Passionately Representing Families Who Have Lost a Loved One Due to Negligence
If you have lost a loved one in any type of accident, please contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., immediately. Our Fort Myers wrongful death attorney, Randall L.Spivey, has spent years representing numerous families who have lost a family member as a result of another person's negligent actions and has obtained substantial wrongful death settlements in Florida.
We understand that your losses are extremely personal to you, and we know all too well that the death of someone you care about is nothing short of devastating. We can help you seek the justice and compensation that you and your family deserve.
Florida Laws Protect Families in Wrongful Death Accidents
Did you know that Florida's Wrongful Death Act provides specific considerations for families who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to negligence? This includes the ability for surviving family members to make a legal claim for monetary damages in Florida wrongful death cases for mental pain and suffering, loss of earnings, loss of support and services, and loss of contributions to the household.
We take your case personally. Fort Myers wrongful death attorney Randall L. Spivey takes the time to speak with you about every aspect of your loss, including all of the activities that you and your loved one enjoyed. Our firm extracts a thorough picture of the relationship between you and your loved one, through photographs, videos and DVDs which depict your happy lives together. It is only through a complete understanding of your relationship and daily activities with your loved one that we can truly appreciate the magnitude of your loss. A true understanding of your situation will allow us to better represent your needs and illustrate to the responsible party just what an incredible loss you and your family have suffered.
What Types of Accidents Can Lead to a Wrongful Death?
Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., represents surviving family members of victims who have lost their lives in all types of accidents. There are a wide variety of incidents that can lead to fatal injuries, including:
- Car accidents
- ATV accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Boating accidents
- Motorcycle accidents,
- Slip and fall accidents,
- Nursing home neglect
- Defective products
We have years of experience in handling all of these types of cases, and more. Therefore, whatever the reason was behind your loved one’s death, chances are that we have handled a similar case in the past. It is this very experience that can be invaluable when suing for wrongful death in Florida.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Florida?
According to a law dictionary, a wrongful death lawsuit is defined as a civil action against the party or parties who caused the death of a loved one either accidentally or pre-meditated.
Not just anyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Florida law is specific on who qualifies, what damages they may recover, and when they may file a lawsuit.
Florida Statute 768.21 – Negligence says a complaint must include all potential beneficiaries and their relationships to the decedent.
According to 768.21 a survivor who loses a loved one may recover the value, with interest, of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to his or her death, and future loss of support and services from the date of death, reduced to present value.
The relationship of the survivor to the decedent is evaluated along with the amount of decedent’s net income available for distribution and the replacement value of the decedent’s services.
Survivors may include a surviving spouse, minor children if there is no surviving spouse, and the parent, or parents, of a deceased minor child.
The parents of an adult child can recover damages, including mental pain and suffering damages, if the child was not married and had no children.
A surviving spouse may recover for the loss of companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
Minor children may recover for loss of parental companionship, instruction, guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
Fatal injuries may occur in a wide variety of incidents. Some of these include car accidents, ATV accidents, boating accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, nursing home neglect and defective products.
“One of many wrongful death lawsuits handled by our firm was that of a mother who lost her son in a motorcycle accident when a driver was fleeing from police and crashed into his motorcycle in Sarasota. Another wrongful death accident case was that of a husband who lost his wife in a motorcycle accident when a landscaping truck made an improper u-turn into her path in Venice. These, and others, are devastating cases leaving survivors with a lifetime of sorrow and potential financial loss,” said Fort Myers Wrongful Death Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Damages Available in Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death claims involve a wide variety of damage claims, and these claims depend on both your status as a plaintiff and the particular circumstances and character of your relationship with the deceased. For example, the personal estate of the deceased cannot assert a claim for pain and suffering damages, but Florida law allows surviving family members to assert a pain and suffering claim in a wrongful death context, so long as the facts support such an assertion.
Florida law entitles certain survivors to recover on a wrongful death claim. These survivors include:
- The spouse, children, and parents of the deceased.
- Biological relatives of the deceased, who depended (at least partially) on the deceased for support.
- Adopted siblings of the deceased, who depended (at least partially) on the deceased for support.
- A child born out of wedlock (though if the deceased was the father, then only if the father was also responsible for support).
If you qualify as a survivor pursuant to one of the prior categories, then you may be able to recover on a wrongful death claim — but what damages can you potentially recover? The following is a non-exhaustive list.
Loss of Support and Services
Under the Wrongful Death Act, the law defines support as property and monetary contributions to the survivor, while it defines services as duties or tasks that the deceased would have performed had they been alive, but are now an expense. For example, if the deceased was a homemaker by occupation, then the surviving spouse might successfully argue that they have to cover the loss of such services with a paid worker.
Loss of Companionship
Damages for lost companionship are uncertain and difficult to predict, as there is no objective, structured way to tangibly calculate the damages that follow from the loss of a close companion. A strong loss of companionship claim will therefore involve the creation of an evidentiary narrative that convinces the jury that your relationship with the deceased was close, and that the loss is therefore deserving of significant damages to compensate.
Pain and Suffering
As a surviving family member, you may be able to recover damages for the pain and suffering (emotional/mental) that you sustain due to the wrongful death at-issue. There is no statutory formula for such damages, so your recovery in a pain and suffering claim will — like that of a loss of companionship claim — depend a great deal on the strength of your evidentiary narrative. Particularly tragic accidents (i.e., drawn out, emotionally difficult deaths) may lead to more substantial damage recovery in the pain and suffering context.
Death and Illness-Related Expenses
If you have paid for any of the medical or funeral expenses of the deceased, then you may be entitled to recover such expenditures as part of your wrongful death claim. Critically, however, you must still qualify as a surviving family member under the Wrongful Death Act — if you qualify as a surviving family member, then you may recover damages for the medical and funeral expenses that you covered for the deceased.
Get the Compensation You Deserve Now With the Help of Our Fort Myers Wrongful Death Attorney
If you lost a member of your family due to someone else's negligent actions, Fort Myers wrongful death attorney Randall L. Spivey is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation. We can guarantee you that you will pay no attorney fees for a wrongful death in Florida we handle on your behalf or costs unless you win a monetary settlement or verdict in your favor. And for additional information, please visit our settlements and verdicts page to view the results in some of the Florida wrongful death accident cases and other cases handled by our firm.
More Helpful Information About Wrongful Death Cases
The American Automobile Association (AAA) reported that nearly 800 people died in Florida from bicycle accidents in 2017, making Florida the leading state in the nation for fatal bicycle accidents.
According to a law dictionary, a wrongful death lawsuit is defined as a civil action against the party or parties who caused the death of a loved one either accidentally or pre-meditated. Not just anyone can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Pursuant to Florida law, when a person dies due to the wrongful acts or omissions of a third-party, certain surviving family members are entitled to recover damages for wrongful death of their loved one.
If your loved one died due to the fault of another person or entity, then, as a surviving family member, you may be entitled to recover damages to compensate for his/her wrongful death.