Have you lost a loved one in a fatal accident in Clearwater, FL? You may be entitled to significant compensation for your losses from the responsible party, but it can be difficult to know where to turn for help.
An experienced Clearwater wrongful death lawyer can help you get answers. At Roman & Gaynor, your first consultation is always free. All you have to do is contact our law offices to learn more about your options.
Why Should I Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer to Protect My Rights?
If you’ve just lost a loved one in an accident, you’re probably not thinking about money. Unfortunately, your financial struggles can escalate quickly if you’ve lost someone that you relied upon for financial support. You might even find that you don’t have enough to cover funeral and burial costs.
An action for wrongful death can help you recover compensation for these and other losses.
When you’re worried about your future financial stability, it’s important to have an experienced advocate in your corner. A Clearwater personal injury lawyer can fight to get the full amount you deserve.
At Roman & Gaynor, our attorneys have over 60 years of combined experience handling wrongful death claims. You shouldn’t have to worry about a contested legal battle during this difficult time. When you hire us, our attorneys handle every aspect of your claim.
- Investigate to find out who and what caused your loved one’s accident
- Provide personal attention and answers to your questions
- Identify all available sources of insurance coverage to maximize your compensation award
- Work with experts who can provide evidence about the fair value of your claim
- Fight back when the insurance company offers less compensation than you deserve
You deserve time to grieve your loss without worrying about how you’ll put food on the table. Let our Clearwater personal injury lawyers take the lead in protecting your financial future. There’s no cost to ask for help. Just give us a call to schedule your free consultation today.
Overview of the Wrongful Death Laws in Clearwater, FL
An action for wrongful death may be justified if your loved one was killed because of someone else’s negligence. In other words, you may be entitled to sue if someone else was careless or reckless and caused an accident.
Under the Florida wrongful death law, you’re entitled to sue for damages if your loved one would have been eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit if the injury hadn’t been fatal.
An action for wrongful death is a civil matter. It’s a lawsuit to hold the negligent party financially accountable for the damage their actions have caused.
Who Can File an Action for Wrongful Death?
Only certain surviving family members are entitled to sue for damages under the Florida wrongful death act. Parties who are eligible to file an action for wrongful death include the deceased person’s:
- Surviving spouse
- Blood relatives who were dependent upon the decedent for support or services
The decedent’s personal representative is the party who formally files the lawsuit. Spouses, children, parents, and the decedent’s estate are the parties who are actually entitled to compensation.
How Do I Know if I Have a Wrongful Death Case?
You might not have been present when your loved one was hurt. You didn’t see the accident. Some spouses, parents, and other survivors never even get the chance to speak with their loved one to hear their side of the story. It’s understandable that you might not know whether you have a case.
Our experienced personal injury attorneys have over six decades of collective experience handling these types of claims. We’ll conduct a comprehensive investigation to find out what happened to cause your loved one’s accident. That might include:
- Obtaining video surveillance footage
- Subpoenaing phone records, safety reports, and other documentation
- Analyzing accident reports and medical records
- Interviewing witnesses
- Working with accident reconstruction experts
- And more
If you’re wondering about your rights after losing a loved one, it doesn’t hurt to ask. You’re probably still suffering from the shock of the accident. Our lawyers can work to help you see the big picture. Just give us a call to learn more about getting legal help.
We Handle All Types of Wrongful Death Actions
Under Florida law, a wrongful death action can be justified by any type of avoidable accident. In other words, when someone else could have acted carefully to prevent your loved one’s death, they can be held responsible.
At Roman & Gaynor, we handle all wrongful death cases involving the negligence of others, including those caused by fatal:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Uber/Lyft accidents
- Boating accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Drowning accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Defective products
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
Our lawyers are available around-the-clock to answer your questions. Our Board Certified trial lawyers have dedicated our practice to getting justice for survivors of fatal accident victims in Clearwater and elsewhere in Florida. We’re ready to fight for you–all you have to do is call to get started.
There’s a Limited Amount of Time to File a Wrongful Death Action
Exploring your legal options can be painful if you’ve recently lost a family member in an unexpected accident. It might not seem fair, but unfortunately, you only have a limited amount of time to take action. Once the time limits expire, you lose your right to sue for damages.
In Florida, you have two years to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for wrongful death. If a government agency was to blame, you have six months to give the government notice of your intent to sue.
You shouldn’t have to worry about navigating the legal system while you grieve. Let our lawyers investigate to find out what happened. We’ll do everything we can to make the process as straightforward as possible for your family. Give us a call today to learn more about how a wrongful death attorney in Clearwater can help.
What if the Defendant Blames My Loved One for the Accident?
Even if your loved one is no longer with us, insurance companies might still try to blame the victim for the accident. It’s a common insurance tactic because it can reduce the amount they have to pay. It sometimes works to scare the victim’s family into accepting a lowball settlement or dropping their claim entirely.
Under Florida’s comparative negligence law, you don’t lose your right to compensation entirely if your loved one was partly to blame. Instead, liability is divided between all parties who share in the blame. Your damages award can be reduced to account for your loved one’s share of fault.
For example, if your loved one was found to be 20% to blame, your compensation award will be reduced by 20%. In other words, you’re still entitled to hold the other responsible parties accountable for their role in causing the accident.
Your loved one isn’t around to fight back, but our personal injury lawyers in Clearwater are here to help. We’ll do everything we can to challenge the defendant’s allegations and protect your right to full compensation.
What Types of Damages Are Available in an Action for Wrongful Death?
The available damages in a wrongful death lawsuit are slightly different than those available to personal injury victims. Like personal injury cases, you’re entitled to be reimbursed for expenses related to the injury–things like medical bills, hospitalization expenses, rehab, and more.
In addition, survivors may be entitled to compensation for:
- Loss of support and services, from the date of injury to the date of death, plus interest
- Loss of future support and services, reduced to present value
- Loss of companionship and protection
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills incurred from the date of injury to the date of death
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance
- Loss of prospective net accumulations
In particularly serious accident cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damage awards are rare, but can be awarded to punish the defendant for extremely shocking actions. For example, you may be entitled to punitive damages if your loved one was killed in a drunk driving accident.
Establishing the fair value of your wrongful death claim can be complex. We’ll work with experts who will consider things like your loved one’s earning capacity and the life expectancies of surviving family members. Insurance companies take this type of testimony seriously. We’ll use it to your advantage to secure the full financial recovery you deserve.
Contact an Experienced Clearwater Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Case Review
At Roman & Gaynor, our experienced lawyers have helped countless clients obtain financial stability while grieving the loss of their loved ones. We know the challenges you’re facing can seem impossible. A skilled Clearwater wrongful death lawyer can help you get the justice you need to move forward.
If your loved one recently passed away and someone else was to blame, get the help you need today. Contact our Clearwater law firm whenever you’re ready and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.