Did you lose a loved one in an unexpected accident in Lakeland, FL? If someone else was responsible, you may be entitled to seek compensation. An experienced Lakeland wrongful death lawyer at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight to recover compensation for medical bills, loss of financial support, and your family’s pain and suffering.
Our lawyers have over 119 years of combined experience helping injured clients and their families. We’ve worked hard to earn our track record of successfully helping clients recover fair compensation from negligent parties.
If you’re looking for legal advice after losing a family member, contact us online or call our law offices in Lakeland, Florida, at (863) 251-6196 to schedule a free consultation today.
How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help With a Wrongful Death Claim in Lakeland, FL
Countless people must grieve the loss of their loved ones because of someone else’s careless mistake. Most accidents are entirely preventable. When people are reasonably careful, accidents are less common.
As the survivor of a fatal accident victim, you have legal rights. You can fight to hold the responsible parties financially accountable. An experienced Lakeland personal injury attorney can help you prove your case and recover the maximum compensation you deserve.
When you choose Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to provide your legal representation, we will:
- Investigate to determine who was responsible for your loved one’s death
- Gather the strong evidence you need to build a persuasive case with the insurance company
- Protect your family when the insurance company tries to blame the victim
- Retain experts who can help assign a value to your losses
- Negotiate with the insurance companies for a fair settlement
- Fight to protect your rights in court if trial is necessary
Our lawyers believe in giving every client the personal attention they deserve. If you’ve lost a loved one, our Lakeland personal injury attorneys will do everything in our power to help. Just call to learn more about creating an attorney-client relationship today.
Overview of Florida’s Wrongful Death Laws
Victims of fatal accidents can’t take legal action to hold the responsible parties liable. Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, certain survivors can bring an action for wrongful death. Generally, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
You may have a valid wrongful death suit under Florida law anytime someone else’s careless, reckless, or wrongful acts caused your loved one’s death.
Wrongful death cases are civil matters. Murder and manslaughter cases are tried in criminal court. The defendant might face jail or prison time. In a wrongful death case, the court or insurance company may award financial compensation to surviving family members.
Who Can File a Claim for Wrongful Death in Florida?
Only certain family members are entitled to seek compensation for wrongful death.
- A surviving spouse
- The victim’s children or parents
- Other blood relatives and adoptive siblings who depended upon the deceased person for financial support
Technically, the deceased person’s personal representative files the wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative distributes the compensation that is recovered to surviving beneficiaries.
What Is My Lakeland Wrongful Death Case Worth?
The value of your wrongful death case will depend on the facts and circumstances.
Your wrongful death lawyer will evaluate all of the facts, including:
- The cost of your loved one’s medical treatment and other out-of-pocket expenses
- Your loved one’s physical pain and suffering
- The nature of the at-fault party’s acts
- Your loved one’s prior earning history and future earning potential
- The identity of surviving victims, including young dependent children
- Your family’s emotional suffering and loss
Putting a dollar value on your family’s losses can be extremely difficult. After all, how do you assign a value to a life? In the end, however, it’s necessary to determine how much your case is worth. If you don’t, the insurance company will decide how much your case is worth–and you’ll probably end up with less compensation than you deserve.
Our wrongful death lawyers in Lakeland have decades of experience helping grieving families like yours. We know that money can’t change the past. We also know that it can be the key to protecting your family’s future financial security.
Are you interested in learning more about your case value? Call our law firm to schedule your free case evaluation today.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Victims in a Wrongful Death Case?
Like any motor vehicle accident victim, survivors are entitled to seek both economic damages and non-economic damages under Florida wrongful death laws. However, the exact types of damages that are available are slightly different from damages in personal injury cases.
The types of damages that may be available include:
- Medical expenses incurred between the date of injury and the date of death
- Loss of financial support and household services incurred between the date of injury and the date of death, plus interest
- Loss of future financial support and household services
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of parental guidance, support, and instruction
- Loss of consortium (loss of companionship and support)
- Funeral expenses and burial costs
- Loss of future net accumulations or loss of inheritance
It’s also possible that the personal representative may be entitled to recover compensation for the victim’s estate. The personal representative may be entitled to seek compensation for any medical expenses or costs incurred by the estate.
Can I Recover Damages If My Loved One is Being Blamed for Causing Their Own Death in Florida?
Insurance companies are known for doing whatever it takes to maximize their own profits. That includes blaming fatal accident victims for causing their own death. Even if the insurance company can prove that your loved one was partly responsible, your family may be entitled to recover damages.
Florida has modified comparative fault laws. Fault is allocated between all parties to an accident. Injured parties can recover partial compensation if they’re partly responsible for their own injuries. But they cannot recover any money if they share most of the fault for the accident. The same principles apply in wrongful death cases.
So, if the insurance company can prove that your loved one was 25% responsible for the accident that caused their death, you can take home 75% of your compensation.
Your loved one isn’t here to tell their side of the story. If the insurance company is blaming the victim, contact an experienced lawyer who can protect your rights.
What Causes Most Fatal Accidents in Lakeland, Florida?
Any type of serious accident has the potential to cause fatal injuries.
Our Lakeland wrongful death attorneys often handle cases involving:
- Car accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Uber or Lyft accidents
- Boating accidents
- Accidents involving recreational vehicles
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Defective products
- Negligent security
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Intentional violence and criminal acts
Insurance companies often try to manipulate the facts to convince you to back down. They might claim that your loved one’s injuries existed before the accident. Even if that’s true, it doesn’t mean you lose your right to compensation if someone else’s actions caused your loved one’s death.
How Do I Establish Liability for Wrongful Death in Florida?
Most personal injury claims are based on negligence. The same is true for wrongful death cases. To recover compensation, you’ll likely have to prove that someone else was careless or reckless and caused your loved one’s death.
The legal elements of a negligence claim are:
- The at-fault party owed your loved one a legal duty of care
- A breach of duty occurred
- The breach of duty caused your loved one’s death
- The damages your family has suffered as a result
The insurance company won’t simply hand over compensation. You’ll have to produce evidence to support each element of your negligence claim.
Our wrongful death attorneys in Lakeland will search for evidence that insurance companies take seriously, including:
- Eyewitness statements
- Video surveillance photos
- Police and accident reports that identify the at-fault party
- Your loved one’s medical records and doctor’s opinions
- Results of any drug or alcohol testing
- Information from the accident scene
- Opinions of accident reconstruction specialists and experts
The exact evidence we’ll recover will depend on the circumstances of your loved one’s death. At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, we have the resources to conduct a full investigation. Just give us a call to get started today.
How Long Do I Have To File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After an Accident in Florida?
The statute of limitations in wrongful death cases is two years. If you don’t file a lawsuit within two years of your loved one’s death, you lose your right to seek compensation from the responsible parties.
Contact a Lakeland Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Grieving the death of a loved one is difficult enough. If your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, your struggle might be even more acute. An experienced Lakeland wrongful death lawyer can help you fight to hold the responsible parties financially accountable. Contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation to get started.