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Lakeland Wrongful Death Attorney

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No amount of money can bring back someone you love or compensate for the loss of their companionship and support. When someone you care about dies due to the negligence of another party, whether in a car accident or workplace accident, you may wonder if justice is possible.  At Kogan & DiSalvo, help is available in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit to hold negligent parties responsible for the pain they have caused.

As Florida’s premier personal injury law firm, we often see people at the most vulnerable and difficult times of their lives. We’ve witnessed firsthand the physical, financial, and emotional devastation that can accompany a serious injury or death. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with a compassionate Lakeland personal injury lawyer. We are happy to answer your questions and assess your case.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A stuffed bear sitting on a windowsill looking out at a dreary day

A wrongful death claim holds the individual or entity legally at fault for the death of your loved one.  It resembles a personal injury claim, but it is not brought by the victim but by their family or estate.

Wrongful death occurs through the negligence of another party, e.g., drunk driving or intentional acts such as assault or battery. Companies that manufacture or sell dangerous products can also be held liable if they injure consumers.  It also encompasses medical malpractice and workplace accidents.

In Florida, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may legally file a wrongful death claim. They may be named in a will, or appointed after death if the deceased didn’t have a will. While some wrongful deaths can lead to criminal charges, we focus on helping clients pursue legal remedies through civil actions.

Common Types of Wrongful Death Accidents

A severely damaged car after a head-on collision with a semi-truck at a city intersection

Common examples of accidents that lead to wrongful death claims include the following:

This list is far from complete. If you have questions about a family member’s untimely passing, contact our team to discuss your concerns and determine if you have cause to bring a wrongful death suit. 

Navigating the Legal Process After a Fatal Accident

Many memorial candles burning on the ground in the night

A consultation with a Lakeland personal injury lawyer is the first step in the legal process after a fatal accident. During this initial appointment, you and your attorney discuss the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. It’s helpful to bring any evidence you may have, including police reports, medical records, autopsy reports, and photos or video footage of the accident if available.

  • The discovery phase is next. Attorneys for both sides exchange information related to the case. This may require depositions from witnesses and experts who can provide insight into the events surrounding the fatal accident.
  • Pre-trial settlement negotiations follow because most wrongful death lawsuits never go to trial. Mediators or arbitrators are brought in to help both sides negotiate out of court. If both parties agree to a settlement, the case ends here. Settling can help you avoid a lengthy, stressful, and costly trial.
  • The case goes to trial If both sides cannot agree on a settlement. Even if your case is successful, the defense has the right to appeal, starting the process again. To avoid this, we do everything possible to reach a fair settlement reflecting your loss.

Possible Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

View of the front of a wooden coffin with people dressed in black carrying it on either side

Under Florida’s Wrongful Death Statute section 768.21, the following damages are available to surviving relatives.

  • Mental pain and suffering:   All children of the decedent, if there is no surviving spouse, may recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. 
  • Loss of companionship and protection: Compensation for the loss of support, guidance, cooperation, and instruction.
  • Loss of support and services: Examples include cooking, cleaning, driving, and child care, measured by the cost of hiring people to provide these “lost” services.
  • Medical bills: If the deceased required hospitalization, surgery, treatment, and other forms of medical care before their death
  • Funeral costs: Survivors can recover the costs for cremation, burial, and other funeral expenses.
  • Lost earnings: This can include income, pension benefits, and other earnings the deceased person would have likely earned during their lifetime

If there are multiple beneficiaries, compensation from a settlement or jury award is generally distributed equally among all parties unless they consent to another arrangement. In that case, the court usually honors that arrangement.

The Role of a Lakeland Wrongful Death Lawyer

A funerary urn at a funeral with mourners in the background

At Kogan & DiSalvo, we provide our clients with skilled legal guidance and emotional support. Our job begins by determining if there is a viable wrongful death claim and developing a theory of negligence. Next, we obtain the necessary documentation. It often takes considerable time and resources to gather medical records, police reports, and other evidence related to your loved one’s passing. We are committed to completing this process as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Next, we calculate the damages owed to your family. We consider all the ways a wrongful death has impacted impact you and your family. We account for these losses to ensure you are compensated fairly under the law.

We work to settle your case out of court when it makes sense. We negotiate on your behalf with insurance companies and attorneys for the other party to reach a fair and reasonable resolution. However, as noted above, we are fully prepared to go to court when a settlement cannot be reached.

Contact Kogan & DiSalvo for a Free Consultation

Statue of lady justice on desk of a judge or lawyer.

At Kogan & DiSalvo, we have the experience and resources of a large practice—with the personal care and attention you would expect from a boutique law firm. Trust your wrongful death claim to our team with a record of exceptional results. We are passionate about helping those who have been hurt through no fault of their own. We know that good outcomes come with hard work, determination, and preparation.

Contact us to schedule a free case review with a personal injury lawyer in Lakeland. With offices across Florida, we have represented clients across Polk County and throughout the state since 1994.  Since we work on a contingency basis, there are no upfront legal fees.

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