If you have suffered the unfortunate loss of a loved one due to another person’s careless, reckless or intentional acts, you have the right to take legal action. By pursuing a wrongful death claim, you can seek answers about your loved one’s death and the compensation you will need to move forward in life.
Attorney Frank M. Eidson has a long record of helping the survivors of wrongful death victims in Orlando, Winter Park and throughout Florida. He will personally handle your case with the compassion and legal skill you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A., by phone or reach us online.
What is a Wrongful Death?
Your loved one’s death is a “wrongful death” if it occurred due to the fault of another. If your loved one would have been entitled to bring a personal injury action against another if he or she had not died, then a wrongful death claim may be pursued. The types of fault that may lead to a wrongful death action include:
- Negligence – When a person fails to act as a reasonable person would have acted under the same circumstances. For instance, a reasonably prudent person would not text while driving but would instead focus on driving a vehicle safely through traffic.
- Recklessness – When a person acts with complete indifference for the safety of others. Drunk driving is an example. A person who drives after drinking has gone beyond mere negligence and failed to consider the perils of their conduct.
- Intentional – When a person acts with the intent to cause harm or death such as when a person assaults another or engages in road rage.
A wrongful death may arise in a:
A wrongful death may also be the result of a defective product. A product causing one’s death may have been defectively designed or manufactured or allowed to be sold or distributed without an adequate warning about risks involved with it such as a dangerous pharmaceutical.
Attorney Frank M. Eidson can conduct a thorough investigation, consult with highly qualified experts and use his legal skill and experience to determine whether your loved one’s death was caused by the wrongful acts of another.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim may be pursued by eligible survivors of the deceased. Under Florida law, survivors include the victim’s:
- Children (including adopted children or step-children)
- Any blood relatives or adoptive brothers and sisters who were wholly or partially dependent on the victim for support or services.
The wrongful death action must be brought by the victim’s “personal representative.” The personal representative will seek to recover damages for the victim’s survivors and estate. Probate will typically be required in Florida to initiate the wrongful death action and a probate attorney will be needed.
What Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Action?
A wrongful death action seeks answers and accountability for the death of a loved one as well as compensation that will fairly and adequately compensate the victim’s survivors and estate for the damages suffered, including those that are likely to be incurred in the future.
Frank M. Eidson can pursue this compensation by dealing directly with the at-fault party’s insurance company in settlement negotiations or by taking your case to court. Please see our Results section for examples of cases he has handled on behalf of the firm’s clients.
Damages that may be sought on behalf of the victim’s estate include:
- Medical and funeral expenses – Any expenses charged to the victim’s estate (not expenses paid by a survivor)
- Lost earnings – Income the victim lost from the date of his or her injury until the date of death
- Lost net accumulations – What the victim would have left behind as part of his or her estate after taxes, paying personal expenses and supporting others if the victim had lived a normal life.
Additionally, damages may be sought on behalf of survivors, which include:
- Medical and funeral expenses – Costs that were actually paid by survivors
- Loss of past and future support and services – What the victim would have provided to survivors, taking into account the relationship (husband-wife, parent-child, etc …), the normal life expectancy of the victim and survivors and other factors.
- Mental pain and suffering – This is often called a “subjective” category of damages. The survivor’s relationship to the victim and facts surrounding the death are among many factors to be considered.
In cases of intentional misconduct or gross negligence, punitive damages may also be pursued in a Florida wrongful death action.
Contact an Orlando Wrongful Death Attorney
At Frank M. Eidson, P.A., our goal is to help you and your family to achieve a sense of closure and move on in your lives. We have helped numerous families to achieve the justice they deserve after the wrongful death of a loved one. We want to help you, too. When you are ready to take legal action, contact us and schedule a free consultation about your case