Did you lose a loved one as a result of an accident in Orlando, FL? Our experienced Orlando wrongful death lawyers at Shiner Law Group are ready to help fight for your legal rights and get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (407) 305-0566 to speak with an attorney for a 100% free consultation.
You may be entitled to seek compensation for medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more. Contact our Orlando, FL law offices to discuss the legal options that might be available to you following your loved one’s wrongful death. The next steps are very important. Let Shiner Law Group help you with your wrongful death case today.
Seeking A Wrongful Death Attorney in Orlando For A Loved One?
The death of a loved one can be devastating for the surviving family members, especially when life is cut short due to the recklessness or negligence of another. In addition to the emotional upheaval that the loss of a loved one may have on you and your family, you may experience financial hardships due to the untimely death.
It can be difficult to worry about how you’ll manage in the future while dealing with grief, so consider working with an experienced Orlando wrongful death attorney to ensure you get the financial compensation due to you. At Shiner Law Group, we understand that you have more pressing matters to attend to, so we’re here to provide you with the legal guidance you need to see that justice is served.
What Is Considered A Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death is that which is caused by the reckless disregard or negligence of another. The death is untimely and unexpected as it would not have occurred if it wasn’t because of actions, or in some cases inactions, of the at-fault party that directly led to the deceased’s passing.
According to data from the CDC, unintentional death was the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States in 2019. However, a study noted by John Hopkins Medical claims that medical error was the 3rd leading cause of death in 2016. The discrepancy may be because the CDC collects data from the cause of death listed on death certificates, which doesn’t have a separate classification for medical malpractice or negligence.
Not all unintentional deaths qualify as wrongful death. However, if your loved one died because of another party, it’s important that you speak to a knowledgeable attorney to determine if you’re eligible for financial compensation in your loved one’s specific circumstances.
What Is an Orlando Wrongful Death Claim?
To be considered for a wrongful death claim, the deceased experienced an untimely death because of another person. For a suit to be brought against the one who caused the death, the loss of the deceased must cause financial hardship to dependents or surviving family members. For example, an adult child could not file a wrongful death claim over a deceased parent who did not provide financial support to that individual.
If the deceased provided financial support to a spouse, minor children, or other family members who depended on that individual for financial support, it’s likely that this could be grounds to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Conditions of a Wrongful Death Claim in Orlando
Just like any other legal case brought before the court, there are several conditions that must be met for a wrongful death suit to be successful:
- The party who is at fault owed a duty of care to the deceased individual.
- The at-fault part somehow breached that duty of care, directly resulting in the victim’s death.
- There are surviving family members who will experience a financial loss due to losing the loved one.
Although a wrongful death claim is similar to a personal injury suit, instead of the victim filing a case against the party who is at fault, the victim’s wrongful death lawyer must file the suit.
There’s no need for you to try to figure all of this out on your own, especially while you’re struggling to come to terms with the untimely death of your loved one. Let us help you determine if you meet the criteria for a wrongful death suit against the party at fault.
Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims
There are various causes of death due to recklessness or negligence that can’t all be listed, but there are some types that are commonly seen in wrongful death claims:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice or negligence
- Defective products
- Hazardous roadways
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall
- Swimming pool drowning accidents
- Daycare or nursing home abuse or neglect
- Intentional criminal activity
Wrongful Death Civil Suit
Rather than a criminal case, a wrongful death claim is considered a civil suit. It’s similar to filing a personal injury lawsuit but on behalf of the deceased individual. It’s not designed to punish the offender; rather, it’s a way to provide compensation and to ease any financial burden for the surviving family members for their loss.
Additionally, a criminal case has to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt while a civil case only has to show the defendant’s liability through a preponderance of the evidence. However, the plaintiff must still have enough evidence to show that the defendant meets the liability standards, and the burden of proof lies on the plaintiff.
It’s important to note that the at-fault party may be charged criminally and civilly depending on the reckless action or type of negligence that resulted in the victim’s death. The criminal case is designed to punish the party who is at fault for committing a crime, while the civil case provides financial justice for the surviving dependents or family members who rely on the deceased for security and support.
How Much Is a Wrongful Death Suit Worth in Orlando, FL?
