There are few experiences as devastating as the loss of a loved one. Whether it was expected — after an illness, perhaps — or sudden and shocking, it is never an easy time. When another person’s negligence, reckless behavior, or intentional disregard for life is the cause, facing the realities to follow can be even more difficult. A wrongful death attorney in St. Petersburg can help tremendously during this especially tough time.
A wrongful death suit is a civil action. The suit seeks compensatory financial damages on behalf of the deceased’s family or heirs against the responsible party. In most cases, this person — the defendant — can also be an organization, company, corporation, or any other established entity.
Facts to Consider With Your Wrongful Death Attorney
The following are a number of facts and statistics that you should take into consideration when hiring a lawyer in St. Petersburg.
- Nearly 3,200 drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists are killed each year because a driver was looking at a phone while operating a vehicle.
- Misdiagnosis and surgical errors cause an estimated 98,000 lost lives every year; medication errors kill another 7,000 annually.
- Almost 20,000 Americans die each year from slip and fall Slippery surfaces, obstructions on pathways, and poorly lit areas are the main causes.
- An estimated 6,000 fatalities are caused every year by workplace accidents, from contact with objects or equipment to falls, to exposure to toxic substances.
These statistics are sobering, and go to show that these incidents, unfortunately, are not uncommon. A St. Petersburg wrongful death attorney works to prove that:
- The demise was caused, directly or in part, by the defendant;
- The defendant was responsible for the death as a matter of law (as in a homicide conviction) OR the defendant’s negligence was the reason for the loss of life;
- Monetary losses have resulted for the victim’s spouse, dependents, or beneficiaries.
You Are Going to Sue For Wrongful Death — How Do You Calculate Liability?
Before a wrongful death attorney takes a case to court in St. Petersburg, he or she closely examines the degrees of potential liability. How can these losses be calculated into adequate compensation? In short, the defendant should be held responsible for the deceased’s medical and funeral expenses. The attorney will take lost future earnings into account, plus the family’s loss of medical and other benefits. Calculating pain and suffering (“loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection,” according to Florida Statute 768.21) is an unfortunate but important part of this equation, too. Money can never replace a loved one, of course, but it can go a long way towards mitigating the financial hardship that comes in the wake of a tragedy.
Seeking Compensation for Those Left Behind in St. Petersburg
If a St. Petersburg car accident took your loved one’s life, the defendant might have been acquitted for any number of reasons. Just because that person escaped through a legal loophole does not mean he or she was not responsible. You still may be able to sue for wrongful death. Furthermore, you and your wrongful death attorney can sue if you suspect medical malpractice. If loss of life occurs with a slip and fall accident or a workplace incident, you are also entitled to sue for wrongful death.
Consult with a wrongful death attorney in St. Petersburg to establish whether you have a case. Your lawyer will instinctively understand how strong it is and how strong it can be.
A Notorious Case
One of the most famous suits of this nature involved O.J. Simpson. He was tried for homicide in the demise of his ex-wife and a companion in California in 1994 and subsequently acquitted. The victims’ families were able to take Simpson to court again in a civil trial. They sued him for monetary damages. In a civil trial, the burden of proof is not as great as that in a criminal trial. Simpson was found responsible for the loss of their lives and was ordered to pay compensation.
Choose the Right Wrongful Death Attorney
When a family member has died, particularly under such upsetting circumstances, loved ones are in no condition to research Florida’s civil statutes. That is why St. Petersburg wrongful death attorney Lisa A. Kennedy of K LAW, PLLC is the advocate you want on your team. As a successful personal injury attorney, she knows Florida law, and she keeps her firm small enough so that every client receives her undivided attention. You will not be sent to work with a clerk or paralegal. She is an unrelenting investigator, a brilliant legal mind, and a compassionate “people person.” Consequently, when Lisa Kennedy speaks to the jury, they will hear you, and they will hear your loved one, too.