own expenses, if you will. Some cost more than others. If you have that situation, we’re prepared to handle the case, whether it’s at one end of the spectrum or the other as far as costs are concerned. Call us right away. We’ll sit down. We’ll answer them as best we can and figure out how best we can help you.
What If My Relative Lives for Some Time and Then Dies from Their Injuries?
Many times, someone dies because of the negligence of others but they don’t die immediately. If a loved one has been hurt and they linger on for several months and then they pass away from those injuries, do you have a case? The answer is yes. The case is a wrongful death case if the death occurs at the hands of another, whether that person dies immediately or sometime down the road. The injury merges with the death and we handle it that way. If you have a loved one who lingered, even for a very long time, and ultimately died as a result of negligence of others, call us. We’ll go over things and see how best we can help you.
What If the Individual Was Partially at Fault in Causing Their Own Death?
Sometimes when people come to us in these matters, they know a little bit of something of how the accident happened and suspect that their loved one might have been partially responsible for his or her own death. They want to know if there’s a case. The answer is perhaps. Florida has what’s called comparative negligence. Comparative negligence simply is you can be partially responsible for your death and still recover damages. Let’s say that a person died in an automobile accident. We go try the case in court and the jury said that the person who died was 50% at fault and the other driver was 50% at fault and they awarded the survivors $100,000. The comparative negligence of the person who died is factored in and the judge will reduce that $100,000 ward by half so that it becomes $50,000. That’s how that works. Comparative negligence applies in wrongful death case. It’s not fatal to a wrongful death case. It simply reduces the value of it, one of the main things we take into consideration. If you have that situation, do not hesitate to call us if it’s occurred in Nassau County, or Duval County, or any of the surrounding areas. We will sit down with you, walk you through it, and see how best we could help you.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
What is meant by “wrongful death”? It’s a phrase that we lawyers use all the time to describe a particular kind of case. A wrongful death is an incident, an accident, an event that takes the life of someone through negligence in a way that it should not have happened had there not been negligence. The death of that person, the loss is for the people that that loved one has left behind. The damages that are recoverable for those left behind, called survivors, are then determined. That’s a process. That’s the meaning of wrongful death. Someone has died at the negligence of another leaving behind surviving loved ones. If you have that situation where a loved one has been killed as a result of negligence of another, call us. We can sit down and talk about your case and see how best we can help you.
Who Is Considered a Wrongful Death Survivor?
Wrongful death cases are different than personal injury cases. Those who are allowed to recover with a death of a loved one are generally a surviving spouse, children up to a certain age, and some others. Primarily, it’s a surviving spouse and children. Those can change depending upon the kind of case that the death occurred in, but generally speaking, that’s it. Those people can come to us when they have suffered the loss of a loved one. Sometimes we have a case where someone has died, and because of the manner in which they died, there are no survivors under the laws of the state of Florida. We go through that in great detail in the very first conference so that people’s expectations are appropriately set. If you think you have a wrongful death of a loved one, call us. We’ll go over it. We practice in Nassau County and Duval County primarily. If you have suffered a loss in those areas, call us. We’ll sit down and go over things and see how best we can help.
Call Our Nassau County Wrongful Death Attorney Today
When you have lost someone you love due to the negligence or carelessness of another, it is grief that most people can’t describe. We understand that this is a terrible time for you and your family and we want to be there to support you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Nassau County wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to set up a free consultation to figure out what legal action you should take to get the justice you and your family are entitled to.