Wrongful Death Attorney
Are you looking for a wrongful death lawyer? Injuries and violence affect everyone, regardless of age, race, or economic status. For Americans 1 to 44 years of age, traumatic injuries are the number-one cause of death. In fact, people in that age group are more likely to die from an injury—such as a motor vehicle crash, fall, or homicide—than from any other cause, including cancer, HIV, or the flu, according to the Center for Disease Control. More than 180,000 people die from injuries each year — 1 person every 3 minutes.
Long after a fatal accident, families feel the loss of a loved one who died because of the negligence or reckless acts of others. Having lost loved ones of our own and practicing law in these areas for well over a decade, our lawyers are cognizant of the pain felt by survivors and offer compassionate representation in wrongful death litigation.
Wrongful death claims may arise from any accident or intentional act — fatal car crashes, death by hospital malpractice, dangerous premises, defective products, aircraft accidents. We employ a full-time private investigator and consult with a nationwide network of medical experts, accident reconstruction engineers, human factor experts and other professionals who can testify to the cause of the fatal injury.
Under Florida’s statute of limitations for wrongful cases, you have only two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. For more information on hiring a wrongful death lawyer, please contact us!
Legal Advice for Wrongful Death Cases
PIP - Personal Injury Protection Insurance Death Benefit
Florida’s PIP (personal injury protection) is the first line of coverage available. PIP insurance offers $5,000 in death benefits in addition to up to $10,000 in potential medical and disability benefits if the holder of the insurance or someone in the vehicle covered by the driver’s benefits is killed in an accident.
BI - Bodily Injury Insurance
In Georgia, all motorists are required to have at least $25,000 in insurance to cover someone they hit, hurt, injure or damage. Florida is different. It actually generally requires $0. This insurance is the first part of any serious injury claim. It is the benefit available to you and we want every penny available. It covers both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are typically the things you can put in a calculator, like medical bills and lost wages- past and future.
We will also seek to recover for non-economic damages, which include damages such as pain and suffering for a qualifying survivor. See “damages” FAQ below.
UM / UIM - Underinsured / Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) Underinsured Motorist insurance (UIM) pays for injuries, such as medical expenses, that result from an accident caused by a driver who has too little insurance to cover all of the injuries, or none at all. This is insurance purchased by you or a resident relative of your household. It is very important.
What damages can we recover?
Under Florida law, a “survivor” means the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. It includes a child born out of wedlock of a mother, but may not include the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support or otherwise has been involved in the child’s life in some way.
What can be recovered? This is not meant to be an exclusive list. There is no substitute to sitting down with a lawyer.
Lost support and services: Each survivor can recover this. Factors to be considered when evaluating lost support and services: (1) the survivors’ relationship to the decedent; (2) the amount of the decedent’s probable net income available for distribution to a particular survivor; and (3) the replacement value of the decedent’s services to the survivor.
Surviving spouse: The surviving widow can recover for any loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection; and mental pain and suffering.
All minor children of decedent: lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance; and mental pain and suffering.
All children of the decedent, if there is no surviving spouse: lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance; and mental pain and suffering.
Parent of deceased minor child: mental pain and suffering. Minor is age 25 for wrongful death purposes.
Parent of an adult child, if there are no other survivors: mental pain and suffering.
Medical or funeral expenses: These may be recovered by a survivor who paid them.
The decedent’s personal representative for the estate may recover:
- loss of earnings of the deceased (from the date of injury to the date of death), less loss support of survivors excluding contributions in kind, with interest;
- loss of the prospective net accumulations of the estate, which might have reasonably been expected, reduced to present value, may be recovered if: (1) the decedent’s survivors include a surviving spouse or lineal descendants; or (2) the decedent is not a “minor” (children under 25, notwithstanding the age of majority), there are no lost support and services recoverable (under 1 above), and there is a surviving parent.
- medical or funeral expenses that become a charge against the estate or that were paid by or on behalf of the decedent, excluding amounts recoverable under 6 above.
