Gould Cooksey Fennell

Wrongful Death

The Wrongful Death Lawyers You Need in Your Time of Crisis | Vero Beach, Florida

Coping with the death of a loved one is always difficult. However, knowing that your loved one’s death was preventable can be especially trying. Every day, Florida residents die in personal injury accidents that could have been prevented. Under Florida law, surviving family members have a right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or company whose negligence caused their loved one’s death. Families can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost future income, loss of consortium, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses.

Consult With a Vero Beach Wrongful Death Lawyer

The law office of Gould Cooksey Fennell is poised and ready to provide your family with excellent legal representation during this difficult time. Our lawyers and staff members stand ready to work hard to help you recover financially after your loved one has been taken from you needlessly because of another person or company’s negligence. We understand that discussing your loved one’s death can be difficult. Our empathetic lawyers offer potential clients a free initial consultation during which you can ask us questions and learn more about our firm. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

What Constitutes Wrongful Death in Florida?

A wrongful death occurs when a personal injury accident results in a victim’s death. 

Under Florida law, wrongful death lawsuits can arise based on simple negligence, such as car accidents and pedestrian accidents. Additionally, wrongful death lawsuits can arise out of more complicated accidents, such as medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, or product liability cases. In short, if the deceased individual would have had a right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant had he or she lived, the surviving family members have a right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death cases are not the same as the crime of murder or manslaughter. A person charged with the crime of murder or manslaughter may also face civil charges through a personal injury lawsuit. However, it is important to note that the wrongful death claims process is a civil process separate from any criminal charges and does not require criminal level misconduct.


Common Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Florida

Wrongful death lawsuits can arise out of nearly any type of accident. As with any other type of civil lawsuit, wrongful death lawsuits are all different because each case has its own set of facts.  We have represented clients in various wrongful death lawsuits, including deaths that occurred from all of the following types of accidents:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Premises liability
  • Products liability
  • Tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler accident
  • Pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Trip and fall accidents
  • Plane crashes
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Recreational vehicle accidents
  • Accidents involving children becoming injured 


Who Can File a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Only specific people have a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. Many people assume that they can automatically file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their spouse, parents, siblings, or another relative. However, in Florida, only the following individuals have a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • The personal representative of the decedent’s estate
  • The heirs of the deceased individual 

When a personal representative files a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the decedent’s estate, he or she must list all of the surviving family members who have an interest in the lawsuit. Not every family member is considered an heir who has a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Florida intestacy statute sets forth which relatives are considered heirs. Typically, the following relatives are considered heirs, and will have an interest in the wrongful death lawsuit:

  • The deceased’s spouse
  • The deceased’s children 
  • The deceased’s parents

Children of the deceased under the age of 25 will be entitled to a greater amount of damages than children over 25. Additionally, other relatives who depended on the deceased individual for financial support may be eligible to receive compensation through the wrongful death lawsuit. They will only be able to recover damages after the deceased individual’s primary beneficiaries, such as his or her spouse or children have had a chance to file a claim.


Wrongful Death Damages

Nothing can bring your loved one back, but filing a wrongful death lawsuit can allow your family to move forward financially. Successful plaintiffs in wrongful death lawsuits are eligible to receive compensation for the expenses they have endured due to the passing of their loved ones. Available damages in a wrongful death lawsuit include all of the following:

  • Loss of protection and companionship
  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost benefits, such as health insurance


Why Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer?

Wrongful death lawsuits are typically complicated and require investigation. An experienced wrongful death lawyer will advise you of your rights and help you gather evidence demonstrating the defendant’s negligence and how it caused your loved one’s death. Other factors can make wrongful death lawsuits more challenging than typical personal injury lawsuits, such as common-law marriages, remarriages, divorce, adopted children, and financial dependency. Working with an experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you navigate the process and increase the likelihood of obtaining all the compensation you deserve. 

Contact a Vero Beach Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you believe that another person or company’s careless behavior, wrongdoing, or misconduct cause your loved one’s death, we can help. At Gould Cooksey Fennell, we serve our clients and their loved ones and advocate for them to recover the compensation they deserve. You may be entitled to multiple different types of damages from a wrongful death lawsuit. Family members only have a short amount of time to file a wrongful death claim in Florida. Do not delay. Contact our Vero Beach wrongful death lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation.