Se Habla Español
While a fairly small community, Trinity’s location near larger Florida cities New Port Richey and Palm Harbor and not too far from Tampa make it an ideal place from which to commute for jobs or entertainment.
But the traffic volume on Trinity, Mitchell, and Seven Springs Boulevards or Little Road creates high accident potential, especially during our wet seasons.
Preventable accidents can injure many people and leave others dead. The loss of a loved one is a difficult time, but a wrongful death claim can help the surviving family recover financially.
The wrongful death lawyers at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys can help Trinity residents and guests pursue negligent parties after the loss of their loved ones.
According to Florida Statute 768.19, wrongful death is when a party’s negligence or wrongful act causes a person’s death. The accident would have allowed the victim to seek damages if the death had not occurred. The defendant would have been legally liable otherwise as well.
Wrongful death cases in Trinity are civil, not criminal, matters. Criminal cases generally are punitive and work to punish criminals. The government is the entity to bring a criminal case to court. The defendant faces potential fines, prison time, and probation upon conviction.
Most wrongful death lawsuits are tort claims, and the court provides a way for surviving loved ones to get compensation. The estate is the one to bring a claim to court instead of the government. The money the defendant pays would go to you to help cover financial and emotional losses.
Wrongful death claims can arise from many accidents.
Common examples include:
Regardless of the accident, our firm works with you to identify the liable party and recover losses.
Similar to other personal injury cases, you need to prove three elements to achieve a successful claim. The first step is to establish how the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim. If the deceased person hired a doctor’s services, the doctor should provide standard care.
Next, you have to show how the at-fault party breached their duty of care. The other side may have done something to keep you safe or failed to do something to protect you. A reasonable person would have made different choices.
A property owner may have failed to install security cameras or proper lighting, or repair damaged staircases, for example.
Once you prove the breach, you need to establish the connection between the other party’s actions and the wrongful death. The other driver could provide evidence they were not responsible for the crash even if they went above the speed limit. The wrongful death could have been the result of a mechanical issue.
The attorneys at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys investigate each case thoroughly to prove the defendant acted recklessly.
The survivors of Trinity wrongful death victims can receive compensation to cover multiple damages. The court awards damages to the deceased’s surviving family and the estate. Loved ones can obtain money for funeral services, medical expenses, and mental pain and suffering.
The court calculates how much the plaintiffs should receive for the loss of companionship, loss of guidance, and loss of support and services. A lawyer can inform you of what your claim reimburses you for after a settlement.
The victim’s estate can collect reimbursement for lost wages and certain work benefits. The court considers the value of earnings the deceased would have made in savings. Another awarded damage could be the funeral costs if the estate paid for burial expenses instead.
Florida does not limit how much someone can get in terms of economic and non-economic damages. The value of each case is not the same for everyone. Our lawyers can maximize the compensation you deserve.
The personal representative, or the executor of the deceased’s estate, is the one to bring forward a wrongful death lawsuit. The victim’s will or estate plan can pick someone as their personal representative. The executor should be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. In many cases, a person’s will usually names a family member.
However, the deceased can name an authorized bank or trust company. If a will or plan does not exist, the court appoints someone to fill the role. The personal representative must include the names of the estate with an interest in the claim.
Florida allows specific family members to get part of the settlement. Children under the age of 25 are eligible for compensation. If the victim was a minor, the parents could obtain reimbursement. Usually, the victim’s spouse has an entitlement to recover damages. Absent a spouse, the adult children can claim the money.
After the primary beneficiaries had a chance to file a claim, other relatives who depended on the deceased could gain compensation.
If you plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you should do so soon. Florida’s wrongful death laws give people a limited time to get compensation. Most cases only have two years after the date of the deceased’s death. You could lose your right to recover damages if you miss the deadline.
In a medical malpractice case, you have two years after the incident took place. However, you could have two years after you discovered the accident.
Life can become busy, and time can go by quickly. You should reach out to a wrongful death attorney to ensure you avoid any setbacks.
Some people hesitate to hire a wrongful death lawyer for various reasons. Many lawsuits are complex, and you can benefit from the help of a firm. An attorney handles the paperwork and makes sure you do not miss any deadlines.
Other benefits are:
Perenich Law Injury Attorneys can support you during every step of the lawsuit.
In a few cases, the defendant died due to the accident before you had a chance to file a claim. Other times, the at-fault party might have passed away because of unrelated reasons. Regardless, some people have concerns about the future of their lawsuits.
You can still pursue compensation against the other side, but you would negotiate with the wrongdoer’s estate. The deceased defendant would have a personal representative to help settle the case. The other party might not have enough in terms of assets.
Nevertheless, the insurance company could still be liable to pay the awarded damages.
Multiple people can be beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim. A case can take several months to a year to complete. In some situations, one of the survivors in a wrongful death case passes away before the claim can be resolved.
However, the person’s estate can still receive a part of the lawsuit’s settlement. The compensation for the deceased survivor would become limited. The estate would collect money for lost support and services up to the date of their death.
Usually, the deceased survivor will have a personal representative to receive the money from the victim’s executor.
A part of the lawsuit process is to show the defendant was negligent. While you gather proof, the other side could argue how they did not cause the incident. They might gather evidence to disprove the link between the defendant’s actions and the wrongful death.
Another tactic could involve a living spouse’s remarriage. You might think otherwise, but the liable party could use your remarriage against you. Florida Statute 768.21 makes evidence of the living spouse’s relationship status admissible in court.
The evidence could imply the spouse had a desire to break away from the deceased. As a result, the remarriage could reduce the survivor’s credibility.
The defense could argue the victim knew or should have known of the risks of the event. The at-fault party might have had the deceased person sign a waiver. However, waivers generally do not remove all liability from the defendant.
When the other side pays the settlement, you will receive the money in one of two ways. The first way is a structured settlement. You would get compensation through a series of ongoing checks. Survivors of the deceased victim can get financial support over a long time.
Most people get a lump sum instead. A lump sum is a single payment of all the money the defendant owes you. You can have access to financial resources sooner and pay unexpected expenses. Some people prefer lump sums over a structured settlement.
You and your attorney can discuss your case and learn what form of payout you should get.
Once both sides settle, you likely will sign a written agreement. The document releases the defendant from all liability for the accident. When you sign the form, you accept the money as complete reimbursement for the wrongful death claim.
You would be unable to sue the at-fault party for further damages of the same incident in the future. The document continues to apply even if you later discover your case is worth more. However, a couple of exceptions could apply to allow you to reopen your claim.
The defendant and their insurance company must act in good faith. If you prove the other side behaved in a fraudulent or coercive way, you can continue your case. Another exception is if you discover multiple parties were responsible for a loved one’s death.
Written agreements remove liability for one defendant. However, you could sue a different entity for compensation for the same accident. The exceptions rarely occur, but you should speak to your attorney if you feel one may apply to your settled claim.
Reach out to a lawyer if you believe someone’s negligent actions led to the death of a loved one. Our team at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys works hard to help victims and their loved ones in Trinity.
Many people experience stress, grief, and mental anguish. Our attorneys can handle every aspect of your claim and give you the support you need. You can contact us or call (727) 877-8831 for your free consultation to see if we are right for you.
Perenich Law Injury Attorneys
Phone: (727) 877-8831