The loss of a family member is always a tragedy. It’s made even more tragic when their death is due to the actions or negligence of someone else. In these cases, the proper course of action is to seek justice and compensation from the at-fault party via a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our Fort Myers Beach wrongful death lawyers can help clients put together a case for compensation. Attorneys at Viles & Beckman assist families by gathering and preserving evidence of their losses, negotiating settlements with opposing counsel, litigating the case in court if necessary, and performing myriad other tasks to promote justice.
Who Can File Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Fort Myers Beach?
The law only allows certain family members to file a claim for wrongful death. Depending on the circumstances of your case, different family members may be eligible. The best way to ensure that you know who can legally file your claim is to discuss the details of your specific case with an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Under Fla. Stat. § 768.20, the following people may be able to recover compensation through a wrongful death claim:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- The decedent’s surviving children
- A deceased minor’s surviving parent(s)
- Any blood relative dependent on the decedent at the time of their death
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Fort Myers Beach, call (239) 334-3933
Compensation in Fort Myers Beach Wrongful Death Cases
Surviving relatives of the deceased person may be eligible for compensation for a wide variety of damages they suffer as a direct result of their loved one’s death. Usually, damages are sorted into categories called economic damages and non-economic damages.
Again, the best way to determine how much your family is owed is by discussing your case with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney in Fort Myers Beach. A full list of compensable damages can be found in Florida Statutes § 768.21.
In this first category, courts include all the damages that directly affect your bank account. This can include harms like:
- Medical costs incurred before your loved one’s death
- Funeral expenses
- Lost income that your loved one would have earned
- The value of lost services, including household services, your loved one would have performed
In addition to those damages that come with bills and receipts, you may also sue for more subjective harms that your family suffers due to your loved one’s death. These non-economic damages can include:
- Loss of spousal companionship
- Loss of parental companionship, guidance, and instruction
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
It is especially difficult to quantify these types of harms and give them a clear monetary value. In order to do so, skilled lawyers will use a specific algorithm approved by the courts for calculating the dollar amounts associated with these damages.
Fort Myers Beach Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me (239) 334-3933
Your Wrongful Death Attorney Serving Fort Myers Beach Will Handle Negotiations on Your Behalf
Negotiations in the civil law context can be difficult in the best of circumstances. When you’re grieving the loss of a beloved family member, the process can be all the more complex and disheartening. That’s especially true because the at-fault party, their legal counsel, and any applicable insurance companies will be fighting hard not to pay your family what you deserve.
Lawyers for wrongful death cases know the law, have experience negotiating settlements, and are unafraid to take your case to court if the other side refuses to offer an appropriate compensation package. While your family focuses on recovering from this tragedy, a Fort Myers Beach wrongful death lawyer can take the stress of negotiations off your shoulders.
How Long do You Have to File Your Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
The deadline by which you must file a claim in Florida courts is called the “statute of limitations.” For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations is set at two years from the death of your loved one by Florida Statutes § 95.11.
This is a crucial timeline that you must abide by. Failing to file a claim within the statute of limitations likely will result in your family losing the right to pursue compensation at all. However, there are some exceptions that can change the deadline for your specific case.
For example, cases involving government workers or medical malpractice may require you to send notifications about your intent to sue far earlier than the two-year limit. Speak with a wrongful death attorney for help determining when you must file your claim in order to preserve your right to pursue justice.
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Get a FREE Consultation With Wrongful Death Lawyers in Fort Myers Beach
At Viles & Beckman, our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience helping families like yours get the compensation they need. In the wake of a loved one’s passing, you want someone on your team who is compassionate, empathetic, and willing to do what it takes to get your family justice.
We work on a contingency basis, so you pay us nothing unless and until we achieve compensation for you. We also provide all prospective clients with a FREE, no-obligation consultation to determine exactly how we can help you.
Call our offices today or fill out the form on our contact page to schedule your free meeting with a Fort Myers Beach wrongful death lawyer.