Melbourne Wrongful Death Attorney
Wrongful Death Claims in Brevard County
The sudden death of a loved one causes almost unbearable shock and grief. When that death is caused by the negligence of other person, survivors need somewhere to turn.
At Nance Cacciatore, our attorneys have been helping grieving families since 1963. We answer their questions, advise them about their options, and file lawsuits on their behalf to obtain compensation for their economic and emotional losses.
If your family has suffered the wrongful death of a loved one, contact our Melbourne wrongful death attorneys. As trial lawyers, we prepare all cases as if they will be presented to a jury. In every case, we use our experience, talent, and the resources of our firm to build solid cases for our clients.
What Is Wrongful Death?
In Florida, wrongful death is defined as the death of a person resulting from the negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of another person or party. Wrongful death cases can also arise from breach of contract and default. In other words, if the person who died (known as the “decedent”) would have had grounds for a personal injury lawsuit had he or she lived, the estate has grounds for a wrongful death claim.
All types of accidents and traumatic events can lead to wrongful death. Our clients have included families whose loved ones died due to:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Semi-truck and commercial vehicle collisions
- Construction site accidents
- Boating, Jet Ski, and waterskiing accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Birth injuries
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Defective drugs and medical devices
- Aviation accidents
- Dangerous premises/slip and fall accidents
- Fireworks accidents
We have also helped clients who have lost family members in accidents unique to Florida, including amusement park accidents, pool and retention pond drownings, and space program disasters.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
Florida law requires the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to bring a wrongful death action. Typically, the personal representative is someone named in the decedent’s will, but if no will exists, the court may appoint a personal representative.
Although the personal representative of the estate is the only one who can bring a wrongful death action, damages are sought on behalf of certain surviving family members and loved ones. These individuals include:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- The decedent’s surviving child/children
- The decedent’s surviving parent(s)
- Any surviving dependent, including blood relatives and adoptive siblings
Damages in Florida Wrongful Death Cases
As mentioned above, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek damages on behalf of eligible surviving family members and dependents. Damages can also be collected on behalf of the estate itself.
While every case is different, damages in many wrongful death cases in Florida include:
- Medical expenses associated with treatment for the decedent’s final injuries
- Funeral/burial costs
- Lost income, wages, and other benefits the decedent could reasonably have been expected to earn had he or she lived
- The value of earnings the estate would have likely accumulated had the decedent lived (referred to as “lost prospective net accumulations”)
- The value of support and/or services provided by the decedent prior to death, such as caring for a home or children
- Loss of love, guidance, companionship, and protection
- Mental and emotional anguish associated with the loss of a child
To learn more about the specific damages you may be entitled to receive in your case, please contact our Melbourne wrongful death attorneys today. Your initial consultation is free, and we do not collect any attorney fees unless we secure compensation for you.
Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents
Sadly, motor vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of death in the United States. In Florida, pursuing a wrongful death claim after a fatal car accident can be relatively complex, due to the many laws regarding automobile accident claims in the state.
In most cases, car accident victims can seek compensation by filing personal injury protection (PIP) claims with their insurance providers. However, PIP coverage is limited; it does not account for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of love, companionship, consortium, guidance, and support. In fatal car accident cases, surviving family members and loved ones can typically step outside the no-fault system and file lawsuits against negligent and at-fault parties.
Our firm has handled all types of fatal car accident cases, including semi-truck crashes and standard motor vehicle collision deaths. We have represented families whose loved ones were hit by a car while crossing a street, as well as those killed in serious motorcycle wrecks. Our clients have received significant verdicts and settlements because of our efforts.
Was your loved one killed in a head-on collision? Did you lose a parent in a rollover accident? At Nance Cacciatore, we recognize that no amount of compensation can ever bring your loved one back—but it can provide you and your family with the financial resources you need to move forward.
Our lawyers consult with grief and economic experts to calculate the loss to the family. We consider financial contributions to the family, as well as emotional loss on children, spouses, parents, and friends. We work hard to come up with a fair amount that will justly compensate our clients for their trauma and grief.
We oftentimes interview family members, relatives, and neighbors to try to calculate the dollar value of the emotional loss—a difficult and nearly impossible task, but one that is necessary and vital to your case. Our lawyers at Nance Cacciatore are sensitive to the emotional trauma our clients are experiencing. We work hard to help them put their lives back together and move forward after a tragic loss.
Providing Personalized Attention & Legal Support
While we are experienced in handling all types of fatal accident and wrongful death cases, we know that no two cases are alike. We believe there is no such thing as a “standard case” and that each client deserves personal service and attention for his or her unique situation. When you meet with us, you will talk directly with one of our Melbourne wrongful death lawyers about your case. Your attorney will take the time to know you and understand your feelings and needs. Then, we will develop an approach centered on obtaining the justice and compensation you are owed.
Whatever the cause of the wrongful death, our attorneys have achieved remarkable results for our clients. We have also succeeded in obtaining damages for people who lived for some time after the accident for the pain and suffering they endured before death.
How do you prove wrongful death?
To prove that your loved one’s death was wrongful, you must generally prove that another person or party acted negligently or wrongfully and that this conduct led to your loved one’s death. You may also be able to bring a claim based on default or breach of contract. This is often true in cases involving defective products, such as faulty pharmaceutical drugs or medical devices.
How much is a wrongful death lawsuit worth?
Because every case is so different, it is not possible to estimate the exact value of your claim without reviewing the details of your situation. There is really no “average” wrongful death settlement or verdict, because there is no “average” wrongful death case. At Nance Cacciatore, we have recovered settlements and verdicts for our clients in excess of hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars. Our firm is known for achieving numerous historic, record-setting results; get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you with your case.
Who pays for a wrongful death lawsuit?
Wrongful death lawsuits are generally brought against at-fault parties’ insurance companies. For example, in a fatal car accident case, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate would seek compensation from the at-fault driver by filing a claim against his or her insurance company. The insurance company would generally be responsible for paying the claim, though the individual entity may be required to pay if uninsured. As the plaintiff, or the person bringing the claim, you do not have to pay any upfront or out-of-pocket expenses. Instead, your attorney works on a contingency fee basis, meaning their fees are paid via a percentage of your total settlement or verdict. To learn more about our fee structure, contact Nance Cacciatore today and request a complimentary consultation.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida?
The statute of limitations on wrongful death cases in Florida is two years. This means you typically only have two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit (with some rare exceptions). The sooner you reach out to our attorneys at Nance Cacciatore, the better. We can begin immediately investigating your claim and building your case.