Have you lost a loved one due to the negligence of another? Learn what you should know about your wrongful death claim here. Call us today!
Selecting a Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have a wrongful death claim in Florida, you’ve obviously lost a loved one, so hiring the right attorney is a very important thing to do. We had a lady come in who had lost her husband as a result of a motorcycle accident. She had consulted with a couple other attorneys and, actually, another attorney took on the case initially. Pretty early on in the case, there were some facts that came up – that potentially the motorcycle was speeding a bit and there were potentially some other things the motorcyclist did to be partially at fault – so the other attorney really cooled on the case and didn’t want to handle it. The lady came to us and we ended up handling the case.
Those sort of things don’t dissuade us. We still want to get justice for our clients. We understand every case isn’t going to be perfect and have all the right facts. When somebody loses a loved one, even if there are some difficult facts, we’re still willing to pursue that case. In this case, we ended up getting a very favorable result for the client, much more money than she thought possible.
It’s really important to hire an attorney in a wrongful death case that understands all of the damages, understands that they have to do an appropriate investigation, understands that some bad facts don’t mean it’s a bad case and that those bad facts can be used to your advantage in a way to try to maximize the value of the case. Our firm has been handling wrongful death cases, where folks have lost a loved one, for almost 60 years. We are skilled in that area. We handle these cases often, and we’d be happy to speak with you if you’ve lost a loved one and you have a wrongful death case.
Filing a Wrongful Death 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. If you have a loved one that you’ve lost because of a wrongful death case, please feel free to reach out to us so we can help you.
Wrongful Death Case Value
When determining the value of a wrongful death claim in Florida, you have to look at several factors. We have families come to us who are heartbroken, they’ve lost a loved one, and they ask us, “What is the value of this case?” We tell them that 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, and our firm has been helping people navigate wrongful death cases for a loved one for nearly 60 years. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about a wrongful death case.
Wrongful Death Case Timeline
We recently had a family come to us that lost a loved one, and they had asked us how long it takes to resolve a wrongful death claim in Florida. We told them that’s kind of a complex question; it really depends on a lot of things. 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 what you should know about your wrongful death claim? Contact our experienced Southwest Florida wrongful death lawyers today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
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