Personal injuries happen every day throughout Northeast Florida from a wide range of causes, from motor vehicle accidents to medical malpractice and violent crime. Unfortunately, not all victims of these incidents survive their experiences. When the victim of a personal injury dies from the incident in Lake City, FL, their surviving loved ones are likely to have many pressing legal questions regarding accountability and compensation for their loss.
When the victim of a personal injury dies from the injury, a wrongful death claim can functionally replace the personal injury suit they could have filed if they had survived. However, there are special rules for this type of case that you need to understand if you intend to file a wrongful death suit in North Florida. Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys is a seasoned team of attorneys ready to provide the guidance and support you need for this impending case, and we have a track record of successful cases to show that we know how to handle these claims effectively.
The state upholds very specific rules for wrongful death claims, and the first of these rules you must address is eligibility to file a wrongful death suit. Most states allow the closest surviving family members of the deceased to file a wrongful death claim. In Florida, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the beneficiaries of the deceased. If the victim did not have an estate plan in place at the time of their death, the court will appoint a personal representative.
This personal representative filing the claim must list all the beneficiaries of the deceased in the filing of their suit. Success with a wrongful death claim can yield various forms of compensation that will then be distributed to the beneficiaries. However, before any compensation can be secured, the plaintiff must prove liability for the death.
Most of the wrongful deaths reported throughout Northeast Florida are the result of negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care. Distracted driving, premises liability, and other forms of negligence are commonly cited as causes of death in wrongful death claims throughout North Florida. However, it is also possible for intentional and illegal misconduct to cause a wrongful death. Drunk driving and violent assault are two possible examples of this.
If the wrongful death in question resulted from criminal action, the defendant faces not only the wrongful death claim from the personal representative of the deceased but also a criminal case filed by the state. Penalties for any crime increase dramatically if the defendant has caused serious bodily harm or death. If this applies to your case, your Lake City wrongful death attorney can help you understand how the illegal nature of the defendant’s actions could impact your recovery efforts.
Money cannot replace your lost loved one, but a successful wrongful death suit can provide closure by holding the defendant accountable and securing compensation that helps the surviving beneficiaries adjust to their new circumstances with some financial peace of mind. Florida law allows the plaintiff of a wrongful death suit to seek multiple forms of compensation. It’s possible for a wrongful death claim to yield:
The right attorney can not only be invaluable for guiding you through your case proceedings efficiently but also for helping you maximize the compensation you obtain from your successful wrongful death suit.
When you hire Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys to represent your wrongful death case in Northeast Florida, we can immediately set to work gathering whatever evidence you need to firmly establish fault for the death. We’ll make sure your case meets all filing deadlines and other procedural requirements with the court so your recovery efforts are not impeded by administrative red tape.
Our goal in most of the civil claims we accept is to settle our client’s case as quickly as possible, shortening the time it takes for them to receive compensation. However, this is not always an option, and some cases need to be litigated. If you must go to court for any reason to resolve your case, you can count on our firm to guide you through these proceedings and prepare you for each courtroom session.
A: Under the state’s wrongful death statutes, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the beneficiaries of the estate. In filing the claim, the representative must list all the deceased’s beneficiaries who will receive the proceeds of the successful claim. If the deceased did not have an estate plan in which they named a personal representative, the court will appoint a personal representative to handle the case.
A: It’s possible for a successful wrongful death claim in North Florida to yield several types of compensation. The personal representative of the deceased may claim compensation for losses suffered by the deceased’s estate, such as property damage and medical expenses for their final injury or illness. The family can also receive compensation for lost financial support and lost value of household services, along with funeral and burial expenses. A wrongful death claim can also yield compensation for the surviving family’s pain and suffering, and punitive damages are possible if the defendant caused the death through some illegal act.
A: Anyone who intends to file a wrongful death suit in the Lake City area must meet the statute of limitations, which is two years from the date the death occurred. Failure to meet these deadlines could mean the family loses their chance to recover compensation from the defendant. Two years might sound like more than sufficient time for the claim, but it is always advisable for the plaintiff to seek legal counsel as quickly as possible after the untimely death of a family member so they can begin building their case as quickly as possible.
A: It is possible for the party responsible for causing a wrongful death to face criminal charges in response to how they caused the death. Excessive or egregious negligence outside the scope of typical negligence could lead to prosecution, and if they caused the death through drunk driving or any other intentional criminal act, prosecution is all but certain. Your Lake City wrongful death attorney can advise you as to whether the defendant faces prosecution and, if so, how the criminal case might influence your wrongful death claim and recovery.
A: Even if fault seems perfectly clear in your wrongful death suit, you should not assume that you can handle this complex civil case unassisted. Even if you managed to meet the procedural requirements of your case, you could encounter legal obstacles that you do not know how to resolve on your own. An experienced Lake City wrongful death attorney can help maximize your total case award and shorten the time it takes to complete the case.
Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys has helped many clients throughout Northeast Florida with all types of civil claims, including wrongful death actions. We know the various legal challenges you could face while contending with the emotional stress of losing a loved one. Our goal is to provide support and responsive legal guidance in this difficult time. If you are ready to learn how a Lake City wrongful death attorney can help with your case, contact us today and schedule a free consultation with our team.