Wrongful Death

The legal term "wrongful death" refers to a death caused by the negligence or misconduct of another. A wrongful death claim may arise in any number of circumstances. Examples include: nursing home negligence or abuse; car, motorcycle or truck accidents; workplace accidents; and defective products. Our lawyers have handled wrongful death claims throughout Northeast Florida.

Wrongful death claims are different from other types of claims because the person who died is not the plaintiff. Instead, suit is brought by the victim's family members or estate, and the purpose of the suit is not to recover damages which are personal to the victim, but to compensate the family members who have been harmed financially and emotionally by their loved one's death. Thus, compensation may include an award for loss of emotional support, services or benefits of the deceased, loss of the deceased’s future wages, medical expenses, and funeral expenses.

What to Expect: The Wrongful Death Claim Process

In a wrongful death claim, there are specific steps that must be followed. The first step usually involves designating a personal representative. Once that is completed, survivors of the deceased person are identified. Survivors may include the decedent’s spouse, children and parents. Survivors may also include other blood relatives if they are dependent upon the decedent. Children born out of wedlock also may be considered survivors. The personal representative is also charged with identifying all medical bills and other expenses related to the cause of death.

The next step is to make a claim for damages against the defendant in a written demand. However, because wrongful death claims are typically complicated, these cases often do not settle, and a lawsuit is filed. When this happens, a formal legal claim, or complaint, is drafted and served to the defendant and to the court clerk, marking the beginning of the lawsuit.

A process called discovery takes place after the claim in filed. Each side requests statements, documents and admissions from the other side to support their claim. Witnesses are identified and deposed. This step serves to establish the facts of the case, including the cause of death, the circumstances surrounding the cause, and determining the extent of damages which may be awarded to the survivors.

Before a trial date is set, the parties will usually hold a mediation conference to see if the matter can be resolved without going to trial. If the two sides cannot agree, the parties will declare an impasse and proceed towards trial.

If a verdict is rendered in favor of the decedent’s estate, damages will be awarded to the estate, and primarily distributed to the survivors.

Wrongful death cases are lengthy and emotional, so it is especially important that you are represented by a law firm with the resources to thoroughly present your case. The Lawrence Law Group has handled many wrongful death cases, including claims arising out of car accidents, workplace accidents, boating accidents, and nursing home negligence.

If someone suspects that their loved one was a victim of wrongful death it is very important that they act quickly. While most injury claims have a four (4) year statute of limitations, the Florida Wrongful Death Act generally requires that a wrongful death claim be brought within two (2) years from the time of death.

Contact us for a free consultation. If we accept your case you will pay us nothing unless we make a recovery for you.

Client Reviews
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I have known Mr. Lawrence for several years and in my opinion he is the most professional and trustworthy lawyer I have ever known. I have had dealings with other lawyers but they were not as good as Mr. Lawrence. I would highly recommend him. Carla
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Greg Lawrence of The Lawrence Law Group did an outstanding job with my case and I highly recommend him to others that need a competent, professional attorney. David P.
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I had a difficult disability case, and was referred to Greg by a judge. As an experienced lawyer myself, I was apprehensive about using someone I didn't know. As it turned out, however, I could not have been more pleased. Greg mastered the case in no time, and was nothing short of brilliant in getting me a substantial settlement. He's a lawyer's lawyer, and I recommend him highly and without reservation. Steve
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I would like to take a moment to say thanks to Greg, and his staff for doing an excellent job with my deceased mothers nursing home case. After hiring two other law firms my brothers and I decided to hire Greg. This was the best decision that we made regarding this case. Greg took the time to get to know who our deceased mother was, and the important facts involving our claim. As a result Greg was successful in resolving our claim to our satisfaction. Greg is the best attorney that I have ever met! I would highly recommend hiring Greg for any nursing home, or any other claims. Falsario Arnold
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Of all the things that pleased me about Greg was that he was always available to me. If I called or emailed, I spoke to him and wasn't pushed off to one of his paralegals or assistants (although they were very helpful as well). I felt like I had a lawyer - not a factory. Scott