Losing a family member or loved one to an untimely and wrongful death, is an emotionally devastating experience for all involved. This careless action on the part of another or business can not only cause intense emotional grief, but can lead to financial hardships as well.
At Terrell Hogan we extend our deepest condolences to those who have suffered such a tragic loss. We understand how emotionally difficult it is to consider taking legal action over a loved one’s death. Since 1974, the attorneys at Terrell Hogan have been representing victims of a wrongful death claim. We are skilled trial attorneys ready to provide you with the support and information you need to make this decision as easy as possible.
A death is considered a wrongful death when it is the result of someone else’s negligence, and can occur in any type of accident including a boating accident, car accident, motorcycle accident, truck and semi-truck accident, bicycle accident, pedestrian accident, medical mistake, defective product, asbestos exposure, or can occur at work or in a place of business. When something like this happens there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. At Terrell Hogan 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. In 2021 alone, 315 individuals died in work related accidents and 1000’s more deaths occurred due to premises and product liabilities involving victims of all ages. 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.
We also specialize in mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer cases brought about by asbestos exposure. One of the greatest wrongs perpetrated upon the American worker by companies who knew full well the dangers of asbestos, but chose profits over the lives of their workers.
With over 3500 deaths occurring on Florida’s streets and highways each year, many are the result of innocent victims dying at the hands of negligent actions. Our legal team has been representing wrongful death cases for over 40 years and our resolve is to make right what others have made wrong. Of all the personal injury cases we handle, wrongful death cases are among the most critical in nature. There is no greater cause that a personal injury attorney can champion, than the cause of representing innocent deceased victim and their families. Losing a loved one or family member can have serious effect on all involved 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.
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.
In Florida, this is limited to the following groups:
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 been recognized as responsible 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 mean’s 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 his or her 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
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 under the age of 25 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 fall into one of these categories, you have the legal right to take action against the negligent party. By consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to prove your eligibility.
Danger is all around us. Every time you leave your home — and even when you’re at home — you’re at risk of an accident that causes a severe injury or even death.
Some of the most common types of wrongful death cases are associated with:
Think about it. Every day, you’re at risk of death related to all seven of these circumstances.
There is a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death cases in the state of Florida. In other words, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s passing to file a lawsuit. This sounds like a lot of time, but it can pass you by as you grieve.
If your family experiences a wrongful death, consider having Terrell Hogan represent you. If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, we’ll seek justice to hold “the wrongdoer” accountable. All you have to do is contact us online or by phone at 904-722-2228. Either way, we’ll take charge of your case to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. There are no fees or costs involved in your case unless we make a recovery for you.
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