Losing a loved one, no matter the circumstances, is a difficult experience to go through, and the situation can be exasperated greatly when that loss is caused by someone else’s reckless, negligent, or criminal behavior. In legal terms, these situations are referred to as wrongful deaths and provide a legal pathway for certain surviving family members or dependents of the deceased to seek compensation from the responsible party to cover certain losses and impacts caused by this devastating situation. Unfortunately, the survivors are the ones responsible for initiating this lawsuit, which can seem like too much to take on at the same time they are trying to make sense of this tragedy and prioritize their personal needs and emotional health as they look towards healing.
Hiring a wrongful death attorney in Orlando is one of the most important steps the victim(s) can take before filing a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s estate. Once partnered with an attorney, the survivors can focus on their family without having to take on the additional stress of this complex legal process. In order to hire an attorney, they must first go through an arduous process of contacting multiple law firms in the hopes of connecting with an attorney who is available and willing to take their case, which can be a daunting task, especially in such circumstances.
Contact 1-800-Injured Today To Connect With a Wrongful Death Attorney in Orlando
1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. We will connect you with an experienced and aggressive attorney who is ready to take your wrongful death case as soon as possible. Instead of taking on this first step by yourself, we encourage you to allow us to connect you with a lawyer so you can stay focused on your own personal needs with confidence and peace of mind knowing someone is fighting to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us as soon as possible so we can help you take this next step. You do not deserve to be left with the financial burdens of this loss in addition to the emotional impact. We look forward to assisting you.
Damages In A Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit
It may be uncomfortable to think about finances and seeking compensation after a tragic loss, but the reality is that wrongful death lawsuits are meant to protect the family from having to take on the financial burden of this avoidable and wrongful loss. As with all tort cases, they seek both economic and non-economic damages from the defendant, and in certain cases, a judge and/or jury may award punitive damages in addition. However, punitive damages will never be included in the calculations your attorney makes, so we will only discuss compensatory damages below.
Economic damages in wrongful death claims seek compensation for a range of measurable financial impacts that a wrongful death has on the survivors and dependents. The damages you will seek with your attorney following a wrongful death include:
- Medical expenses resulting from the wrongful death such as end-of-life care and injury treatment
- Funerary costs and associated expenses
- Loss of benefits such as medical insurance, retirement contributions, 401K or IRAs, and other benefits
- Loss of future inheritance
- Loss of goods and services the deceased would have provided
This high-level list should give you an idea of some of the major damages included in wrongful death cases, but your situation will result in highly specific damages that vary from case to case.
Non-economic damages are more complicated to calculate than economic damages because they seek compensation for “intangible” damages like pain and suffering or emotional anguish. There are a number of ways an attorney can reach a dollar value for these damages, which they will choose based on how they can reasonably seek the most money for you. Common non-economic damages in Orlando wrongful death lawsuits include:
- Mental pain and anguish the survivors must suffer
- The loss of love and companionship provided by the deceased
- Loss of consortium for the surviving spouse
- Loss of guidance, protection, and familial stability provided by the deceased, among other support-based roles
Your lawyer will help you understand these damages and will search for all impacts that they can include in your damages to ensure you and your family are financially supported following this tragedy.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
No two wrongful deaths are alike, but the following examples are some of the most common causes of wrongful deaths in Orlando. Whether or not you see your situation listed below, contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible for a free consultation and to learn more about your rights and options following an avoidable loss of a loved one.
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Trucking accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Premise liability
Again, whether or not any of these examples are similar to your own loss, contact us now. We will need to establish that the defendant owed your loved one a duty of care (such as to drive sober) which they failed (in this example, by driving drunk), and this failure caused a fatal accident. There are many contexts in which someone can fail to uphold their duty of care, and in situations where the accident is not fatal, the victim may be able to seek compensation in a personal injury case. In instances where the accident is fatal, a wrongful death lawsuit entails.
The following are a few of the most common questions asked to wrongful death lawyers during initial consultations, along with general answers. Remember that these answers are not to be taken as legal advice, and are instead meant to give you an idea of how your attorney will reach a determination of your own question based on the unique factors present in your case.
How much is my wrongful death lawsuit worth?
In order to determine the amount of damages you are owed, you and your attorney will need to take a close look at the financial and emotional impacts of your loss before reaching a conclusion. Your economic damages will depend on a range of factors, including the income of the deceased, the loss of financial support as a result of their death, and more; additionally, your non-economic damages will be highly specific to your experience.
Can I file a wrongful death lawsuit if the responsible party had their criminal charges dropped?
Criminal cases run entirely separate from civil cases, and the burden of proof is significantly lower in a civil case than in a criminal case. This means that even if the jury is unable to reach a decision, or if the charges are dropped, you may still be able to have a ruling in your favor in the Florida courts based on damages you are owed.
One famous instance of criminal charges being dropped while civil damages are awarded to the survivors is in the OJ Simpson murder case. In this case, Simpson was accused of murdering his wife and a friend, but the jury was unable to establish fault beyond a reasonable doubt and Simpson was acquitted; shortly after, a civil court awarded damages to the surviving family members of both victims.
Am I able to seek compensation for the loss of a loved one through a wrongful death lawsuit?
There are a number of relations to a victim that may be legally allowed to seek compensation depending on a range of factors. The most common plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit are as follows:
- Children (adoptive and biological)
- Others who are partly or wholly dependent on the victim for financial support
There is no easy way to determine whether or not you are entitled to seek compensation (which is done through the victim’s estate, on behalf of the surviving loved ones), so connecting with an Orlando wrongful death attorney as soon as possible is the best way to determine your options.