Jacksonville Wrongful Death Lawyer
Injuries and violence affect everyone, regardless of age, race, or economic status. For Americans 1 to 44 years of age, injuries are the number-one killer. In fact, people in that age group are more likely to die from an injury—such as a motor vehicle crash, fall, or homicide—than from any other cause, including cancer, HIV, or the flu, according to the Center for Disease Control.
More than 180,000 people die from injuries each year — 1 person every 3 minutes and seat belts saved an estimated 255,000 lives between 1975 and 2008. See Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online] (2007) [accessed 2011 Mar 4]. Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts: Occupant Protection. 2008 Data. Pub. No. DOT HS 811 160. Available from: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811160.pdf.
Injuries cost more than $406 billion annually in medical care and lost productivity. See Finkelstein EA, Corso PS, Miller TR, Associates. Incidence and economic burden of injuries in the United States. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2006.
Long after a fatal accident, families feel the loss of a loved one who died because of the negligence or acts of others. Having lost loved ones of our own and practicing law in these areas for well over a decade, our lawyers are cognizant of the pain felt by survivors and offer compassionate representation in wrongful death litigation.
Who Can Collect Wrongful Death Damages?
Spouses, children and parents of wrongful death victims may be eligible to recover damages. Under Florida law, family members can collect economic damages for medical and funeral expenses, as well as non-economic damages for loss of companionship of the family member and emotional suffering. (In medical malpractice cases, only children under 25 or those who were financially dependent may collect for the death of a parent).
Wrongful death claims may arise from any accident or intentional act — fatal car crashes, death by hospital malpractice, dangerous premises, defective products, aircraft accidents. We employ a full-time private investigator and consult with a nationwide network of medical experts, accident reconstruction engineers, human factor experts and other professionals who can testify to the cause of the fatal injury.
Who is a Survivor Under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act?
When someone is killed by the wrongful act of another, only the decedent’s survivors are entitled to compensation for the wrongful death. The statute defines survivors as the decedent’s spouse, children and parents. If any other blood relative or adopted sibling is partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, that person may also be deemed a survivor entitled to compensation for the wrongful death.
Who are the Parties in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The decedent’s personal representative acts as the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative is the party who recovers any compensation that is awarded, and he or she does so on behalf of the decedent’s survivors and the estate. The personal representative must pay any attorney’s fees and other litigation expenses out of the compensation awarded to the survivors or the estate.