Sarasota Wrongful Death Attorney
Dealing with the death of a loved one is always difficult, but a sudden and unexpected loss can be especially heartbreaking. Family members may not get a chance to say goodbye, and there may not have been time to plan for the future and a family’s security. The financial stress and emotional strain from the loss of a spouse, child or parent can change lives forever, but the survivors of a wrongful death in the family still have to move on. No one can bring back a loved one, but the Sarasota wrongful death attorneys at Hale Law we can bring a measure of justice to bereaved family members, as well as important compensation to help with necessary expenses and the necessities of life following the financial disruption of a wrongful death.
Florida law recognizes the right to compensation after a wrongful death
Florida law authorizes the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate to file a wrongful death claim for a death caused by a wrongful act or negligence. The estate’s personal representative is either someone named in the will or estate plan or a person appointed by the court to fill this role. All surviving family members with an interest in the case are named in the lawsuit, along with their relationship to the deceased. Survivors of the deceased who can recover compensation for wrongful death include a surviving spouse, children, parents, and blood relatives or adoptive siblings who were dependent on the deceased in whole or in part for support or services.
Proving a wrongful death case is much like proving a personal injury case after a car, truck or motorcycle accident. Any motor vehicle accident can be fatal, but death is most likely to occur in a serious bicycle or pedestrian accident, drunk driving accident, or a head-on collision or rollover accident. As the plaintiff in a wrongful death suit, the burden is on the estate’s personal representative to prove that the other driver was negligent and that this negligence was responsible for causing the death. Proving this case requires a thorough understanding of the law as it applies to the facts of the case, and experienced legal representation is strongly encouraged, if not required.
If the wrongful death case is successful, compensation is paid out in two different ways:
Individual family members can receive compensation for:
- Funeral expenses paid by a family member
- Medical expenses paid on behalf of the deceased
- A spouse’s loss of companionship and protection and mental pain and suffering
- A child’s loss of parental companionship, instruction and guidance, and mental pain and suffering
- A parent’s mental pain and suffering for the loss of a minor child, or for an adult child in some circumstances
- The value of lost support and services family members would have received
Additionally, other damages go to the estate and are distributed to heirs and beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the will or estate plan or Florida intestacy law if the person died without a will. Damages paid to the estate include:
- Lost earnings from the date of injury to the date of death
- The loss of “prospective net accumulations” of the estate, meaning the value of lost earnings the deceased would have earned if not for the wrongful death
- Medical or funeral expenses that were paid by the estate
Hale Law can Help after a Wrongful Death in Sarasota or Bradenton
The Sarasota wrongful death attorneys at Hale Law are known for being sensitive to the needs and concerns of clients while at the same time aggressively pursuing claims with insurance companies. Rest assured we’ll do all we can to recover a fair amount of compensation that holds negligent drivers accountable for their actions and helps you get through this difficult time without the added undue burden of financial stress. Call Hale Law at 941-735-4529 to schedule a no-cost, confidential consultation to discuss a potential wrongful death claim in Sarasota or Bradenton.