St. Petersburg Wrongful Death Attorneys
When a loved one unexpectedly dies, you are often left with many questions. You may wonder whether another party was responsible for the death and if you can hold them accountable for your tragic loss. You may also be facing many unforeseen financial challenges, as well, especially if your family member was a financial contributor to the household. You will need to pay for a funeral, cover any medical bills incurred prior to the death, and will need to find a way to continue paying the bills. All of this can be overwhelming in the midst of your emotional distress and grief.
After a death, it is important to evaluate your legal rights as surviving family. You should consult with an experienced St. Petersburg attorney who understands the wrongful death laws in Florida and can identify whether you may have a legal case.
What can Lead to a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Not every death leads to the right to file a legal claim. Instead, the death must have occurred because another party acted negligently or intentionally to lead to the fatal injuries. The following are some examples of incidents that commonly lead to wrongful death claims:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Dog bites and attacks
- Accidents caused by defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Violent assaults
These are only some of the many incidents that may lead to a wrongful death. If you believe that anyone else – a person, a company, or a government entity – played a role in your loved one’s death, you should immediately discuss your situation with a skilled wrongful death lawyer.
Your Rights after a Wrongful Death
First, it is important to recognize that only certain people have any legal rights following a wrongful death. Simply because you were the best friend of the deceased does not legally give you the right to compensation for your loss. The survivors who have the right to financial recovery in Florida are:
- Biological and adopted children
- Brothers, sisters, and similar blood relatives IF they depended on the deceased for services or financial support.
The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate will file a wrongful death claim on behalf of all survivors who are able to recover under the law.
By filing a wrongful death claim, you can seek several different types of damages from the liable party. Damages refers to the compensation for the losses you incurred as a result of the death. The following are damages that survivors and/or the estate can seek:
- Medical, funeral, and burial costs
- Lost financial earnings of the deceased
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection (spousal or parental)
- Loss of services and support
- Mental pain and suffering
The damages to which you are entitled will depend on your relationship to the deceased and the relationships of the others who are involved in the claim. For example, adult children may be entitled to greater damages if there is no surviving spouse, and parents of an adult who died are often limited to certain types of damages but not all that are available for other survivors. The best way to know what type of damages you can seek after a wrongful death is to speak with a lawyer about your specific case.
Take Steps to Protect Your Rights by Calling Our St. Petersburg Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
If you believe you may have suffered a wrongful death in your family, please do not hesitate to consult with the compassionate legal team at the law office of Berkowitz & Myer. Consultations are always free, so call today at 727-344-0123 for help.