UNDER THE LAW.
Wrongful Death Attorney Pensacola, FL
If you have reached this part of our website it is probably because a loved one, family member or friend has passed away due to an accident and we are so sorry for your loss. We at Shimek Law understand how emotionally difficult it is to consider taking legal action over a loved one’s death, and are here to provide you with the support and information you need to make this decision as easy as possible for you. A death is considered a wrongful death when it is the result of someone else’s negligence, such as a car accident, motorcycle accident, trucking accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident, medical mistake or defective product. When something like this happens there are a lot of questions that need to be answered and at Shimek Law we are here to help guide you through the process and represent those who are not here to represent themselves.
The majority of wrongful death cases that we deal with are transportation-related fatalities, but not all are. Medical mistakes and defective products also cause or contribute to untimely deaths and we are equipped to handle any wrongful death case that comes to our attention. With over 60,000 deaths occurring on our streets and highways each year, many are the result of innocent victims dying at the hands of negligent actions. Artie Shimek and his legal team have been representing wrongful death cases since 1989 and our resolve to make right what others have made wrong is something we take very seriously. There is no greater cause that a personal injury attorney can champion, than the cause of representing innocent deceased victims and their families. Losing a loved one or family member can have serious affects including mental, emotional and physical trauma, as well as the financial burden of an irreplaceable loss. When these deaths occur because of the negligence of others, the victim’s families are entitled to seek damages. Artie Shimek is an experienced Pensacola wrongful death attorney.
WRONGFUL DEATH AS DETERMINED BY FLORIDA LAW
According to Florida Statutes 786.16-786.26, which may be sited as “Florida’s Wrongful Death Act” makes public policy of the state to shift the losses resulting when wrongful death occurs from the survivors of the decedent to the wrongdoer.
In layman’s terms, a right of action is when a death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default or breach of contract or warranty of any person, such as a product or service that results in the death or injury leading to death.
The Florida Statutes specifies many important definitions of who is entitled to compensation and what is taken into consideration when determining the value of a wrongful death.
We have included the following as information:
- Survivors means the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. It includes the child born out of wedlock of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.
- Support is described and includes contributions in kind as well as money.
- Services means tasks, usually of a household nature, regularly performed by the decedent that will be a necessary expense to the survivors of the decedent. These services may vary according to the identity of the decedent and survivor and shall be determined under the particular facts of each case.
- Net accumulations means the part of the decedent’s expected net business or salary income, including pension benefits, that the decedent probably would have retained as savings and left as part of her or his estate if the decedent had lived her or his normal life expectancy. “Net business or salary income” is the part of the decedent’s probable gross income after taxes, excluding income from investments continuing beyond death, that remains after deducting the decedent’s personal expenses and support of survivors, excluding contributions in kind.
- Parties. The action shall be brought by the decedent’s personal representative, who shall recover for the benefit of the decedent’s survivors and estate all damages, as specified in this act, caused by the injury resulting in death
AWARDING DAMAGES ACCORDING TO THE LAW
Damages. All potential beneficiaries of a recovery for wrongful death, including the decedent’s estate, shall be identified in the complaint, and their relationships to the decedent shall be alleged. Damages may be awarded as follows:
(1) Each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value.
(2) The surviving spouse may also recover for loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
(3) Minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
(4) Each parent of a deceased minor child may also recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.
(5) Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death may be recovered by a survivor who has paid them.
(6) The decedent’s personal representative may recover for the decedent’s estate the following:
(a) Loss of earnings of the deceased from the date of injury to the date of death, less lost support of survivors excluding contributions in kind, with interest. Loss of the prospective net accumulations of an estate, which might reasonably have been expected but for the wrongful death, reduced to present money value, may also be recovered:
(b) Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death that have become a charge against her or his estate or that were paid by or on behalf of decedent, excluding amounts recoverable under subsection (5).
(c) Evidence of remarriage of the decedent’s spouse is admissible.
(7) All awards for the decedent’s estate are subject to the claims of creditors who have complied with the requirements of probate law concerning claims.
(8) The damages specified in subsection (3) shall not be recoverable by adult children and the damages specified in subsection (4) shall not be recoverable by parents of an adult child with respect to claims. The statutes further protect minors and incompetents, the death of a survivor before judgment, court approval of settlements and litigation expenses.
If you have suffered the loss of a loved one to someone else’s negligence the wrongful death process is very complicated and rather difficult to understand. There is a statute of limitations in the State of Florida that requires you to begin the lawsuit within two years of the wrongful death. Artie Shimek specializes in handling wrongful death cases and his legal staff is trained to assist Artie in all phases of the process. Call Artie for a free consultation at 850-434-7995.