Wrongful Death - Florida Trial Lawyers
No Fee or Cost Unless We Win
Whittel & Melton, LLC
Florida Accidental Death Attorneys Near Me
Toll free State-wide
All jurisdictions, counties and cities of Florida: Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Gainesville, Ocala, Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Tallahassee
The Law Offices of Whittel & Melton are poised and ready to defend your family during the most trying of times. Specifically, our staff and lawyers stand ready to help you recover financially when a loved one has been taken needlessly due to the negligence of some person, persons or a company. Most Wrongful Death cases involve insurance companies and in Florida that means start preparing your case immediately, because you can be sure they have. To better determine if you have a Wrongful Death case, review the questions and answers below or CALL NOW or EMAIL the lawyers at Whittel & Melton 866-608-5529 or info@theFLlawfirm.com
Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuits for your assistance:What is a Wrongful Death?
A Wrongful Death can occur when the actions of a person, persons or company are determined to be negligent and they cause or are determined to be the legal cause of an injury which leads to a death that otherwise was avoidable. It is important to note that Wrongful Death is not the same as Murder. Murder is generally defined as an intentional act and us commonly resolved in criminal court, although they can also give rise to civil claim. In Florida, a Wrongful Death lawsuit can be based on simple negligence like a car accident or pedestrian accident, or something more complicated, like nursing home abuse or medical error and malpractice.What Type of Case is a Wrongful Death?
The easiest way to describe a Wrongful Death lawsuit is that it is just like any other civil lawsuit with one unique fact, the actions of the defendant caused a death, not just personal injury or common damages. Wrongful Death cases can result from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck, Semi, tractor trailer or 18-wheeler accidents, pedestrian incidents with motor vehicles, slip and fall, plane or aviation crash, nursing home abuse, cruise ship passenger injury or medical malpractice, just to name a few. A Florida Wrongful Death lawsuit is governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure just like any other lawsuit, but an experienced Florida Wrongful Death Attorney will tell you that a wrongful death claim is not like any other lawsuit and should be handled specially.Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit or Claim?
Under Florida Law, the personal representative of an estate, usually named in a will or determined by a court, or the heirs of the deceased could file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida State court for money damages. Typically the Personal Representative of an Estate in Florida is the surviving spouse, a surviving parent, a surviving adult child who is most involved or even geographically closest, or some kind of other relative or court appointed responsible party. In some cases a professional personal representative can be hired for a special lawsuit like a Wrongful Death case or it could also be an attorney.
Several factors should be considered when choosing an attorney to handle what is likely the final legal act of your deceased family member. Here is a short list of 5 things to look for:
- SKILL & BACKGROUND: A good Florida Wrongful Death Attorney should not only be a solid investigator, a solid litigator and a solid trial lawyer, but he or she should also have the life and career experiences that will help them identify important facts in your case. One of the great safeguards of a larger law firm is the varied experiences of the attorneys, for instance the attorneys at Whittel & Melton include a retired naval officer, former prosecutors, public defenders, corporate lawyers, and Assistant Attorney General, a former political operative, a restaurant owner, a social worker and a bartender. These life experiences allow us to better understand the facts of our cases and the individuals and families we represent.
- EDUCATION: It may seem trivial, but educational background is an important factor when choosing a Florida Wrongful Death Attorney. Not because the degree will somehow change the case, but rather, the quality of institutions attended by the Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys handling your case can provide a window into the quality of work you can expect on the claim.
- SIZE: Because Wrongful Death lawsuits can produce large settlements, it's not uncommon that the law firms will be required to pay for expensive experts during litigation. Check into the size of the law firm to give you an indication they can afford to attack your case to level the playing field with the insurance company. The biggest is certainly not the best, but a firm that is too small may impact your case and that can't be overlooked.
