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Sarasota Wrongful Death Attorney

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that is brought when a person’s death is due to the negligence or misconduct of another party. Florida has established a wrongful death law that allows for the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to seek compensatory damages for both the estate and the surviving family members. These expenses and losses may include burial costs, medical bills, the loss of income, and the loss of services and guidance, among others.

While no amount of money can replace a loved one, damages from a wrongful death claim can ease financial burdens when someone passes unexpectedly. Our compassionate team of Sarasota wrongful death attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo can help you hold the responsible party accountable and seek the compensation your family needs to move forward. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Why Wrongful Death Claims Matter

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It is painful and challenging when a loved one passes away due to the negligence of another party. However, there are practical concerns. As noted above, there may be medical bills and funeral and burial costs that cannot wait. If the deceased individual worked and contributed to household expenses, that sudden loss of income can add to the family’s stress.

A wrongful death claim can recover compensation for losses to help ease the financial burden for loved ones left behind and also provide a sense of justice and closure after a death that potentially could have been avoided.

Examples of Wrongful Death Cases

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Wrongful death refers to a fatal injury that occurs as a result of a “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty.” Our team of wrongful death attorneys in Sarasota handles cases that involve the following:

If your family member was fatally injured in a different type of accident, you may still have grounds to bring a civil lawsuit. Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Sarasota to discuss your case.

Wrongful Death Claims in Sarasota

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The Florida Wrongful Death Act is the presiding statute guiding cases in Sarasota and throughout the state. The law includes key provisions determining who can file a claim and how damages are awarded.

Who Can File

In Florida, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. This person is typically a surviving spouse or other close family member. Determining this should be straightforward if the decedent had a will and named their representative. If they didn’t have a will, a judge would name a representative and move the decedent’s estate into probate. Probate is a court process for settling a person’s affairs after death.

Qualifying Survivors

Once the estate representative has been established, that individual must name any survivor who has an interest in the wrongful death claim, as they may be entitled to damages.

Survivors might include the victim’s spouse, children, parents, and any other blood-related or adopted sibling who was financially dependent on the decedent. Damages available to relatives such as stepchildren, and children born after a parent’s passing are also addressed in the Florida Wrongful Death Act.

Calculating Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

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In Florida, economic and non-economic damages are possible in wrongful death claims. These damages are calculated to reflect all of the ways the victim’s death has impacted the family.

Family members may be eligible to recover the following damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship and protection
  • Loss of parental companionship, guidance, and instruction
  • Lost support and services (now and in the future)
  • Loss of earnings (from the time of injury into the future)
  • Loss of the projected accumulation in value of their estate

Note that damages are awarded on a case-by-case basis and vary based on the survivor’s relationship to the deceased victim.

Steps to Take After a Wrongful Death Accident

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

If you believe that a family member’s sudden passing was a wrongful death, it’s essential to consult a lawyer and gather documentation related to the case, including the following:

  • Medical records
  • Hospital bills
  • Death certificate
  • Accident reports
  • Funeral, cremation, burial bills
  • Employment contracts
  • Pay stubs
  • Insurance policies
  • Retirement plans
  • Wills and other estate documents

If you’re unsure whether something is helpful to your case, err on the side of caution and save it. Make copies of everything for your lawyer.  

Proving Fault for Sarasota Wrongful Death Claims

A file folder tab labeled "Evidence"

The next step is to determine if you have a valid wrongful death suit. As your Sarasota personal injury attorneys, our job is to assess the facts of the case and the documentation you’ve provided.

The following four elements must be established in a wrongful death claim:

  1. The at-fault party (the defendant) owed your loved one a duty of care.
  2. The defendant breached that duty by doing (or not doing) something that most people would have done in similar circumstances.
  3. As a direct result of that breach of duty, your family member died.
  4. The surviving family members suffered damages as a result.

For example, every driver has a duty to protect others by operating their vehicle safely and responsibly. A driver who knowingly consumes excessive amounts of alcohol before getting behind the wheel breaches that duty.

If they cause a fatal crash while impaired, the family members of their victim likely have cause to file a wrongful death suit for damages. Remember, a wrongful death claim is a civil action. It is separate from criminal charges, which a drunk driver may also face in this scenario.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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Kogan & DiSalvo’s wrongful death lawyers want to alleviate undue stress during this challenging time. We oversee every aspect of your claim from the first consultation until your case is resolved.

We thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s passing to gather the facts and identify responsible parties. If, for example, it is a car accident caused by a drunk driver, we gather evidence that may include CCTV footage, police reports, field sobriety tests, and witness testimony. We calculate all the damages to accurately reflect the losses you have sustained and use the evidence to build a strong case for compensation.

Throughout the process, we provide compassionate legal guidance and support, keeping you updated on the status of your case. We handle all paperwork and communication on your behalf and advocate for you during settlement negotiations or in court.

Settlement Negotiations

Most claims are resolved through settlement negotiations. During this process, we advocate on your behalf with the at-fault parties and their insurance providers to negotiate a fair and full settlement. We explain your rights and options at every step to help you make informed decisions about your case. If the other parties attempt to take advantage of you by offering lowball amounts, we are fully prepared to represent you in court. We are committed to doing everything possible to reach the outcome you deserve.

Contact Kogan & DiSalvo for a Free Consultation

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The outcome of your wrongful death claim can impact your family’s future. The legal team you trust with your case matters. As a boutique firm, we provide the personal attention and customized legal solutions that larger firms may not offer. We use our legal knowledge, real-world experience, and a substantial network of expert witnesses to develop a strategy that considers your needs today and tomorrow.

Schedule a free consultation today; there is no obligation to hire us. Since we work on a contingency basis, there are no upfront legal fees. We are proud to represent clients throughout Sarasota County and across the state of Florida.

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