Wrongful Death Lawyer Orlando, FL
If your family member was killed in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may want to consult a wrongful death lawyer in Orlando, FL promptly. Your family may be entitled to receive compensation. Here are some frequently asked questions about wrongful death cases.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF WRONGFUL DEATH?
Wrongful death can have many different causes, including:
- Car accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products
- Slip and fall accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
WHO CAN FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?
Surviving family members can bring a lawsuit against the negligent party responsible for the decedent’s death. In the state of Florida, the decedent’s spouse, the decedent’s children and the decedent’s parents have a legal right to file a claim. After the initial beneficiaries have had the opportunity to file a claim, other relatives who relied on the deceased’s income may be able to file a claim.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY COME FROM IN A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?
A wrongful death lawsuit is filed against the person or entity responsible for a person’s death. However, the negligent party’s insurance company that issued a liability policy to the defendant will generally be responsible for paying the settlement. For example, if your family member was killed in a car accident, the negligent driver’s auto insurance company would be responsible to pay the settlement.
WHAT TYPES OF DAMAGES ARE AVAILABLE IN A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT?
If your loved one was killed because of someone’s carelessness, your family may be entitled to receive a wide range of damages. A wrongful death lawyer in Orlando, FL may be able to help you obtain compensation for medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, emotional distress, loss of companionship, loss of the deceased’s expected income and loss of consortium.
HOW SOON DOES A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT HAVE TO BE FILED?
In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years. After that deadline has passed, you will no longer be eligible to receive compensation. That’s why it’s essential to speak to a wrongful death lawyer about your case as soon as possible.
IS IT NECESSARY TO FILE A LAWYER?
If your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, you might wonder if you should hire a wrongful death lawyer or not. Although you’re not required to, you definitely should. Wrongful death cases can be very complex, so you want to have someone knowledgeable and experienced on your side. A lawyer can help you obtain necessary evidence, identify key witnesses and negotiate with the insurance company.
Wrongful Death and Murder – What is the Difference?
A family member was assaulted and died from the injury inflicted. This is certainly a reason to contact a wrongful death lawyer in Orlando, Fl, but does it rise to the level of murder? And what is the difference?
The simple answer to this question is that wrongful death is a civil matter and murder is a criminal offense. Arguably, every murder is a wrongful death, but few wrongful death cases rise to the level of intentional murder.
The Key Difference is State of Mind
The definition of criminal murder is a narrow one: the intentional killing of one human being by another with malice aforethought. If it was planned ahead of time, it is murder in the first degree. Second-degree murder is one committed in the heat of the moment with the element of depraved indifference (i.e., John gets angry and assaults Joe using a deadly weapon without concern for the consequences).
The legal definition of third-degree murder varies from one state to another; Florida Statute 782.04 defines it as an unintentional killing that takes place while committing another crime. For example, John breaks into Joe’s house with the intent of stealing valuables; Joe surprises John. Startled, John grabs the nearest weapon and winds up killing him, though this may not have been his intent.
The bottom line: murder goes to the perpetrator’s state of mind at the time of the act. This by itself is not a reason to contact a wrongful death lawyer in Orlando, Fl.
Wrongful Death, Defined
On one hand, the legal definition of wrongful death is broader; it is the killing of one or more persons by another because of carelessness, negligence or incompetence. There is no intent. Indeed, the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit may not have been directly involved in the victim’s death. An example would be a piece of machinery killing Joe because John failed to maintain it properly.
That said, a murder may serve as a cause of action for a wrongful death lawsuit, even if the accused wins an acquittal or gets off on a technicality. Some people may remember the case of O.J. Simpson in the 1990s, who was found not guilty of murder in his criminal trial, but found liable for his victim’s deaths in the wrongful death lawsuit that followed. If you have lost a family member and believe someone else is responsible, contact a wrongful death lawyer in Orlando, Fl.
COMMON MYTHS ABOUT WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUITS
If your family member was killed because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. However, you might have heard untruths about the process that are making you reluctant to sue. Here are some common myths about wrongful death lawsuits that you should not believe.
- Life insurance benefits are enough. If your loved one had a life insurance policy, that is good news. However, it still might not be enough to cover all the losses that resulted from the death. While it might cover the medical expenses and funeral costs, the life insurance policy might not pay for future lost wages. If your family member was the main breadwinner, a wrongful death lawsuit can recover future lost wages.
- You can file a wrongful death lawsuit at any time. When you are grieving the loss of a loved one, the last thing you want to think about is going to court. However, if you want to pursue damages for your loved one’s death, you can’t wait too long. In Florida, the statute to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years. That’s why you should consult a wrongful death lawyer in Orlando, FL as soon as possible.
