Losing a loved one is painful, and the stress of funeral costs along with the grief that comes with a loss can be overwhelming.
It becomes even harder when your family member died unexpectedly as a result of another person’s negligence or reckless decisions. In those cases, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive compensation to assist you during this difficult time. To pursue this, you will need help from a law firm or wrongful death lawyer.
If you have experienced a wrongful death in your family in Sarasota or Florida, it’s crucial that you contact our team of personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at The Law Place. Our law firm will provide you with the reassurance and representation you need to secure justice. Contact us today for a free consultation on (941) 444-4444.
Do I Have a Wrongful Death Case in Sarasota, FL?
Before you speak with a law firm, you may want to seek further information on wrongful death in Sarasota, FL.
First, it’s important to clarify what constitutes a wrongful death. In general terms, a wrongful death occurs due to another person’s negligent or “wrongful” act. In legal terms, these acts are common causes of wrongful death:
- Negligence (i.e., reckless driving).
- Assault and battery.
- Accidental death that occurs while committing another crime (i.e., robbery).
- Vehicular manslaughter.
If your loved one died as a result of one of these acts, you might have grounds, on behalf of your family, by law, to sue the individual who committed this act against your loved ones.
Both the executor of the deceased person’s estate and the decedent’s remaining family members (usually close relatives) can file a wrongful death suit.
To determine whether you have a wrongful death claim in Sarasota, FL, you should understand the Florida Wrongful Death Act law and what it states regarding your possible case. If you are uncertain, contact a wrongful death claim lawyer in Sarasota, and they will help guide you through your rights. The sooner you contact a wrongful death claim lawyer, the better the chances of winning your case. A wrongful death attorney will be knowledgeable, and they will know the ins and outs of Sarasota law.
Contact The Law Firm today for free legal advice in Sarasota, FL.
Examples of Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Sarasota, Florida
In 2014 nearly six million dollars’ worth of damages were awarded to a woman after her mother died from cancer of the lungs as a result of smoking. The court found that there was enough evidence to show that the woman had suffered damages by losing her parent. She claimed she had lost guidance and support and that the death had severely damaged her mental health.
The law in Sarasota, FL, states that in any wrongful death claim, the compensation can be decreased if the deceased party was at fault in some way. The court decided that as the woman’s mother had decided to carry on smoking, she was 25% responsible, so the settlement was reduced to $4.5 million. Furthermore, another $14 million in punitive damages were awarded to the woman, but in 2016, an appellate court reversed that particular decision.
How Does Florida’s Wrongful Death Statute Work?
The Florida Wrongful Death Act (Section 768.21) outlines how a surviving family member can seek damages in a wrongful death case. The law states that survivors,
“may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value.”
That means that you, as the surviving family members in Sarasota FL, may receive monetary compensation equal to the total value of support from the day of your loved one’s injury to the date of their death. The law also allows for compensation for future damages resulting from the loss of the accident.
To determine whether you are eligible to file a wrongful death suit in Sarasota, FL, you must have one of the following relationships to the deceased:
- A person suing for emotional and financial support due to damages from the loss of their spouse.
- A minor child receiving compensation for the loss of their parent and financial guardian.
- Adult children suing if there are no minor children and if the deceased person has no living spouse.
- Parents suing for mental pain due to the loss of their minor child.
- Parents suing for mental anguish due to the loss of their adult child, as long as the adult child has no other surviving family members, such as children or a spouse.
In a wrongful death, you can sue for specific damages in Sarasota, FL, like the following:
- Reimbursement for the cost of funeral expenses or medical bills.
- Lost wages that the deceased would have provided.
- Emotional support or mental anguish due to the loss of companionship.
- Loss of net income from an estate.
If you proceed with a wrongful death suit, the legal process determines your exact amount of compensation based on:
- Your relationship with the deceased person.
- The total value of the deceased person’s income.
- The overall value (emotional and financial) of the deceased person to the survivor.
What to Do After a Fatal Car Accident Involving a Family Member
Reckless or negligent driving is one of the most common reasons to file a wrongful death suit in the United States. In 2018, 33,654 fatal car accidents occurred in the U.S., and more than 3,000 deaths took place in Florida. The number of personal injury lawsuits as a result of car accidents is also shockingly high in Sarasota, FL.
It’s hard to think about legal consequences in the wake of your loved one’s death, but if you want to receive compensation for their lost support, you must seek legal support from an experienced lawyer. You must first legally establish a personal representative of your loved one’s estate to file suit so that your family can take control, as opposed to leaving matters up to a judge.
If your family member did not leave behind a will, you should discuss the facts of your case with a wrongful death attorney. Without a will, you will have to go through the probate court process, whose laws will dictate how your deceased family members’ assets are divided among their survivors. However, state law does make sure that the deceased person’s spouse and children retain some rights to their assets.
There may also be exemptions to the wrongful death law in Sarasota, Florida, that will catch you off-guard. For example, a clause known as the ‘free kill’ exemption prevented the surviving family members of a massage therapist from receiving compensation because only a minor child or a spouse can file a suit in cases of medical negligence.
For your peace of mind, you should consult a qualified Sarasota lawyer at The Law Place as you consider a legal suit. We offer a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose.
Finally, remember that there is a time limit, also known as the statute of limitations, on wrongful death lawsuits. Under the Florida Statutes law, you have two years from the date of the accident to make a claim. After this period has elapsed, you will forever be barred from making a claim for that incident in Sarasota and across Florida.
Contact Our Wrongful Death Attorneys for Help
Although no amount of money can ever replace your loved one, getting legal justice for them in court can provide closure for your family. The compensation you receive can also serve as a lifeline, especially if you’re struggling to make ends meet in the absence of your family members’ income.
If you believe that your loved one died as a result of a wrongful act, call our team of Sarasota wrongful death lawyers at The Law Place to schedule a free consultation. Our law firm is available to answer questions 24/7, and we cover both Sarasota and the rest of Florida. We’ll help you formulate a legal strategy as you move forward during this difficult time. Just call us today on (941) 444-4444.