"Whether it's a whiplash, serious injury or wrongful death case, we pride ourselves on representing you with the personal service and aggressive representation that you expect and deserve!" -Attorney Ron Sholes
Gainesville Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful Death in Alachua County
When someone you love dies because of another person or entity’s negligence, you are likely to feel a range of emotions, from immense grief to anger. At the Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A., we believe that you and your family deserve justice. At our Gainesville office, we represent clients in wrongful death lawsuits throughout Alachua County. We understand that no amount of financial compensation can ever undo the suffering you are going through, but a successful lawsuit can provide a much-needed feeling of justice and grant you the resources you need to handle unexpected financial hardships.
Continue reading to learn more about filing a wrongful death claim in Gainesville and how our attorneys can help, or contact us directly to request a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney.
When Is a Death Considered “Wrongful?”
Under Florida law, a “wrongful” death occurs when a person dies due to the negligent or wrongful (unlawful) actions of another person, company, or entity. A death is also considered wrongful under state law when it results from a breach of contract or default.
The death of an individual may be considered “wrongful” if it occurred due to a:
- Car or another type of motor vehicle accident
- Bicycle or pedestrian accident
- Slip and fall or similar premises liability-related accident
- Recreational vehicle or boating accident
After a wrongful death, the personal representative of the decedent’s (the deceased’s) estate may bring a claim or file a lawsuit seeking financial compensation for damages incurred by the estate due to the death. This is a civil action, separate from any criminal proceedings that may (or may not) take place.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
The state of Florida only allows the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to bring a wrongful death claim. This person is named in an individual’s will; if no will exists and, therefore, there is no named personal representative, the court will appoint one.
Although the personal representative must be the one to bring the claim, the claim is filed on behalf of both the estate and certain surviving family members. These individuals may include:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- Any surviving children of the decedent
- The decedent’s surviving parent(s)
- Any relative (including adoptive siblings but not including in-laws) who were at least partly dependent on the decedent
These individuals may recover compensation for economic and non-economic losses they have endured due to the death. Additionally, the estate may recover specific economic damages through a successful wrongful death claim.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
As mentioned above, eligible surviving family members and the decedent’s estate may both recover damages through a wrongful death claim.
Examples of the types of damages an eligible family member may be able to recover include the following:
- Medical costs paid by the family member for the decedent’s final treatment/care
- Funeral/burial expenses paid by the family member
- The value of household/childcare services, as well as the value of support, provided by the decedent
- Loss of companionship, guidance, love, protection, etc. provided by the decedent
- Pain and suffering caused by the loss of a child
Additionally, the estate itself may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses paid by the estate
- Funeral/burial expenses paid by the estate
- Lost income, wages, and benefits earned by the decedent
- The value of future income the decedent could reasonably have been expected to earn
At the Law Offices of Ron Sholes, P.A., we know that no amount of financial recovery can “compensate” you for the loss of your loved one. However, by helping you bring a claim, we can help you and your family secure critical financial resources to move forward.
Your Time to File a Wrongful Death Claim Is Limited
In Florida, there is a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. This means the personal representative of the decedent’s estate only has two years from the date of death (in most cases) to bring a claim for damages. After two years have passed, you will almost certainly forfeit your right to recover your losses.
Though it can be extremely difficult to think of anything other than your loss, we encourage you to reach out to our Gainesville wrongful death attorneys right away to learn how we can help. Our team can handle all of the details so that you can focus on what matters: spending time with your loved ones and navigating the healing process.
Call us today at (855) 933-3881 or contact us online to get started with a free, confidential consultation. We are available to take your call 24/7.