Florida Wrongful Death Claims

Posted by Fred Koberlein | Mar 31, 2016 | 0 Comments

Broken windshield

When you lose a loved one in a car accident, especially when that accident was the fault of another, there are no words for the pain and suffering you face. The anger, frustration, loss and general feeling of helplessness can be crushing. For many, the question of what to do next looms large. There are, however, laws in place to make sure that those left behind are protected and cared for. Here is an overview of Florida wrongful death claims as they apply to auto accidents and how a personal injury attorney can help you.

Florida: Wrongful Deaths

In Florida, a wrongful death claim occurs when a person dies through the fault, the action of another, or the inaction of another, when that action or inaction led directly or indirectly to the death. Wrongful death is a relatively new concept, only about a century old, but it is now possible everywhere in the United States.  This article focuses on Florida wrongful deaths.

Who Can Sue?

When someone dies due to the negligence or the deliberate action of another, a representative of the surviving loved ones, dependents or those who have suffered damage from the death can file a lawsuit on behalf of these “real parties in interest.” In general, this representative is the executor of the estate, but can be another individual designated by those left behind. Parties of interest in a Florida wrongful death suit can include:

  • Immediate family
  • Life partners
  • Dependents
  • Those who suffer financial loss from the death

What Damages Can Be Awarded in Florida Wrongful Deaths?

A qualified attorney can maximize you and your loved one's compensation and replace lost future income.

Car accidents are one of several types of wrongful death claims.  Those who have suffered loss through a car accident are entitled to a variety of damages from the person who caused the accident. These damages are broad ranging and cover everything from direct financial loss to pain and suffering. Some of the categories of damages that may be awarded in a Florida wrongful death car accident case can include:

  • Medical and funeral expenses
  • Loss of income from the deceased
  • Loss of expected future earnings
  • Loss of benefits (insurance, pension, etc.)
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Mental anguish or pain and suffering
  • Loss of care
  • Loss of consortium/companionship
  • Punitive damages in some cases

It can become very complicated to properly calculate the damages to which surviving parties are entitled. This process can involve expert witnesses, complex mathematical formulas and even consultants such as economists to value such things as the value of care and services provided. The decedent and survivors' education, abilities and earnings will all be taken into account, as will their emotional importance to their loved ones. Many attorneys will not think to spend their own funds upfront to hire experts such as economists, accountants, and pain specialists, but these experts may increase your compensation exponentially.  

Florida Personal Injury Attorneys

Because the process is so complex and tricky, it is vital that you immediately seek the services of a qualified personal injury attorney to help you navigate these murky waters. When you are already dealing with the stress and pain of loss, you don't need to further concern yourself with avoiding the missteps in your personal injury case.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or deliberate actions of another, we are here to help. Give us a call today for a free consultation on your case or email us your questions.

About the Author

Fred Koberlein

Fred Koberlein is a trial attorney who opened Koberlein Law Offices after acquiring extensive legal experience in three legal practice areas, which are: personal injury law; criminal defense; and local government matters which require you to appear or present your matter before your local government Boards, government Councils, and government Agencies. Mr. Koberlein began trial preparation through an externship as a legal clerk with the Judges of the Third Judicial Circuit for Florida prior to his graduation from the University of Florida, College of Law.  After law school Mr. Koberlein was dedicated to becoming a trial attorney and worked with the Public Defender's Office from 2004 to 2007, where he was promoted to handling felony cases within eight months of hire.  Mr.  Koberlein has handled over 1500 criminal cases ranging from possession of cannabis, DUI, serious felonies, white-collar crimes, violations of probation hearings, and countless motion hearings. Mr.  Koberlein began practicing in the areas of personal injury and insurance defense during 2006.  Mr. Koberlein's experience in prosecuting personal injury claims against those insurance companies he was not representing and defending other insurance companies and their customers provided a unique experience where he was able to learn what each side anticipates from the opposing party.Next, Mr. Koberlein was hired by a City to defend the City's interests and three additional Cities quickly followed and retained Mr. Koberlein to protect their interests.  Currently, Mr. Koberlein represents a total of four (4) municipalities in the North Florida area.  As Mr. Koberlein focused on civil litigation he remained passionate about representing individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes as well as civil litigation issues. Mr.  Koberlein has the experience and reputation to negotiate a favorable resolution in your matter, and if that is not possible, to provide the best, most zealous trial representation available.  Utilizing competent and trusted investigators and experts, your case will be prepared so that the best result will be achieved.  If you or a loved one is hurt, damaged, or is facing criminal charges, you want a qualified, hard-working attorney who will explain your options to you in a straightforward, commonsense, and honest manner. Education and Practice Experience: University of Florida; Gainesville, Florida; Bachelor of Science, 1997 University of South Florida; Tampa, Florida; 1998 University of Florida, College of Law; Gainesville, Florida; 2003 Bar and Court Admissions: Florida Bar, 2004 – Present All 67 Counties in Florida All 20 Circuits in Florida U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida Professional and Civic Activities: Florida Bar Trial Lawyers, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Business Law Section, 2007 – Present Florida Bar Criminal Law Section, 2004 – Present Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004 – Present Third Judicial Bar Association, 2004 – Present Mr.  Koberlein is committed to his clients and devotes himself to protecting their interests from the beginning to the end of their case.  Mr. Koberlein has spent his career helping clients defend themselves against criminal charges, fight insurance companies, and proceed through the bureaucratic process of local governments.  Mr. Koberlein welcomes the opportunity to meet with you and evaluate your legal needs and provide you with an experienced and competent analysis.


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