Lakeland Wrongful Death

Lakeland Wrongful Death Lawyer

The unexpected death of a family member is a devastating event for which no one is ever truly prepared. When it appears that the death was preventable, feelings of grief can turn to anger and uncertainty as you struggle to navigate the emotional aftermath of your loss. If another party’s negligent or wrongful conduct contributed to the death of your loved one, you could be entitled to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to hold that party accountable.

In the eyes of the law, a “wrongful death” is one that was caused, in whole or in part, by the negligent or wrongful conduct of another party (or parties). A death attributed to defective wiring that caused a fire, a drunk driver who was involved in a collision, or a neglectful shop owner’s failure to repair rotten wood on a stairway that resulted in a fall are all examples of negligent conduct that could form the basis of a Florida wrongful death lawsuit. At Kemp Personal Injury Law, we understand the devastating impact a wrongful death can have on surviving loved ones, and we are dedicated to helping ensure that the party (or parties) responsible for your loss is held legally accountable.

If you believe that the death of a loved one could have been prevented, let an experienced Lakeland wrongful death lawyer at Kemp Personal Injury Law help you navigate the legal system to secure compensation for your loss. We have the experience, resources, and commitment necessary to obtain the maximum compensation available to help secure your financial security, so you can focus on the grieving process.

What Is a Florida Wrongful Death?

While we may think that a death is wrong from an emotional standpoint, a “wrongful death” that is legally actionable in the eyes of the law has a very precise definition as found in the Florida Wrongful Death Act (FWDA) in the State of Florida. The FWDA defines a wrongful death as:

“…the death of a person that is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those occurring on navigable waters, and the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued…”

If a death is a “wrongful death,” the law allows certain survivors to pursue compensation from a party whose conduct made the death wrongful. A wrongful death may be the result of negligence, intentional wrong conduct, or be based on strict liability in the State of Florida. Strict liability applies when the law imposes liability based on the injury or death of an individual without regard to the defendant’s intent. For example, the law imposes “strict liability” for defective products in Florida. This means that anyone in the “chain of distribution” could be held liable for a victim’s death simply because they were part of that chain. When a death is the result of “intentionally wrong conduct”, it usually refers to an assault that caused fatal injuries. Negligent conduct, however, is the basis for most wrongful death lawsuits. To prove that a party was negligent, you must establish that the party breached a legal duty of care owed to the decedent and that the breach caused or contributed to the death. A truck driver who fell asleep behind the wheel causing a fatal crash, for instance, would have breached the duty of care owed to other motorists on the roadway, resulting in a wrongful death.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

State law determines who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Florida, the only person who may legally initiate a wrongful death lawsuit is the decedent’s representative. Usually, that refers to the person appointed as the decedent’s Executor in a Last Will and Testament, or the person appointed by a court to oversee the administration of the estate in the absence of a Will. The personal representative must file and pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida; however, the following survivors may be entitled to receive compensation from the lawsuit:

  • The decedent’s spouse.
  • The decedent’s children.
  • The decedent’s parents.
  • When partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters.
  • Children born out of wedlock of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.

Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Lakeland Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit is a specialized type of “tort” case, referring to civil lawsuits that seek compensation for injuries to your person or property. All tort cases have a statute of limitations, meaning a time frame established by law within which the lawsuit must be initiated. In Florida, there is a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits, meaning the lawsuit must be filed within two years of the death to preserve the right to recover compensation. If you are unsure whether the death of a loved one was a wrongful death, consult with an experienced Lakeland wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you inadvertently waive your right to pursue litigation by exceeding the statute of limitations time frame.

What Compensation Might Be Available in a Lakeland Wrongful Death Case?

In the State of Florida, compensation (damages, in legal terminology) in a wrongful death lawsuit may be awarded to both the estate of the decedent and to individual survivors. The estate of the decedent may be awarded damages such as:

  • Medical and funeral expenses that were paid by the estate directly.
  • Lost wages, benefits, and other earnings, including the value of lost earnings that the decedent could reasonably have been expected to make if he or she had lived (future wages).
  • Lost “prospective net accumulations” of the estate, or the value of earnings the estate could reasonably have been expected to collect if the decedent had lived.

Eligible survivors may also be entitled to damages in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, including some or all of the following:

  • Medical or funeral expenses that were paid by a survivor.
  • Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the decedent.
  • The value of support and services the decedent provided.
  • Mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss of a child.

Get Reliable, Experienced Legal Help with Your Lakeland Wrongful Death Case

A wrongful death leaves a lasting impact on surviving loved ones, both emotionally and financially. While pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit cannot undo the tragedy, it can hold the negligent or wrongful party accountable and alleviate some of the financial stress on those who depended on the deceased. Lakeland wrongful death lawyer Adam Kemp is dedicated to seeking justice for the survivors of wrongful deaths. Let the team at Kemp Personal Injury Law utilize their experience, resources, and dedication to hold the responsible parties accountable and help you pursue the compensation to which you are entitled for your loss.

If you are the surviving loved one of a wrongful death, contact an experienced Lakeland wrongful death lawyer at Kemp Personal Injury Law to discuss your legal options. Our mission is to ensure that survivors of a wrongful death are fully and fairly compensated by the responsible parties. Reach out to our team today for a complimentary initial consultation by calling 863-225-0254 or by filling out our convenient online contact form.