Grief, sadness, and a hole in your heart that will never be filled. If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s wrongdoing, you are likely experiencing these unbearable feelings. After an unexpected accident such as this, you and your family might be unsure where to turn, and what you can do to get any bit of justice for your lost loved one. Fortunately, our compassionate personal injury attorneys are here to help.
A Wesley Chapel wrongful death lawyer can help you hold the negligent party responsible for their actions and recover a settlement that can help with medical bills, funeral expenses and the money needed to help care for the victim’s family. At Hancock Injury Attorneys, we understand that nothing can bring your loved one back, but we aim to ease some of your financial worries by helping take all the legal action needed on your behalf so you can have time to grieve.
What Is a Wrongful Death Action?
A lawsuit alleging wrongful death seeks to prove that the decedent died prematurely because of someone else’s actions or inaction. Consequently, you must demonstrate that your loved one’s death was caused by the defendant’s negligent or malicious behavior.
Something important to understand and distinguish is that a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil complaint, not a criminal one. If the court rules in your favor, the defendant will not go to prison or face criminal fines. Instead, an experienced lawyer can help you obtain monetary compensation through the wrongful death suit.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Suit in Wesley Chapel?
If you are interested in becoming a personal representative for your fatal accident case, speak with a seasoned attorney as soon as possible.
Who Can Recover Losses From a Fatal Accident Lawsuit?
Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, if a wrongful death claim results in an award of damages, that money is distributed according to the decedent’s will or estate plan. If the deceased died without planning how to allocate their assets, the law determines who gets the money. The rules around the distribution of estates when there is no will are complicated, but the following classes of people can generally benefit from a wrongful death award:
- Blood relatives who depended on the decedent for support
A Wesley Chapel injury lawyer can provide more information about who can benefit from the proceeds of a wrongful death lawsuit in your particular situation and walk you through the process of making a claim.
Children of Unmarried Parents Could Receive Lawsuit Proceeds
When an unmarried mother dies, her children automatically benefit from the proceeds of a fatal accident claim. The situation is not as clear if an unmarried father dies.
The child of an unmarried father could receive proceeds from a wrongful death lawsuit if he named the child in a will or estate plan. If the father did not have a will, the child could benefit from the claim only if the decedent acknowledged paternity and contributed to the child’s support.
Compensation for Loss of Financial Support, Companionship, and Services
Wrongful death benefits compensate families for the financial contributions the decedent would have made if they had lived out their expected lifespan. Florida Statute §768.21 allows each survivor to recover the amount of money they likely would have received from the deceased. The court generally considers both the decedent’s and survivors’ ages when determining appropriate amounts of compensation for each party.
An estate could also get damages for the money the decedent would have earned if they had lived out their expected lifespan and the projected increase in the value of the decedent’s assets.
Understanding Companionship and Support
If the deceased person is a minor child, surviving parents may receive damages for the emotional pain of losing their loved one. Surviving spouses and children could also receive damages for the loss of the decedent’s companionship and services.
Services include the decedent’s non-monetary contributions to the household, such as home repairs, picking up and dropping off children, cooking, vehicle maintenance, providing instruction, and offering guidance. A diligent wrongful death attorney can help you and your family calculate the value of the companionship and services your loved one would have provided.
Seek Justice with a Wesley Chapel Wrongful Death Attorney
Florida requires a personal representative to file a wrongful death case within two years of the decedent’s death. We understand it can be difficult to think about a legal case while you are grieving, but it is important to understand the risks of waiting too long to file.
A Wesley Chapel wrongful death lawyer can handle all legal aspects of your case as you and your family work to process the loss, we are here for you so you can get justice for your loved one. Protect your family’s future by calling Hancock Injury Attorneys today and getting a free consultation.