Are you struggling with the unexpected and untimely death of a loved one after an accident in Largo, FL? At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we know that money could never completely ease your pain or take away your grief. However, a financial award can make a massive difference in your life for years to come – especially if you relied on your loved one for support. Let our Largo wrongful death lawyers help you navigate this tough time and fight to get you the money you deserve.
Why You Should Hire a Largo Personal Injury Lawyer After a Fatal Accident
If your loved one’s death could have been avoided, those responsible must be held accountable. They cannot be allowed to walk away without providing you with the money you and your family deserve. And, while money won’t fix everything, it can provide a sense of justice by hitting the defendant where it hurts – their wallet.
It can also give you much-needed financial security for years to come.
Despite the fact that you’re going through an incredibly difficult time, defendants and their insurance companies will not make things easy for you. It helps to have an experienced Largo personal injury attorney in your corner fighting for you.
At Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers, we have 65+ years of experience representing accident victims and their families in South Florida and surrounding areas. We’ve successfully negotiated sizable settlement agreements and convinced Pinellas County juries to award clients life-changing jury verdicts at trial. If you trust us with your wrongful death case, you can rest assured that you’ll benefit from the full force and weight of our Florida law firm.
We will work tirelessly to help you secure a full and fair financial award by:
- Listening to you and providing the compassionate legal support you deserve
- Coordinating an in-depth investigation into the fatal accident
- Determining liability and seeking damages from all at-fault parties
- Handling all communications with insurance providers, whose only interests are in limiting how much money – if any – you’re awarded
- Helping you make the tough decisions, like whether to accept a settlement deal or have our trial attorneys litigate your case in court
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers is here for you when you need help the most. Give our personal injury law firm in Largo a call or connect with our law office online to learn more. Your first case evaluation is free.
Fatal Accidents: All Too Common in Florida
Sadly, many accidents in Largo and across the state of Florida have devastating ends:
- In 2019, 3,220 people were killed in Florida motor vehicle accidents – 109 of which happened in Largo and Pinellas County.
- 332 Floridians were killed in workplace accidents in 2018 – up from 299 the year before.
- Medical negligence is the third leading cause of avoidable death across the nation, and believed to be responsible for between 2,500 and 5,000 wrongful deaths in Florida every year.
When someone you love dies in an accident that was caused through little-to-no fault of their own, you may have the right to take legal action with a wrongful death claim.
What is Wrongful Death?
In Florida, wrongful death refers to a death that could have been avoided but is the consequences of a third party’s “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty.”
Any accident or unforeseen trauma can give rise to a wrongful death action. This includes:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Electric scooter accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Dog bites and other premises liability matters
- Accidents involving defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
Contact Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your rights and the potential legal options that might be available to you. Our Largo wrongful death attorneys are more than happy to provide you with the support and guidance you need.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Florida: An Overview
Wrongful death actions aren’t like other personal injury lawsuits in Florida. Different laws, rules, and procedures apply.
Here’s what you need to know:
There’s a Difference Between Survival Actions and Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Survival actions can only be filed if the victim survives the injuries they sustain for a period of time. This is true, regardless of how long they live after suffering those fatal wounds. The purpose of a survival action is to recover compensation that the victim would have been entitled to seek, had they lived to tell the tale. This can include lost income and wages (present and future), as well as damages for emotional distress. Their estate (and then ultimately surviving beneficiaries) benefits from this type of legal action.
Wrongful death lawsuits, on the other hand, are solely filed to compensate the victim’s surviving family for their losses arising from the deadly accident. In this way, wrongful death lawsuits are very different from other personal injury cases. You can potentially recover compensation for an accident in which you were not personally involved. You just have to have been personally affected.
A Personal Representative Files the Wrongful Death Lawsuit On Behalf of Beneficiaries
Florida law provides that the personal representative of the victim’s estate – their executor or an individual appointed by the court – can file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the proceeds of this lawsuit, if successful, don’t really become part of the estate. Rather, the lawsuit is filed on behalf of certain individuals.
Beneficiaries of a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida can include the victim’s:
There are also certain situations where other individuals who can prove that they were financially dependent on the deceased can recover compensation.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits Provide Families With Unique Damages
Wrongful death lawsuits differ from other personal injury matters in several ways. One of those involves the types of damages that can be awarded.
Damages available in Largo wrongful death actions can include money for:
- Medical bills incurred by the family prior to the victim’s death
- The cost of a funeral and/or burial
- Financial support and household services the victim would have contributed
- Loss of companionship, guidance, and instruction
- Pain and suffering
Florida is one of a handful of states where surviving family members can, in addition to seeking economic damages, pursue non-economic awards, too.
Time Limits For Filing a Wrongful Death Action in Largo, Florida
The state of Florida gives family members and a victim’s estate the right to take legal action and pursue compensation after a fatal accident. However, this right isn’t without limitation. Most wrongful death lawsuits in Largo will be subject to a two-year time limit.
The clock begins to run the moment your family member dies, which may or may not be the same date as the fatal accident.
You lose the right to hold at-fault parties accountable if you allow the statute of limitations to expire before filing your personal injury claim. Call our accident attorneys in Largo to get started on your case today.
How Comparative Negligence Rules Can Affect Your Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
Under Florida’s modified comparative fault law, liability for an accident is shared by all who contribute. This means that the financial award sought by anyone who plays a role in an accident – or family members of a victim who is killed – will be affected.
If your loved one was 50% or less at fault for the fatal accident, your damages will be reduced in direct proportion to the degree of blame assigned. However, if they’re found to be more than 50% at fault, you won’t be able to recover compensation.
Imagine your loved one was recently killed in a car accident in Largo because another driver was distracted. An investigation determines that they were driving slightly over the speed limit at the time of the fatal crash. Your family member’s proportionate responsibility for the wreck is 10 percent. So, damages awarded in your wrongful death will be reduced by 10 percent. If your case is valued at $100,000, you can recover, at most, $90,000 when fault is factored in.
If your family member’s proportionate responsibility was 51 percent or more, you wouldn’t be entitled to recover any money.
It’s important to understand that insurance companies love to use this rule to their advantage. And, your loved one isn’t here to speak up for themselves and shed light on what happened. So, if you do nothing, you might find that insurance companies are able to wriggle their way out of paying you the full amount of your claim.
Hiring Largo accident lawyers can help to preserve your loved one’s reputation and ensure that you recover a full monetary award.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Largo Wrongful Death Lawyers
Sometimes the people we love are taken from us too soon. When this is the result of an avoidable accident, you should not allow the at-fault party walk away without consequence. Call Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers and have our Largo wrongful death lawyers fight to hold those responsible for your suffering fully accountable for the harm they’ve caused. Your first consultation is free, so contact us today.