Did you lose a loved one due to negligence in Florida? Read the 4 things you need to know about a wrongful death, then call our lawyers today.
1. Filing a Claim
The wrongful death action in Florida is brought by the personal representative of the estate. A deceased person cannot bring their own wrongful death case. A family member doesn’t bring a wrongful death case directly in that person’s name. It would be the personal representative of the estate. Our law firm actually has an estate department that can set that estate up, which makes it easier on you because you don’t have to hire multiple different law firms.
Our law firm will set up the estate, name a personal representative. Usually there’s an agreement amongst family members that it would be one of the family members, but sometimes the family members feel stressed out and don’t want to be involved in that regard, so we can have an attorney act as the personal representative of the estate. It’s really whatever is best for the family of the deceased because the family is grieving and going through a lot, so we want to try to help make this is as easy as we can on them and do what they want to do to make them comfortable.
If there’s a wrongful death case, the personal representative brings that case. Our law firm can set that up, and then also handle the wrongful death action.
2. Wrongful Death Claims
The most important thing to know about a wrongful death claim in Florida is that the insurance company is probably going to try to deny the claim or defend the claim; that is what they do to try to wear down on the family members that have lost their loved one. You need to hire the appropriate attorney that can handle the case, that has an understanding of the value of the case and has the assets to be able to push that case forward and fight the insurance company, and or firm has that.
We’ve been around for nearly 60 years. Our law firm handles these sort of cases all the time. We have board-certified civil trial attorneys who try wrongful death cases, and the insurance companies know that. The number one thing is to understand that because there is substantial value in wrongful death cases, the insurance company is likely going to try to beat you down. We don’t let that happen when we’re involved in a case.
3. Case Value
You have to look at multiple different factors. You have to look for who is at fault for the incident.
There are many different kinds of wrongful death cases. They can be a negligent security case, where a loved one is killed on a property where there wasn’t proper security, such as a gas station, where they know that there’s prior problems with shootings and someone is shot at a gas station. You can have a wrongful death claim from a car accident, motorcycle accident, trucking accident. You can have a wrongful death case from a fall-down, and we’ve recently handled a fall-down wrongful death case where we recovered over $10 million. The value all depends on how you can prove who was at fault, whether it be the premises owner, whether it be the truck driver, whether it be the vehicle driver.
The second step is what are the damages that are involved, that is pain and suffering, loss of the familiar relationship. There are different family members who have different rights under the wrongful death act to make different claims for damages. You need an attorney that can navigate those things.
4. Case Timeline
It depends on the insurance company and how reasonable they’re going to be with you early on. Oftentimes the insurance company will deny, delay, and defend in a case, especially a case that will have substantial value if there’s a loss of a loved one.
You need an attorney that can push that case forward. Sometimes we can settle the case early on because we have a reputation as a firm that tries cases, so the insurance company knows that they’ll need to resolve the case, but sometimes you have to file a lawsuit. If we do have to file a lawsuit, our firm has four board-certified trial attorneys, which is the highest certification you can get in trial. We spend a lot of time in trial and we understand how to try these cases to get the maximum value for these cases. Sometimes just by filing the lawsuit you can get the insurance company to be reasonable without having to actually go to trial.
If the insurance company is reasonable, great; we can settle the case early on. More often than not, though, they’re not going to be reasonable and the case can take months, if not a year or more. You need an attorney that understands that and can be in it for the long haul to try to maximize the value of the case.
Have you lost a loved one due to the negligence of another person in Florida and have questions about the 4 things you need to know about a wrongful death? Contact our experienced Southwest Florida wrongful death lawyers today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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