Have you lost a loved one in a fatal accident in Clearwater, FL? You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and your family’s pain and suffering. A Clearwater wrongful death lawyer at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes can help your family fight for justice.
Since 1955, our attorneys have been providing high-quality legal representation to grieving families–and we’ve secured more than $500 million in compensation for those clients.
We offer a free consultation, so there’s no risk in asking for help. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, contact our law offices in Clearwater, Florida to schedule a free consultation today at (727) 796-8282.
How Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Can Help With Your Wrongful Death Claim in Clearwater
Losing a loved one is unbearable enough on its own. On top of that unimaginable loss, many families soon experience financial hardships that threaten their financial stability. If someone else was responsible for your loss, they should also be held responsible for the financial burden.
Our Clearwater personal injury lawyers have the experience and resources to fight for the money you need and deserve.
When you hire Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, our lawyers will:
- Launch an investigation into the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death
- Identify all responsible parties
- Demand fair compensation from everyone involved in the accident
- Hire experts to strengthen your claim
- Negotiate with the insurance companies to maximize your financial recovery
We have over 66 years of experience representing clients in situations similar to yours. Our Clearwater personal injury attorneys are passionate about helping victims get justice. To learn more about how we can help you fight to recover the fair compensation you deserve, call for a free case review today.
How Common Are Fatal Accidents in Clearwater?
Floridians are killed in tragic accidents on a daily basis. Often, those accidents are caused by third parties. Many of those fatal accidents involve motor vehicles.
For example, in 2020 the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported:
- 3,338 motor vehicle accident deaths
- 516 motorcycle accident fatalities
- 162 bicyclist fatalities
- 264 hit-and-run accident fatalities
327 fatalities occurred in Hillsborough County and Pinellas County.
Those statistics only account for motor vehicle accident deaths. Another 306 Florida workers were killed in fatal work accidents during 2019. Hundreds more are killed in fall accidents every year.
Overview of Wrongful Death Laws in Clearwater
Under Florida law, a wrongful death happens when someone is killed because of another person’s actions. The Florida Wrongful Death Act provides surviving family members with the right to sue for damages if a third party’s wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty caused your loved one’s death.
In other words, the surviving family can file a wrongful death lawsuit if the deceased person would have been entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages.
Wrongful death lawsuits are different from criminal murder or homicide cases. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil matter. It’s designed to provide survivors with financial compensation, not to punish defendants for their actions.
Who is Eligible to Sue for Damages Under Florida Wrongful Death Laws?
Only the parties listed in the Florida law are entitled to recover damages for wrongful death. The victim’s personal representative files the lawsuit on behalf of those survivors.
Florida state law defines “survivors” to include:
- Surviving spouses
- Children, both biological and adoptive
Adoptive siblings and other blood relatives who are financially dependent upon the victim are also entitled to share in a wrongful death compensation award.
What is My Clearwater Wrongful Death Case Worth?
Putting a price tag on a life might seem impossible.
Courts and insurance companies, however, consider a number of different factors in calculating the value of your claim, including:
- Your loved one’s pain and suffering
- The victim’s age, life expectancy, and earning capacity
- The age of surviving dependents
- The cost of your loved one’s medical treatment
- Your family’s emotional trauma
Our lawyers have relationships with trusted experts and specialists who can help assess the fair value of your injury claim. Before accepting any settlement, call to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can help you understand what your case is really worth.
What Types of Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Survivors are entitled to a broad range of damages in Florida. Like a motor vehicle accident case, you’re entitled to damages to cover the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses incurred from the date of the accident until the date of death.
Surviving family members are also entitled to recover compensation for:
- The value of lost support and services from the date of injury to the date of death
- The value of future lost financial support and services
- Loss of companionship and protection
- Mental pain and suffering
- Loss of parental instruction and guidance
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of prospective net accumulations or inheritance
At Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, we know that money can’t bring your loved one back. It can help you protect your financial security going forward. That’s an important task, and we’ll fight to make sure you’re compensated to the fullest extent allowed under the law.
Can I Recover Damages If My Loved One is Accused of Causing a Fatal Accident in Florida?
Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to blame victims who were killed in an accident. Sometimes those claims are legitimate. Other times they aren’t. In either case, you can recover damages even if your loved one’s negligence also contributed to the accident.
Florida is a pure comparative fault state. All parties to an accident are held liable for their proportionate share of the blame. As long as someone else was also responsible, you can recover damages.
However, your damages award will be reduced if the insurance company can prove that your loved one was partly responsible. If 30% of the fault is allocated to your loved one, your settlement or verdict will be reduced by 30%.
If someone is trying to blame your loved one, don’t hesitate to call Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes for a free case evaluation. Your loved one isn’t here to tell their side of the story. Our Clearwater wrongful death attorneys can find any evidence that would minimize their role in the accident.
We Handle All Types of Wrongful Death Cases in Clearwater, Florida
Our legal team at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes have experience handling all types of wrongful death cases in Clearwater, including cases involving:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Bus accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Boating and jet ski accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Premises liability
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Assault and violence
You may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one was killed because of someone else’s negligence. If you’re struggling after the unexpected death of a loved one, reach out to our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation today.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Fatal Accident in Florida?
You might not know exactly how your loved one was killed. Even if you were present at the scene of the accident, tragic accidents happen quickly. Our Board Certified civil trial lawyers can help you prove whether someone else’s mistake caused your loss.
The vast majority of wrongful death cases are based on negligence. Even if someone didn’t intend to hurt anyone, they can be held financially accountable for their careless actions.
Negligence means that a third party:
- Owed your loved one a legal duty of care
- Breached that duty, and
- The breach caused the accident and the victim’s damages.
Our lawyers have been handling wrongful death claims for decades. We’ll launch an exhaustive investigation to find out what happened.
That means our legal team will:
- Analyze all medical records and police reports
- Interview witnesses
- Locate video surveillance footage and photos of the accident scene
- Work with accident reconstruction specialists
- Locate any records of safety violations and other relevant reports
If you’re wondering whether you have a case, don’t hesitate to reach out for legal advice. Our lawyers would be happy to review your case for free and help you understand your legal options.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Fatal Accident in Florida?
You don’t have an unlimited amount of time to take legal action. The statute of limitations only gives grieving families two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The two-year period begins on the date of death.
Missing the deadline has serious repercussions. You’ll lose your right to sue for damages if you wait too long. Our lawyers can take action to preserve your right to compensation while you grieve. Call today to learn more about the benefits of establishing an attorney-client relationship.
Contact a Clearwater Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Have you lost a family member in a fatal accident? Call a Clearwater wrongful death lawyer at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes to schedule a free consultation today. We’ll sit down, listen to your story and help evaluate whether you have a legal right to financial compensation.