“Services” means tasks, usually of a household nature, regularly performed by the decedent that will be a necessary expense to the survivors of the decedent. These services may vary according to the identity of the decedent and survivor and shall be determined by the particular facts of each case.
“Net accumulations” means the part of the decedent’s expected net business or salary income, including pension benefits, that the decedent probably would have retained as savings and left as part of his/her estate if the decedent had lived to his/her normal life expectancy.
“Net business or salary income” is the part of the decedent’s probable gross income after taxes, excluding income from investments continuing beyond death, that remains after deducting the decedent’s personal expenses and support of survivors, excluding contributions in kind.
How do I pick a lawyer?
Insurance carriers try to negotiate every dollar they can, because every $100 means millions in the end to their Board of Directors. Attorneys matter. Defendants and their carriers change their game plan when an experienced lawyer is involved. For that reason -and the misinformation by TV lawyers and referral services- is why people should select lawyers carefully.
Because of the economy, more lawyers are jumping into personal injury and wrongful death cases and should stick to what they know. Other lawyers are just too young and inexperienced to be able earn the respect of insurance companies or have never tried a case by themselves. Insurance companies hire experienced lawyers on their side. You should, too. Personal injury law requires knowledge about medical science and biomechanics (the forces on a body in a wreck or a fall) far greater and more specific than you’d think. The other side has doctors and millions on their side to say nothing is wrong or fight the claim.
- (1) A Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. It’s the Bar’s gold standard.
- (2) Pick a lawyer who has been to trial and achieved multiple million dollar verdicts. The insurance companies know.’
- (3) Stay away from the TV advertisers. They pay for those ads by settling cases.
What is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer?
Board certification recognizes attorneys’ special knowledge, skills and proficiency in various areas of law and professionalism and ethics in practice.
John is Board Certified as a Civil Trial Lawyer. The Bar certifies lawyers who pass a full day examination and undergo extra training and who have a documented history of going to trial and good peer reviews. If you are paying the same contingency fee, we’d recommend hiring a Board Certified lawyer. It makes a difference.
What You Need to Know About Your First Appointment With Us
All initial appointments are free. All appointments are confidential. You will sit down with a lawyer and discuss your issues and how we can help. If a lawyer doesn’t meet with you on day one, you have hired the wrong law firm.
DO NOT BRING: Any money or retainer.
All death and injury cases we handle are done on a contingency fee basis. That means, we are not paid until the end of your case and are paid only IF we recover something. You do not have to pay us if we do not win.
BRING: Any Accident Report, Drivers Exchange of Information or Photos
Bring anything you have to the initial appointment. We will make a copy and then return it to you.
BRING: Any Relevant Medical History
We keep all of your information secured and private. We need any medical information to make a death or injury claim. Do not worry if you do not have it. We will get it from those who have them.
Committed to Justice.™
Verdicts & Settlements
This is just a sample of our recent verdicts and settlements.
Do not hire a lawyer who has never been to trial. We try our own cases. Less experienced lawyers will bring another lawyer “if” it goes to trial. We do not recommend this strategy. You choose your lawyers and will actually pay less in the long run to choose wisely now. We are a smart choice.
Jury Verdict: Duval County (2019). Wrongful Death by Shooting in Motor Vehicle. Punitive Damages Awarded.
Jury Verdict: Alachua County (2012). Vehicle Negligence by Coca-Cola. Caused Laser Spine Surgery and Pain.
Jury Verdict: Volusia County (2014). Vehicle Negligence by Volusia County Beach Patrol Caused Injuries.
Jury Verdict: Duval County (2017). RSD / CRPS Caused by Negligent Driver of Motor Vehicle who Ran Stop Sign.
A prospective client’s individual facts and circumstances may differ from the above matters; results vary by case.
Settlement: Martin County (2015). Multiple Surgeries Caused by Outback Employee Negligence.
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