- If it was an accident, I can’t file a wrongful death lawsuit. Intent is not required to file a wrongful death claim. For example, if a driver was speeding and unintentionally ran into your loved one’s vehicle and killed him or her, you still have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Wrongful death lawsuits are all about money. Obtaining compensation is certainly an important part of a wrongful death lawsuit. It can reduce some of the financial burden associated with a family member’s death. It can also hold people responsible for their negligent actions and discourage other people from acting negligently in the future.
- You don’t need a lawyer. Wrongful death lawsuits are very complex. Although you are not required to work with a lawyer, it is recommended that you do so. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case and handle negotiations with the insurance company. With a skilled lawyer on your side, you have a better chance of receiving a fair settlement for your family member’s death.
CRIMINAL VS. CIVIL CHARGES FOR WRONGFUL DEATH
There are a few common questions people have for their Orlando, Florida wrongful death lawyers. One of the most frequently asked is whether the person responsible for the death of a loved one is going to be sent to jail. While a wrongful death may be frustratingly obvious (and frustratingly avoidable) the punishments depend on the circumstances of the case, and whether a case is beng examined in civil or criminal court.
While your case may seem cut and dry to you, the court sees your case from a different perspective, and it’s up to you and your lawyer to present the facts. Read on to learn more about wrongful death, manslaughter, and how a wrongful death lawyer from Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. can help you get the compensation you deserve.
WRONGFUL DEATH? MANSLAUGHTER? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Wrongful death and manslaughter go hand in hand, and are two terms to describe the same action: Causing the death of someone else through negligence. However, wrongful death and manslaughter are approached by different courts, and the punishments vary as well.
Manslaughter is the term used to describe a wrongful death in a criminal court. A criminal court means the person responsible for the death is being charged by the state. Because manslaughter is a criminal charge and not a civil charge, there is little likelihood of the responsible party paying money to the family and estate of the person who has died. However, a person convicted of manslaughter will likely face jail time as well as hefty fines.
On the other hand, wrongful death is manslaughter’s civil court counterpart. If a person can’t be held criminally negligent, but their negligence still caused a death, they can be sued in a civil court by the family and estate of the deceased. A civil court means no criminal charges, but in the event of a successful lawsuit it does mean that the responsible party will have to pay financial damages.
There are rare instances in criminal cases in which the responsible party has to pay financial damages to the family of the deceased. However, this is a rare occurrence, and shouldn’t be counted on. If you lost a family member because of someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a wrongful death lawyer.
It is important that you understand the various types of wrongful death claims and how those types of claims may differ from another type of wrongful death. This is because each wrongful death claim is in fact a wrongful death claim, but not every claim has the same type of rules as sometimes rules may override the generalized wrongful death status.
Vehicular accidents are the number one type of most common wrongful deaths, with pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents coming in second. This is because roadway accidents happen all the time and there is a lot of neglect on the roads in both driver and pedestrian placements.
After those two is premise liability accidents, which are accidents that happen on your property because you failed to warn the visitor or take care of the property in a reasonable fashion. These accidents typically fall into accidents like someone slipping and falling down stairs that had no railing, or someone stepping into an unmarked hole and becoming terribly injured or dying from their injuries after their fall.
Medical malpractice comes in fourth, which makes sense because everyone goes to the doctor. Medical malpractice happens when a doctor, hospital staffer, or nurse makes a mistake that causes you harm or causes your death. If someone should have taken better care to follow the standard of care for the patient and illness or disease they were treating, it can be proven and compensation can be received. This also accounts for pharmaceutical errors such as being prescribed the wrong medication, receiving the wrong dose at the pharmacy, or receiving the wrong medication at the pharmacy.
Accidental poisoning and overdose is next, and it is something you are not thinking about when you think of accidental death or wrongful death. But it does count. This could be receiving lead poisoning because your home is painted with lead paint, being poisoned because the hotel you’re staying in has a termite infestation, or something more. However the accidental poisoning or overdosing happened matters only so far as to prove it was not intentional. If the overdose is not accidental, or happens in the medical field, it will fall under the medical malpractice wrongful death suits, most likely.
Drowning and boating accidents come next in the tier, and oftentimes these accidents happen because someone does not know how to pilot the boat they’re on or they are acting negligent with a group of friends. However, proving that it was due to negligence and not simply negligence on one person’s fault, can save this case.
Last but not least are workplace accidents and illnesses that are caused by your workplace. This is especially common when you have people who work at mills, plants, or factories. It is also common if you have people working with chemicals of any kind. Even the “safest” of chemicals can cause an issue after longterm exposure, no matter the way you protect yourself.
CONTACT NEEDLE & ELLENBERG, P.A. TODAY
Any wrongful death is a tragedy. Knowing that your loved one died because someone was neglectful is completely outrageous, and the fact that the death was avoidable only makes things worse. While no amount of money will bring back a lost family member, getting financial compensation can help you gain an important sense of closure.