Because each case is different, there’s really no way to put a number on how much the average wrongful death claim would be worth. Some factors that the court considers are the victim’s age at death, the victim’s earning potential, whether or not the victim was partially responsible, and information regarding the at-fault party, such as if an individual, a business or a public entity as well as any insurance coverage owned by that party.
Damages For Wrongful Death Cases in Orlando
If your loved one was injured and then later died due to those injuries, the time frame when considering compensation begins at the date of the injury. If the loss of life is sudden, the time for considering compensation begins at the victim’s death.
As you would imagine, loss of financial support is a main consideration when determining the damages that could be awarded in a wrongful death claim. What you might not know is that there are several other factors that are also considered. These are generally classified under economic and non-economic damages.
Consisting of financial support and services provided, economic damages are designed to compensate for lost future support and expenses incurred due to the injury and subsequent death of the victim.
- Medical expenses from the onset of the injury to the death of the victim
- Funeral and burial costs if paid by the family
- Lost wages from the date of the injury until the victim’s death
- Missing wages from a family member providing care to the loved one until death
- Lost future income that the loved one would have provided had they survived
- Lost future benefits, such as medical, dental, and retirement income
- Lost inheritance
- Lost services that would have been provided had the loved one survived, such as housekeeping and childcare
In addition to economic damages, there are some factors that fall under non-economic damages that you may also receive compensation for.
- Loss of companionship and protection of a deceased spouse
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and instruction for children of a deceased parent
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
- Physical pain suffering of the victim if they sustained injuries that lead to the death
Regarding medical malpractice, there are certain limitations on compensation regarding adult children. To better understand the specific types of compensation that you’d be entitled to receive, talk with a lawyer with extensive experience with wrongful death claims to ensure you receive everything that you’re entitled to.
Seeking Damages for an Orlando Wrongful Death Case
Individuals, businesses, and public entities typically carry some type of insurance coverage, which will likely be able to cover part or all of the compensation determined in a successful wrongful death claim. However, if there is no insurance or the insurance is insufficient to cover the suit, the individual, business, or entity determined to be at fault will be liable to cover the compensation cost.
Any compensation awarded by the court might be paid in a lump sum, typically how insurance companies choose to pay, or it might be spread out in a structured settlement.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Orlando?
Each state has laws determining who can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of surviving family members and dependents. Only the wrongful death lawyer of the victim’s estate can file such a clam in Florida.
The Orlando wrongful death lawyer would be listed on a will or trust. However, if the victim died without leaving any direction through estate planning documents, the court will appoint a wrongful death lawyer who can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the surviving dependents and family members.
Getting Compensation For An Orlando Wrongful Death
A surviving spouse and any minor children would be eligible for compensation for wrongful death. Additionally, other blood relatives who depended on the deceased for at least some type of financial support may also qualify for compensation.
When the wrongful death lawyer files the wrongful death claim with the court, it’s important that every eligible individual is listed in the claim. Once the claim is settled, anyone not listed loses their right to compensation.
Is There a Statute of Limitations to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Orlando, FL?
In Florida, a wrongful death lawyer has just two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a claim with the court for wrongful death in most cases. Working with a lawyer can help to ensure that you don’t miss your chance to receive the compensation that’s due to you.
Other Limits to Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
Mostly, individuals, businesses, and many public entities can be sued for wrongful death. However, if the victim died from an injury sustained on the job, the employer cannot be sued in most cases. Surviving family members would have to file a claim with workers’ compensation to receive compensation for damages sustained by the loss.
Additionally, some government agencies and individuals have immunity from these types of suits as they are not liable for any actions completed within the scope of performing their official duties.
How to Proceed with a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Orlando
Because a wrongful death lawyer is the only one who can file a wrongful death claim in Florida, it’s essential to determine if estate planning documents that name such an individual or to have one appointed by the court. Once the Orlando wrongful death attorney has been established, the appropriate documents must be filed with the court within the statute of limitations.
Because the burden of proof lies on the plaintiff, extensive work can be involved with the wrongful death suit process. Finding and utilizing expert witnesses can be imperative in providing the facts to show that the other party was at fault and meets the liability conditions under Florida’s wrongful death statutes. All possible evidence is also necessary to provide the proof that’s required.
Just as all beneficiaries for compensation need to be listed, all possible defendants must also be listed in the suit. This could mean an individual who was at fault, any supervisors that may have breached their duty of care, and the business or entity that employed them.
