Dunedin Wrongful Death Attorney
Our Dunedin Personal Injury Lawyers Hold Responsible Parties Accountable
When a loved one is lost, a wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring them back, but it can allow a family to receive compensation to ease the financial burden, especially if they were the sole source of financial support. Paulsen Law Group is dedicated to protecting the rights of those left behind, helping you recover from your loss.
What is a wrongful death suit?
A wrongful death suit is a civil claim made by the survivors of an individual who died as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another person. Under this type of action, survivors are allowed to make a claim for monetary damages to compensate for the financial and emotional support they lost due to the death of their loved ones. A wrongful death lawsuit is generally brought in the name of the executor or personal representative of the estate. Wrongful death occurs when negligent, reckless, or deliberate behavior causes a fatality.
In Florida, wrongful death suits commonly arise from the following types of accidents:
- Automobile – More than 200,000 automobile accidents occur in Florida each year, injuring over 180,000 people and causing some 2,400 fatalities. Drivers who have been drinking, texting, or are otherwise inattentive are particularly at risk for causing accidents that may result in a fatality and a corresponding wrongful death claim.
- Motorcycle – In 2011, 413 motorcyclists in Florida were killed in collisions, up 18 percent from the previous year. Because of the lack of protection a motorcycle affords its rider in an accident, motorcycle injuries are often serious and many times fatal.
- Bicycle – The increased popularity of bicycling has prompted many Floridians to choose cycling as their preferred mode of transportation. But deaths due to bicycle accidents increased 57.89 percent between 2010 and 2011 when the death toll rose from 76 to 120 in just one year’s time.
- Pedestrian – Nearly 500 pedestrians were killed in Florida in 2011, and over 6,100 were injured. Drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing the street at designated crosswalks, and those who don’t endanger lives and violate Florida law.
Who is eligible for compensation?
According to the Florida Wrongful Death Act, when a wrongful death occurs, the losses are the responsibility of the wrongdoer, not the survivors of the decedent, and survivors are allowed to seek compensation for their losses. Who qualifies as a survivor?
Under Florida law, survivors and the benefits they may be entitled to recover in a wrongful death suit include:
- Spouses may recover for the loss of companionship, protection, and for mental pain and suffering.
- Children may be entitled to benefits for the loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance, as well as their mental pain and suffering.
- Parents may recover compensation for their mental pain and suffering due to losing a minor child due to wrongful death. Parents may also be entitled to compensation for the loss of an adult child if there are no other survivors.
- Adoptive siblings and other relatives may recover for lost financial and emotional support if they were dependent upon the deceased.
When determining the amount of damages to award to the survivors in a wrongful death action, Florida courts consider the following factors:
- The relationship between the survivor and the deceased
- The amount of the deceased’s net income that was available to the survivor
- The replacement value of the deceased’s services and support
- The life expectancy of both the survivor and the decedent
Call our Dunedin personal injury law firm for a free consultation today!
Paulsen Law Group has compassionately guided individuals and families throughout Pinellas County through wrongful death lawsuits for more than a decade. When it comes to client care, we focus on quality not quantity, which means you’ll receive personal attention. Cases are handled on a contingency basis, so if we don't recover, you don't pay.
Contact us at (727) 270-8260 to schedule your free initial consultation.