I am Orlando wrongful death attorney Michael T. Gibson and I am here to tell you that you are not alone when someone else’s misconduct robs you of the companionship and support of a family member. At my wrongful death law firm, my legal team works tirelessly to seek justice for families who have lost a loved one in a serious accident as a result of negligence.
What is a wrongful death?
My law firm handles cases in which someone is killed due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party. Whether that party is an individual or business entity, when the death is not the fault of the deceased, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed to recover compensation for damages – even if no criminal activity took place.
As an Orlando wrongful death attorney, I can cite many accident situations that may result in wrongful deaths. Some of the more common instances I have seen in my years as an Orlando personal injury lawyer include:
- car accidents involving drunk or drug-impaired drivers;
- car accidents caused by careless, reckless, or aggressive drivers;
- boating accidents caused by negligent captains or crew members;
- negligent security on the part of businesses or property owners;
- manufacturers of dangerous drugs or defective products;
- medical malpractice; and
- many other scenarios.
Unfortunately, wrongful deaths are more common than you might think. As an Orlando personal injury lawyer I see cases of serious injury due to negligence on a daily basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 29.5 million visits to the ER in 2009 for unintentional injuries. With so many accidents, many result in injuries so severe that they cost victims their lives.
In 2010 there were 120,859 unintentional injury deaths reported by the CDC, which is nearly 40 deaths per 100,000 population. When an individual loses his or her life due to the negligence of another, his or her survivors may seek legal recourse against the responsible party for damages. An Orlando wrongful death attorney can be a great asset to your family as you handle the difficult days and complex legal issues following the loss of a loved one.
Wrongful Death Claims are Complex Negligence Cases
One of the first things your Orlando wrongful death attorney should inform you of is the Florida statute of limitations for wrongful deaths is two years. This means you only have a mere 24 months to bring legal action for your case. This is why it is important to consult with my Orlando personal injury lawyer team as soon as possible. We’ll not only ensure your claim is filed on time, but can help with other complex legal issues that may arise.
In a wrongful death claim or lawsuit, you will have to prove that your family member died as a result of negligence or intentional wrongdoing. Proving negligence in a wrongful death case is similar to a personal injury claim. However, one of the major differences is that not only must you show that your loved one’s injuries resulted from another’s negligence, but also that those injuries ultimately caused their death.
Depending on the details of the case, the defense in a wrongful death case may try to prove that your loved one’s injuries from the act of negligence were not the cause of death, and other existing medical conditions were the actual cause. Other cases may result in the defendant outright denying that any negligence took place on his or her behalf, and it was the fault of the deceased that the accident or injury occurred.
To fight these accusations and obtain the proper verdict in your case, allow a committed Orlando wrongful death attorney to handle your case. As an Orlando personal injury lawyer, I begin gathering evidence of negligence and serious injury as soon as my clients begin their case.
If the injury results in the death of the victim, I become their Orlando wrongful death attorney who seeks justice for their loss. Wrongful death cases often have higher settlement values than personal injury cases because they cause more extensive losses. A personal injury may only result in a few months of lost wages and medical expenses, while a wrongful death can cause a family the loss of a source of income for the rest of the deceased’s potential working years.
When Personal Injury
Turns into Wrongful Death
In some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit is necessary after a personal injury claim is already in progress. This may be the case if the victim is seriously injured and spends months receiving treatment, only to eventually pass away from their injuries.
These are still cases of wrongful death, even though they began as personal injury claims. My wrongful death law firm handles both personal injury and wrongful death cases because they are so closely related.
As an Orlando personal injury attorney, when I consult with families who have come to me with a case of serious injury to a family member, I prepare their case for every possible scenario, including a wrongful death lawsuit.
During my meetings with the family, I determine the family members who are necessary to involve in the case.
Only the personal representative of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim on his or her behalf. In cases of a married couple, the surviving spouse may act as this representative. In other cases, an Orlando personal injury attorney may serve as the representative, or the decedent’s adult child, sibling, or parent. Determining who is eligible to lead the wrongful death lawsuit is a matter I help facilitate as an Orlando wrongful death attorney.
Determining Beneficiaries and Compensation
in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Once the wrongful death lawsuit is in progress, the beneficiaries of the claim need to be identified. According to Florida laws, the following parties may be eligible to recover damages:
- the surviving spouse;
- minor children of the decedent;
- children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse;
- parents of a deceased minor child; and
- parents of a deceased adult child if there are no other survivors.
In cases in which other family members are involved in the wrongful death situation, such as a sibling who helps pay for funeral costs out of pocket, they may also be entitled to some of the settlement funds.
Wrongful death settlements should provide financial compensation for all aspects of loss when a loved one is killed due to another’s negligence. It’s not just a matter of the loss of a household income or the medical bills associated with the fatal injuries. The loss of emotional support is a large factor in the settlement value of your case.
Insurance companies may not readily address the emotional losses a family suffers when a member is tragically killed. Spouses can file for loss of consortium, companionship, and familial support, children can be compensated for the loss of guardianship and parental guidance, and parents can be compensated for the emotional impact losing a child can have on their lives.
In my years as an Orlando personal injury lawyer I have yet to see two wrongful death cases that settled in the same manner. Every case is unique – from the cause of death to the family members entitled to recovery. These beneficiaries of wrongful death lawsuits deserve to know that their financial losses will be remedied.
While my wrongful death law firm cannot heal the emotional losses the beneficiaries suffer, we make it our priority to help ensure their financial losses are not a burden on them during this time. If you have lost a family member due to negligence in Orlando or elsewhere in Central Florida, you should contact my wrongful death law firm to get legal representation from an Orlando wrongful death attorney.
Michael T. Gibson – An Orlando
Personal Injury Lawyer Who Gets Results
Though nothing can bring back your deceased family member, financial compensation for damages may help to bring your family closure and ensure that your financial stability is not compromised in the wake of such a devastating loss.
You can’t place a dollar value on the life of a loved one, but you can seek a settlement to alleviate your financial burdens as you seek healing and comfort from these emotional losses. If you don’t have to worry about how to make ends meet when your family is dealing with your loss, that’s a stress my wrongful death law firm would like to alleviate.
Wrongful Death Attorneys
The wrongful death law firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A. has helped residents of Lake, Osceola, Volusia, Orange, and Polk Counties seek justice for their losses. I can begin your case as your Orlando personal injury lawyer after a loved one has suffered serious injuries and while I hope it does not progress to such a stage, if a wrongful death lawsuit becomes necessary, I can represent you as your Orlando wrongful death attorney as well. Contact my firm today if you are an immediate survivor of a family member killed through the negligence or misconduct of another and would like to consult with an Orlando wrongful death attorney.