Orlando Wrongful Death Lawyer

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When someone you love dies from the negligence of another person, you suffer not only the loss of the person but also the need to seek justice on behalf of the deceased. You may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim against those responsible. A successful case can result in holding a wrongdoer accountable for their actions and providing compensation for having lost a family member.

Filing these claims is complicated and requires help from a skilled Orlando wrongful death lawyer. At DWK Law, we offer compassionate legal representation from experienced Orlando personal injury lawyers. Contact us to schedule an initial case evaluation and learn more today.

What’s considered wrongful death in Florida?

According to Florida law, a wrongful death occurs when an individual’s death is caused by another’s “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty.” The actions may have been unintentional, or they may have intended to cause harm. A wrongful death can also result from someone’s failure to act to help someone in circumstances when a reasonable person would have helped.

Wrongful deaths can happen after car accidents, hunting mishaps, boating injuries, or nursing home neglect. While some deaths occur naturally, if you have any suspicion that your loved one passed away because of someone else’s actions, you should speak with a Orlando wrongful death lawyer. They can assess your situation and advise you whether your claim is valid.

Why should I hire an Orlando wrongful death lawyer?

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After a wrongful death, the family must not only deal with all the work associated with managing the estate but also with the uncertainty of how to hold the at-fault parties responsible. By hiring an experienced wrongful death lawyer, they can access knowledgeable and skilled professionals who understand the intricacies of ensuring the claim is brought forth correctly and promptly.

One of the first concerns is conducting a thorough investigation and filing your claim in time. A lawyer must investigate the death, gather all relevant evidence, construct their case, and submit the paperwork to protect your claim. On top of this, the statute can vary depending on the named defendant, especially if it involves a government agency or the defendant is facing a criminal trial.

At DWK Law, we focus on preparing the most powerful case possible and achieving a satisfactory outcome based on the circumstances of your loved one’s death. Our investigative resources allow us to present compelling arguments before the court, establishing negligence and demonstrating your claim’s validity. We have over three decades’ worth of experience in managing various personal injury claims, drawing on our work in car accidents, premises liability, product liability, and other cases.

What is the cost of hiring DWK Law for my wrongful death case?

When your family is already dealing with a large share of expenses after a loved one’s death, you may question whether spending money on an attorney is the right move. Fortunately, DWK Law allows you to get the legal representation and guidance you need by working on a contingency fee basis.

A contingency fee structure means your Orlando wrongful death lawyer will take their fees as a percentage of your final settlement or jury award. This amount is part of the client agreement letter you will sign when you hire our firm, so there are no surprises. We update you as your case progresses, including recommendations for engaging professional collaborators and experts to testify.

While our team is dedicated to securing the maximum compensation for your specific case, there are risks in every situation. Contingency means that you only pay us once and if we obtain a settlement for you. You only pay our fees if we win your case.

What is a wrongful death claim?

A wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit. It is meant to collect damages from the liable parties who caused an untimely death through their negligence. Of the 200,000 to 400,000 personal injury lawsuits filed each year, as many as 8% of them are wrongful death actions, according to the Federal Judicial Caseload Statistics. In instances where the victim already had a claim against the at-fault party for their medical and other bills, that personal injury lawsuit often can be converted into a wrongful death claim by their survivors.

Do not confuse a wrongful death claim with a criminal lawsuit. If your loved one died as a result of a crime, such as assault, robbery, or murder, the state government will hold them accountable and determine their guilt. However, this does not compensate your family for their loss. A wrongful death claim is a civil action meant to secure monetary damages to address the absence of the deceased’s financial benefit.

What potential damages can you seek in a wrongful death claim?

Damages are paid to a claimant in a successful civil case and include payment for expenses such as lost income and medical bills. Many more losses must be included for wrongful death claims, such as burial and funeral costs. Your damage demands will generally fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include anything that has a fixed price tag, and non-economic losses acknowledge the intangible ways the death has affected the survivors’ lives. 

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The Wrongful Death Act of Florida allows the decedent’s estate to recover the estimated damages of items such as:

  • Medical care and expenses before the decedent’s death
  • Estimated income the decedent would have earned had they lived
  • Inheritance the deceased’s beneficiaries would have received
  • Value of the decedent’s home and childcare services
  • Pain, suffering, and grief of the survivors
  • Loss of companionship for the survivors
  • Loss of consortium by the spouse 
  • Loss of guidance, mentorship, and support for the children
  • Lost benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans, pensions, or savings

The recent Florida Tort Reform Act has brought many changes to how lawsuits are handled in the courts, in addition to existing nuances regarding the recovery of lost potential income. While there is no limit on economic damage awards in any kind of personal injury or wrongful death claim, some caps are put in place when the case involves medical malpractice or a suit against a government entity. Your wrongful death lawyer in Orlando can handle all of these details so you and your family can focus on grieving. 

How do wrongful death settlements get paid out in Florida?

In most cases, the wrongful death settlement will be paid in a lump sum through a negotiated method between the plaintiff and defendant. In situations where the settlement or jury award is substantial, the defendant may have agreed to a structured plan that provides regular payments over several years.

Who is potentially liable for a wrongful death in Orlando?

An experienced lawyer knows there may be more individuals who are potentially liable than the person who seems obviously at fault. For example, suppose your loved one dies after a head-on car accident. You may believe the person who hit them is responsible. However, if the other driver lost control of their car because an untrained mechanic failed to repair the braking system properly, the auto shop could be held accountable for a wrongful death. Each case is different and requires a thorough investigation to ensure all those legally responsible are held accountable for the wrongful death of a loved one. 

To prevail in a wrongful death claim, you and your attorney must demonstrate the four elements of negligence:

  1. Duty of Care: The at-fault party owed your loved one a duty of care to take reasonable action to avoid causing harm.
  2. Breach of duty: The liable individual failed to uphold (breached) their duty.
  3. Causation: Because of the at-fault person’s failure, your family member died.
  4. Damages: Your family has experienced damages directly related to the death that must be repaid.

 

To demonstrate these factors, your Orlando wrongful death lawyer will need to present as much high-quality documentation as possible to persuade the jury with a preponderance of the evidence. This can come from police reports, photos and videos, witness statements, medical records, autopsy results, and expert testimony. Your lawyer will also offer detailed calculations of what your family has lost and will be denied in the future as a result of the death. These are known as damages.

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Speak with a qualified Orlando wrongful death lawyer at DWK Law today.

When you have lost someone to the negligence or malice of another person, you must act quickly to speak with a professional legal advocate. Determining who is at fault and building a solid case against them can take many weeks or months, and the clock is ticking from the moment of your family member’s death. To avoid losing your opportunity to seek compensation through the Florida court system, contact DWK Law and speak with an Orlando wrongful death lawyer.

We are committed to bringing your family peace of mind and a sense of closure after a senseless tragedy that deprives you of your loved one. Use our online form or call us at (407) 244-3000 to arrange a meeting today.

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