Accidents caused by the negligence of another can be devastating. Even worse is when that negligence leads to the death of a loved one. An unwarranted death can cause undue financial and emotional hardship on your family. Our skilled Orlando wrongful death lawyers understand the severity of this issue and apply our years of experience so that you may be able to recover compensation to help during this terrible time.
If you believe that your loved one died as the result of the negligence or recklessness of another person, please give us a call at 407-712-7300 for a free initial consultation. We proudly serve those who live in Orlando and other nearby areas of Florida.
What is a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death occurs when a life is cut short beyond what is naturally expected. The death must also cause some sort of financial hardship for the remaining family members or dependents of the deceased.
Unlike criminal charges, a wrongful death claim does not aim to punish the person responsible for the wrongful death. Wrongful death claims provide the family of the deceased with compensation for their losses.
There are four conditions that must be met for a wrongful death claim, which includes:
- The death was caused in whole or in part by the defendant
- The defendant is strictly liable or negligent in the victim’s death
- There are surviving family members of the deceased
- There is monetary loss associated with the death
If those conditions are not met, then a wrongful death suit may not be advisable. Consult with one of our wrongful death attorneys to see if you have a case.
Causes of a Wrongful Death
There are a variety of circumstances that can result in the wrongful death of a loved one. We have helped many families handle wrongful death claims that have resulted from incidents such as:
- Auto accidents
- Boating accidents
- Aviation accidents and plane crashes
- Medical malpractice
- Defective products
- Nursing home abuse or neglect
- Construction accidents
- Premises liability and property owner negligence
Property Owner Negligence and Wrongful Death
When a property owner is negligent in maintaining safe conditions on the property and your loved one is fatally injured as a result, the case is covered under premises liability laws.
Premises liability is an area of law that governs cases involving personal injuries caused by a property owner’s negligent maintenance of the premises. These laws require property owners and managers to maintain safe conditions for visitors. When a property owner fails to fulfill this obligation and a visitor is injured or killed as a result, the property owner may be held liable for damages.
Just about any property owner or manager can be held liable for a wrongful death caused by the negligent maintenance of the property, including:
- Property owners
- Business owners
- Building managers
- Mass transit authorities
- Government entities
- Renters of a residential property
There are many different ways a property owner’s negligent maintenance of the premises can cause a fatal accident. Some common examples include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Swimming pool drowning accidents
- Violent crimes caused by negligent security
- Fires and explosions
- Construction accidents caused by dangerous working conditions
- Daycare accidents
- Accidents occurring at poorly maintained nursing homes or hospitals
Wrongful death claims involving property owner negligence are very complicated. The partners at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter have more than 80 years of combined experience handling these cases for wrongful death victims in the Orlando area and we know the complex laws which apply to these claims. This extensive experience and our strong track record of success will give you the greatest chances of a successful outcome to your claim.
Damages You May Receive in a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death can have overwhelming consequences for the victim’s surviving family members. If the deceased person was the family’s primary source of income, the survivors must not only contend with the emotional toll of their loved one’s death, but also the exorbitant financial hardship that follows. Wrongful death law is designed to compensate you and your family for a loss that could have been prevented.
There are two basic areas of recovery in wrongful death cases: economic damages, which compensate families for tangible financial losses, and non-economic damages, which compensate families for emotional distress and other “intangible” losses.
Under the heading of economic damages, blood relatives who were dependent on the deceased person for financial support can recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Loss of future income
- Loss of benefits (such as medical, dental, pension, and 401k)
- Loss of services provided by the deceased (such as housekeeping, childcare, and more)
Additionally, spouses and children can recover non-economic damages for:
- Loss of companionship
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
- General damages
In rare cases, punitive damages may be allowed in order to deter others from similar negligence in the future. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys at Colling, Gilbert, Wright & Carter can help you determine which areas of recovery you are eligible to pursue, and calculate a fair amount of compensation for you to request.
Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim
In order to secure compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one, you must be able to prove that they died because of another party’s negligence. This requires thorough, timely research and a comprehensive presentation of evidence. You also need to prove that the amount of compensation you are requesting is justified.
When you are dealing with a loved one’s death, the last thing you should be concerned with is how to cope with the financial burden of their loss. Hiring our wrongful death lawyers will not only significantly increase your chances of winning your wrongful death case, it will also take the stress and complication of pursuing legal action out of your hands.
Some important things to keep in mind when you file a wrongful death claim include:
- The spouse, children, or other dependents who suffered damages because of the death can file a wrongful death claim. Other family members who were not directly supported during the decedent’s life usually do not have a claim.
- There are strict deadlines that must be met when you decide to file a wrongful death claim. In Florida, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years.
- In a criminal case, the jury must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil cases, the defendant might be found liable for damages with the evidence against the defendant going slightly against him. There is no reasonable doubt qualification to meet.
- While the death of a child is tragic, a wrongful death claim may not be warranted unless that child was somehow supporting the rest of the family.
Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Today
When a person dies as a result of negligence, it is up to their immediate family to file the wrongful death claim. The wrongful death attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter will evaluate your claim at no charge to you. We will represent your case on a contingency basis, meaning that you do not pay unless we collect damages on your wrongful death claim.
If your loved one has passed away in Orlando or anywhere in Florida and you would like to file a wrongful death claim, please contact Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter by completing our online questionnaire or calling 407-712-7300 for a free case review.