Nothing can prepare you for the death of a loved one. When the loved one’s death was due to someone else’s negligence, it can be even more difficult to bear. The wrongful death attorneys of Zervos & Calta, PLLC can help.
If your loved one died as a result of someone’s careless or reckless behavior, we are prepared to take legal action on your behalf. We will demand the highest compensation available to cover funeral and burial expenses, lost support and wages, and other expenses.
For years, we’ve helped families throughout Florida by:
- Obtaining significant wrongful death settlements.
- Working with the top experts to build the strongest cases possible, when necessary.
- Serving our clients with personalized and professional legal counsel.
While financial compensation can never replace a loved one, it can help you and your family get closure after such a significant loss. To schedule a free consultation with our Florida wrongful death lawyer, call us today or contact us online.
Our offices serve Hernando County, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Spring Hill, and other areas throughout the state.
What Is a Wrongful Death?
In legal terms, “wrongful death” occurs when someone dies due to negligence by another person, company, or other entity. The deceased person’s (decedent) surviving family members can make a claim or file a lawsuit and demand compensation from the negligent party (defendant). This is not the same as a criminal case; wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases.
For example, suppose someone is killed in Florida. If the death was due to criminal behavior, the state government may bring criminal charges of murder. Possible consequences for the defendant include prison time, probation, or fines.
Civil wrongful death cases are brought by the loved one’s surviving family members. The defendant may not face prison time or a conviction. Instead, the surviving family members seek financial compensation from the defendant. Compensation is obtained through either a wrongful death settlement or a verdict after trial.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
The personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file a claim for wrongful death. The personal representative is typically named in the deceased person’s will. If the decedent did not set up a will, then the court will appoint a personal representative. An attorney can help you with this process.
When filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, you must list every surviving family member who has an interest in the case. This means you need to include everyone who will be seeking compensation for damages. “Damages” is a legal term referring to the harm you’ve endured.
Under Florida laws, these family members can seek compensation for damages in a wrongful death claim:
- The decedent’s spouse
- The decedent’s minor children
- The decedent’s adult children, if there is no surviving spouse
- The decedent’s parents, if there are no other surviving family members eligible to seek compensation
- Any sibling or blood relative who depended on the decedent for support
Your attorney can file the wrongful death complaint on behalf of the family members who have an interest in the lawsuit.