Have you recently lost a loved one in Naples? Any time an accident or violent act leads to death, you may have the option of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. This sort of lawsuit can help handle the financial consequences of losing a loved one, so you and your family can focus on processing your grief.
Shiner Law Group’s team of wrongful death attorneys is here to help. We can assist you with figuring out your next steps and determining how to bring at-fault parties to justice.
Has Your Family Experienced a Wrongful Death in Naples?
Sunny Naples is popular for its oceanside location and vibrant downtown scene. Unfortunately, all these local charms come with some risks. Each year, 403 residents in Collier County pass away due to accidents or other unnatural causes. This leads to a lot of scenarios where a wrongful death could occur.
One of Naples’ most common causes of wrongful death is accidents. People can make mistakes while driving, boating, or biking that lead to the deaths of others. The growing popularity of electric scooters has even led to an increase in pedestrian accidents.
Though Naples is typically a safe place to live, it does have slightly higher crime rates than surrounding suburban areas. In addition to murder, a variety of other violent crimes can lead to death. Sadly, some people within Naples may face assault, battery, and other dangerous crimes.
Naples is also somewhat prone to wrongful deaths due to negligence. When distracted or careless, people may fail to ensure others are safe properly. This can lead to slips on wet sidewalks, doctors who misdiagnose patients, or other examples of wrongful death.
Any time you have a friend or family member pass away in unfortunate circumstances, it is worthwhile to consider a wrongful death lawsuit. This case allows the deceased’s survivors to seek financial compensation from the person who caused the accident.
What Is the Legal Definition of a Wrongful Death?
To understand how wrongful death lawsuits in Naples work, let’s look at the laws behind this concept. Wrongful death is defined in Florida Statutes § 768.19 as the death of a person due to any wrongful act. Furthermore, the wrongful act that led to the death must be a situation where the person who died would have otherwise been able to sue the offending party.
As you can see, this is a fairly broad definition. The law further breaks down wrongful death into four different categories. Any time the death was related to one of these four issues, it may be a wrongful death:
- Wrongful act: This is the broadest category. Anything that counts as “wrongdoing” can lead to wrongful death charges. Wrongful acts can even include crimes such as outright murder.
- Negligence: Negligence occurs when one party has a duty to keep others safe and fails to fulfill this duty. For example, if a babysitter failed to watch a child and drowned, that would be wrongful death due to negligence.
- Default: A default occurs when someone has failed to do something they were required to do. An example of default leading to wrongful death could occur if a business owner was supposed to hang a sign warning pedestrians of a wet sidewalk but failed to do so.
- Breach of contract or warranty: A breach of contract or warranty happens when one party makes a legal agreement with another party but fails to fulfill it. Consider a situation where a boater paid for a new boat but got a faulty product. If this defect led to the boater dying in an accident, a wrongful death occurred, and the boat manufacturers or sellers may be at fault.
Keep in mind that the law specifies you can sue for wrongful death if the incident occurred in navigable waters. This is very important for Naples residents because so many situations occur while people are trying to enjoy Naples’ boating culture. Though there can often be some jurisdictional issues when incidents occur on the water, all wrongful death laws still apply.
Types of Compensation You Can Seek for Wrongful Death in Naples
Of course, no amount of money can bring your loved one back. However, your Naples wrongful death attorney can help you get the financial compensation that makes your life a little easier. The main focus of wrongful death lawsuits is to ensure the deceased’s family doesn’t end up in financial distress after their loved one passes away. Depending on your situation, you can seek one or more of these types of compensation.
In many wrongful death cases, victims receive medical care before their untimely death. They may undergo multiple surgeries and treatments that attempt to save their life. Even if they die immediately, medical expenses may be associated with emergency ambulance visits and resuscitation attempts. All of these sorts of expenses can be included in the lawsuit.
We can help you seek compensation for any medical expense related to the incident that resulted in death. This includes fairly long-term cases where a person got a lot of care. For example, if a faulty product gave a person cancer, you could seek compensation for every step of their treatment.
Naples’ wrongful death laws also acknowledge that the deceased’s survivors shouldn’t have to bear the burden of laying their loved one to rest. Costs associated with cremation, burial, or other funerary practices are all included in a wrongful death settlement. People can ask for compensation, like paying for a memorial service venue or hiring morticians to prepare the body. You can also seek compensation for the burial plot, headstone, floral arrangements, and other tangible items purchased to commemorate your loved one.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
In personal injury cases of any type, the plaintiffs have the right to ask for compensation for their own pain and suffering. You can mention emotional trauma, loss of marital relations with a spouse, loss of parental guidance, and general mental distress.
This is a very broad category, and it’s hard to define a number for anyone’s loss. Unlike other states, Florida doesn’t put a cap on pain and suffering damages. It is usually left up to the discretion of the court.
Lost Income and Benefits
Florida wrongful death laws acknowledge that people often rely on their family members for financial support. In the event of an untimely death, the survivors can seek compensation for loss of income. This allows them to maintain their standard of living even if one of their household’s sources of income is lost.
This is often calculated by looking at a person’s earning potential and multiplying this by the length of time they could’ve been expected to live. However, compensation may include money for lost employee benefits or financial aid.
Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions
Interested in learning more about how wrongful death lawsuits in Naples usually work? Here are some details you should know about.
Who can sue for wrongful death?
In Florida, the person who brings the lawsuit must represent the deceased’s estate. The representative might be someone named in the will or a close relative assigned the position after the deceased passes away. This official representative can then sue on behalf of all the deceased’s dependents and beneficiaries. Ultimately, compensation typically goes to relatives such as the deceased’s spouse, children, siblings, or parents.
How long do you have to sue for wrongful death?
Most cases require your Naples wrongful death attorney to file the lawsuit no more than two years after the person passes away. However, there can be exemptions to the statute of limitations rule. If the wrongful act that led to death wasn’t known at the time of death, you have two years after discovering the wrongdoing took place.
What can you use as proof in a wrongful death suit?
Lawyers may use various evidence types to make their case in court. Make sure to keep copies of medical records and accident reports. You should also try to get contact information for any witnesses, take pictures of the scene of the accident, and see if any nearby cameras captured video.
How long does a wrongful death lawsuit take?
These cases are complex, so expect them to take time. Typically, wrongful death lawsuits can take up to three years to finish. However, if you choose to negotiate a settlement outside of court, the case can be over sooner.
How much money can you get for wrongful death?
, Unlike some other states, Florida doesn’t have specific settlement guidelines to follow. It’s impossible to estimate your payout without knowing the details of your case. On average, Naples residents get somewhere between $500,000 to $1 million for wrongful death cases. However, higher or lower settlements are possible as well.
We Help Grieving Families Seek Justice
If someone you know has passed away unexpectedly, getting some input from an experienced Naples wrongful death lawyer is worthwhile. Even circumstances that might not seem like a wrongful death may qualify for a lawsuit. Shiner Law Group is here to provide support and assistance when you’re dealing with the death of a loved one.
Our team of talented attorneys specializes in these personal injury cases. We’ll examine your case, help you collect evidence, and speak for you in court. You can always count on us for trustworthy, compassionate representation. We serve Naples and surrounding areas, and we’re available 24/7. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our services.