The Orlando wrongful death lawyer will also need to determine how much the claim is worth, which can involve trying to figure out the future earning potential of the deceased loved one. Economic and non-economic damages must be calculated individually for each person entitled to compensation in the wrongful death claim, even though the amount will be listed as a while. It will be up to the wrongful death lawyer to distribute funds appropriately should the claim succeed.
Additionally, if an insurance company is expected to cover the cost of compensation, they are likely to offer a settlement that could be much lower than what you deserve, and they could drag the case on for as long as possible. Because you are likely to be grieving the loss of your loved one, you might be tempted to settle to get the ordeal over with, but you need to consider your long-term needs and those of any minor children, if you have any.
Insurance companies typically retain legal experts to handle their claims to save as much money as possible. If you want to receive what is due to you for the wrongful death of a loved one, it can be in your best interest to retain the services of a skilled Orlando Wrongful Death Lawyer to handle the lengthy and difficult legal work for you so that you can focus on your healing and that of your family.
How an Orlando Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
When you work with an experienced lawyer, you’ll have someone fighting on your behalf. They know how to gather evidence, choose expert witnesses, keep track of all necessary paperwork, meet deadlines, and handle insurance agencies. The right law office will be able to determine the best course of action in your specific case, put a financial value on your claim, and make sure all potential defendants are listed.
Some of the paperwork involves motions for summary judgments, filing for discovery, and handling objections by the defendant’s lawyers. Remember, whoever is responsible for paying the compensation for the defendant is looking to pay as little of an amount as possible and is looking out for their own interests. Unless you know what to expect and have the capacity to handle all contingencies that could occur, it’s often best to leave these details to an attorney who knows what to expect and has the experience necessary to handle whatever the defense throws your way.
While this might seem like a manageable number of tasks required for a successful wrongful death claim, there’s a lot of footwork by way of phone calls and interviews that needs to happen to properly complete and file all of the required paperwork in a timely manner. Additionally, extensive legal research may be needed for various aspects of your claim, and the law office may need to spend days or weeks to find what they’re looking for.
If you’re struggling with your loss and trying to maintain your household, it can be especially difficult to find the time to do all necessary to increase your chances for a successful outcome. By hiring a qualified lawyer, you leave all of the work up to professionals while you can focus on what’s important to you.
How Much Does an Orlando Wrongful Death Lawyer Cost?
Every law office has its own guidelines regarding what’s charged for each type of case. An attorney may charge by the hour, or they may charge a flat rate to handle your wrongful death claim. You may be required to submit a deposit up front, or you may not have to pay for the attorney’s services until after the case is completed, whether the outcome is successful.
Before selecting a law firm to handle your case, it’s important to find out what costs you’ll be responsible for, the total amount you’ll be expected to pay, and the timeline for such payments.
When Should You Hire an Orlando Wrongful Death Attorney?
While two years may seem like a long time to be able to file a wrongful death suit in Florida, you need to think about how you’re going to make ends meet during this time if your loved one provided most or all of your financial care or provided necessary services for you to work, such as child care.
A wrongful death case may be finalized in as little as a few months though it’s possible that this could occur in just a few weeks if a viable settlement is reached. Unfortunately, it’s also possible for these cases to drag on for years. That’s why it’s recommended that you begin the process as soon as possible after the death of your loved one so that you aren’t left struggling any longer than you have to.
How an Orlando Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me Can Help You Today
Choosing an experienced attorney to handle your wrongful death suit in Orlando doesn’t have to be daunting or time-consuming. Shiner Law Group has a proven track record of success, as seen through positive reviews and client testimonials. Our clients appreciate our proactive communication, meaning you won’t be left in the dark wondering how your claim is coming along. Additionally, we’ve maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for over ten years, so you can be confident that we’ll do all we can to ensure you’re fairly compensated for your loss.
With wrongful death claims, you won’t be required to pay for services upfront because we don’t get paid until you do, and our fees will come out as a percentage of your final compensation, whether through a settlement or a court-approved award. We make it easy for you to get started. You can give us a call at (407) 305-0566 or complete our 100% free online consultation form to schedule a free consultation. We’re here to fight for you.
Orlando Wrongful Death Law Office
Shiner Law Group
2480 E. Michigan St. Suite 206
Orlando, FL 32806