Attorneys In This Practice Area
Jesse R. Butler
Charles W. Denny IV
Andrew L. Douberly
Sara W. Mapes
Ralph L. Marchbank, Jr.
Michael P. Murphy
Christopher M. Nigro
Jeffrey D. Peairs
David S. Preston
A. James Rolfes
C. Taylor Smith
Rory J. Zinna
Dickinson & Gibbons wrongful death attorneys have extensive experience handling wrongful death cases, whether they arise from trucking accidents, common carrier accidents, automobile accidents, professional malpractice or products liability.
Wrongful death cases are complex and often differ substantially from other lawsuits, and they are almost always emotionally challenging for everyone involved, on both sides of the dispute. When an individual dies as the result of the alleged negligence or wrongdoing of another person or party, there is always potential for a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death cases are unique, in that they often involve more than one claim. One claim is typically brought by the estate of the deceased person, and other claims may be brought by his or her family or heirs. Often, the monetary value of the wrongful death claim is directly linked to the strength of family ties and relationships.
The trial lawyers at Dickinson & Gibbons recognize that these cases require a skilled understanding and recognition of the power of human relationships and emotions driving these cases.
Our firm has successfully represented insurance companies, corporations, retail establishments, truck drivers and professionals, as well as the survivors of wrongful death victims since the firm was founded more than 75 years ago. We understand that clients are typically in an extremely emotional state when seeking counsel due to a wrongful death, and we meet with clients in a confidential, supportive setting to evaluate their claims.
What Is Wrongful Death?
The question of wrongful death arises when an individual is fatally injured due to negligent or reckless actions by another person or party. In the most recent data on hand, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that accidents and unintentional injury is the fifth leading cause of death overall in the United States, and is the number one leading cause of death of those aged 44 and under. These types of accidents, which include motor vehicle crashes, non-motorist or pedestrian accidents, construction accidents and boating accidents, most often result from carelessness, recklessness and disregard for safety laws.
Of course, losing a family member or loved one is never easy, but it is even more difficult when the loss could have been prevented. As experienced wrongful death attorneys, we understand that no amount of compensation could ever truly make up for a life lost. But at Dickinson & Gibbons, P.A., we can help entitled parties collect certain damages, often including full coverage for death-related expenses.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
While the spouse, children and parents of the deceased count as survivors and are eligible to receive wrongful death benefits in Florida, state law stipulates that only a personal representative named in the victim’s Will may initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative may file on behalf of any other beneficiary of the deceased.
If no will exists, the courts typically allow the surviving spouse to file a wrongful death claim. If there is no spouse, or if he or she is also deceased, the court may appoint a personal representative as necessary. Those who believe they are entitled to benefits or who wish to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a loved one should consult our personal injury attorneys in Sarasota as soon as possible.
Wrongful Death Damages
Those successful in wrongful death claims often gain compensation for the following losses:
- Estimated net income of the deceased
- Coverage of funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship and other types of emotional support
- Punitive damages (in cases of gross negligence)
Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Florida Bar Association, our attorneys are aggressive advocates for victims of undue loss, whether in negotiations or in court.