- EXPERIENCE: On paper, this criterion sounds obvious, but we've lost count of how many Wrongful Death cases we have reviewed that originated with a Traffic Ticket Attorney, Criminal Defense Attorney, Probate and Estate Attorney, Real Estate Attorney or even out of state Attorneys. You need an experienced Florida Wrongful Death Attorney to review and advise you on your Florida Wrongful Death legal matter.
- RESULTS: Ask the Florida Wrongful Death Attorney or Law Firm for some general anecdotal evidence of past results from Florida Wrongful Death cases. Amounts of settlements, if the clients actually recovered, the time, expense and difficulty involved in those past cases. Will your Florida Wrongful Death Attorney be learning on your case or will they be applying experience and knowledge to your wrongful death insurance claim?
Upon contacting the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, your case will be immediately reviewed by the attorneys. If representation is agreed upon, the firm will represent you on what a contingency basis. What this means is you and your family will not need to allocate any upfront financial resources to the prosecution of this claim. If the claim is successful, our costs and fees are taken from the resulting settlement, verdict or court award.How Much is My Wrongful Death Case Worth?
One of the hardest jobs for a Florida Wrongful Death Attorney is determining the value of a claim. The attorneys at Whittel & Melton will apply the experience we have gained on other claims we have worked on as well as other Florida claims we track to ascertain what is a reasonable settlement zone and what we would ask a jury for in your matter. Those values are often different, but what we promise is we will work diligently to be sure that any attempt by an Insurance company to offer early low amounts will be met with real world advice.Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
It depends. In Florida, Wrongful Death lawsuits are brought by the Estate. The Estate makes the decisions on where to allocate any proceeds collected or held by the Estate. So, for the same reasons that beneficiaries, survivors, children, wives, girlfriends, etc. fight over the proceeds of an Estate, it's impossible to give an answer to this very common question. While it's true that certain beneficiaries are identified in the Florida Wrongful Death Statute (common listed survivors are parents, children, spouses and siblings)-- each case has unique facts and circumstances that a Personal Representative must consider along with the Probate or Estate Attorney regarding the allocation and distribution of the assets of an Estate. It is also common that the Probate Court will be involved in this matter as well.What Do I Do Next?
If you or your family believe that careless behavior, misconduct, malfeasance or even simple negligence caused the premature death of a family member, contact the Law Office of Whittel & Melton IMMEDIATELY at 866-608-5529, Toll Free Statewide Florida, here on the website or our local numbers throughout Florida.
We serve our clients and their families throughout the State of Florida and spend most of our time in the following Florida Communities:
Hernando County Wrongful Death Lawyers – Brooksville, Spring Hill Accidental Death Attorneys 352-666-2121
Marion County Wrongful Death Lawyers – Ocala, The Villages Accidental Death Attorneys 352-369-5334
Alachua County Wrongful Death Lawyers – Gainesville Accidental Death Attorneys 352-264-7800
Hillsborough County Wrongful Death Lawyers – Tampa Accidental Death Attorneys 813-221-3200
Pasco County Wrongful Death Lawyers – New Port Richey, Dade City Accidental Death Attorneys 727-847-2299
Sumter County Wrongful Death Lawyers – Bushnell, The Villages Accidental Death Attorneys 352-793-9330
Citrus County Wrongful Death Lawyers – Inverness, Crystal River Accidental Death Attorneys 352-726-0078
Pinellas County Wrongful Death Lawyers – St. Petersburg, Clearwater Accidental Death Attorneys 727-847-2299
Levy County Wrongful Death Lawyers – Bronson, Cedar Key Accidental Death Attorneys 352-726-0078
Lake County Wrongful Death Lawyers – Tavares, Clermont Accidental Death Attorneys 352-793-9330
Palm Beach County Wrongful Death Lawyers - West Palm Beach, Boca Raton Accidental Death Attorneys 561-367-8777
Broward County Wrongful Death Lawyers - Fort Lauderdale 561-367-8777
Miami-Dade County Wrongful Death Lawyers - Miami, Coral Gables 866-608-5529