If you’ve lost a family member, it’s completely natural to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, sad, and angry. You’ll have a lot to take care of, from managing an estate to planning a funeral. And with each of these challenges comes serious expenses. It’s not right that you and your family have to pay out of pocket to recover from a tragedy: Contact a wrongful death lawyer in Orlando, FL today, and see how Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. can help.
ELEMENTS THAT NEED TO BE PROVEN IN A WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT
Each Orlando, FL wrongful death lawyer at our firm understands that no amount of money will ever make up for the tragic death of a loved one, but we also find that these legal actions often help the families reach closure, while at the same time seeing that necessary actions are taken to make sure that no other family will ever have to suffer the same type of heartbreak.
When a loved one is killed in an accident, their family is often left with astronomical expenses that they simply do not have the money to pay. If the victim received any type of emergency treatment attempting to save their life, then the family is responsible for all of those medical costs. There is also the cost of funeral and burial expenses. Even more overwhelming can be the loss of financial support that the victim provided his or her family, especially if they were the primary wage earner in their family. In cases where the victim stayed home taking care of young children while their spouse worked, the family is now left with no one to care for the children.
In addition to the financial burdens placed on the family, there are also the emotional losses they suffer from the death of a loved one, including loss of companionship, mental anguish, and more.
All of these losses – both economic and non-economic – are losses that the party or parties responsible for the victim’s death are responsible for compensating the family for.
Wrongful death incidents can happen anytime and under any circumstances. The following are some of the more common types of incidents that a wrongful death lawyer in Orlando, FL handles:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian and bike accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Defective or dangerous products
- Premises liability
- Workplace accidents
- Mass transit accidents
CONTACT OUR FIRM TODAY
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, contact The Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. today to find out how we can help. We can evaluate your situation and determine what the best legal options are. We can identify who the responsible parties are and what types of damages your family is entitled to.
In many of the wrongful death lawsuits we handle, the case never makes it to court because we are able to successfully negotiate a fair and just settlement with the other party. However, if they refuse to negotiate in good faith or fail to offer a full settlement amount, we will not hesitate to fully litigate your case to get you the compensation you deserve.
It is important to contact an Orlando FL wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible, regardless of any criminal charges the at-fault party may be facing. Under the laws of Florida, there is a statute of limitations for how long survivors have to file a lawsuit. We can determine what that time frame is in your case. Call today for a free consultation.
Wrongful Death Lawyer Orlando, FL
If you have recently lost a loved one due to what you believe is someone else’s negligence then contacting a wrongful death lawyer in Orlando, FL is the right step for you. For many people in this situation, the idea of hiring a wrongful death lawyer is often overwhelming and emotionally taxing. One of the biggest questions is how do you find a good and qualified wrongful death lawyer.
During such an emotional time it can be hard to figure out what you really need and what is best to avoid. We put together a list of qualities to help you find a lawyer that is going to suit your needs.
Qualities of a Good Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Compassion. In many cases, individuals or families of those who have had a loved one pass are still reeling from grief and loss. This means one of the most important qualities in a good lawyer is going to be compassion. You need someone who can understand your grief and is sensitive to this tragedy that you have just gone through. To get the most case you need someone who understands this is a hard process to go through.
- Experience. Not all attorneys are going to have the experience or the expertise in this category. Wrongful death is a specific niche of legal practice that exists under the personal injury law umbrella. You need to find a lawyer that specializes in personal injury and wrongful death claims is this person is going to be the best equipped to help you through your process.
- Communication skills. It’s not easy to understand the legal process or the lingo that goes with it. A good lawyer is going to be able to break down these concepts and communicate them clearly. Not only that but the need to be able to answer questions as clearly as possible. You shouldn’t leave your lawyer’s office with more questions than answers.
- Approachability. Another important quality that your lawyer should have is that they are approachable. You need a lawyer you feel you can approach with any questions you might have towards the case. Just as importantly you need to know they can get in touch with your lawyer quickly and consistently throughout the whole lawsuit. You shouldn’t be left waiting for answers for days on end.
- Integrity and character. Another top-quality your lawyer should have is they should be a trustworthy person who will be honest and forthright in their dealings with you. This also means that they should have a clean record that is free of any disciplinary actions. You don’t want someone who has had disciplinary actions taken against them because often that is an ethical violation. Judges don’t typically work well with lawyers that have had disciplinary actions taken against them.
- Good rapport. You should always have a good rapport with your lawyer as you will need to develop a working relationship that could last month. This means before you hire your lawyer should try and get a sense of what they’re like and what it would be like working with them. Most lawyers offer free consultation and do you should take advantage of that as a way to get to know your lawyer. It is also a good time to ask for referrals from either previous clients or other professionals they work with.
If you are in need of a wrongful death lawyer in Orlando, FL then reach out to The Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A today to learn more about how we can help you.