Sarasota Wrongful Death Lawyers
Wrongful Death Lawyers Serving Sarasota and Manatee
At Buckman & Buckman, P.A., our Sarasota wrongful death attorneys know how devastating it is to lose a loved one due to the wrongful conduct of another. When you are ready to take legal action, we want to help you to seek just compensation for the harm that you and your family have suffered.
We realize that no amount of money can truly make up for the loss of a loved one. However, we believe it is important to seek justice as well as the funds that you will need to move forward in life.
We have decades of experience with helping families throughout Sarasota and Manatee counties to pursue wrongful death claims. You can count on us to provide the aggressive and experienced legal representation that your family needs during this difficult time.
We will work one-on-one with you and give you the personal attention that you deserve. We believe that working closely with clients is a lawyer’s responsibility – not a task assigned to a paralegal. We are a family-run law firm. As you will see, we treat our clients like family as well.
Please contact us when you are ready to discuss your case. We provide free consultations and only get paid when we win or settle your case.
Do You Have a Wrongful Death Case Under Florida Law?
To determine whether you are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim, you must look closely at the Florida Wrongful Death Act. Under this law:
- Only the personal representative of the wrongful death victim’s estate may file a claim. If the victim left a will, it should name the personal representative of his or her estate. If there is no will, a judge will name a personal representative and send the estate into probate, which is a court process for settling affairs of the estate. Because Buckman & Buckman is also an estate planning law firm, we can move quickly to locate a will and/or file the necessary paperwork to establish the personal representative if there is no will.
- The personal representative must name every survivor who has an interest in the wrongful death claim. Many family members may have a share in the damages recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit, including the victim’s spouse, children, parents and any blood relative or adoptive brother or sister who was financially dependent on the victim at the time of death.
- Damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit are not the same for every survivor. A wrongful death claim may recover damages on behalf of the victim’s estate for accident-related medical expenses that the victim incurred prior to death as well as funeral and burial expenses. A lawsuit may also seek compensation for mental pain and suffering as well as the loss of the victim’s financial support and services, spousal protection and companionship and parental companionship, instruction and guidance.
However, parents of a child over age 25 cannot recover damages for mental pain and suffering unless there are no other survivors. Other aspects of the law address damages available in cases of common law marriage, pending divorces, remarriage, intention to remarry, stepfathers, stepchildren, posthumous children (unborn at the time of the death) and more.
As you can see, a wrongful death claim can be highly complex. At Buckman & Buckman, we can use our personal injury and estate law experience to sort through the complicated issues that may arise in your case.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Statute & How It Works
According to Florida law, a wrongful death is caused by “the negligence, carelessness or reckless actions of another party.” In Florida, this gives family members of the victim the right to take legal action and potentially recover damages because of the death of their loved one. Those damages can vary depending on several factors, including loss of current and future earnings, financial support, funeral expenses, mental pain and suffering, and other things.
When a fatal accident happens and someone else was at fault, the survivors have the right to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver. But in Florida, only one person can receive a settlement under the wrongful death statute. That person must be the legal representative of the victim’s estate and must be related to the victim as a spouse, minor child, or adult dependent with a physical or mental disability. Unfortunately, adult children are not allowed to receive any settlement in a wrongful death case. Believe it or not, if the victim is unmarried and has only adult children, the estate could only collect the amount of the burial expenses and some hospital bills, but that is about it.
This is why it’s very important to have an attorney act quickly to file the necessary paperwork to establish the correct personal representative, especially if the victim does not have a last will. Without a will, a judge will decide who can be named the personal representative for the estate.
The attorneys at Buckman and Buckman, P.A., have extensive experience navigating through the entire wrongful death and probate process and can help the families of victims find some sort of closure after a tragic death in the family.
What Family Should Do Immediately After a Fatal Car Accident
We often talk to a victim’s family soon after a tragic accident that takes the life of a loved one. It is one of the hardest parts of our job to see the pain that they’re going through.
As attorneys we know it’s difficult to think about a wrongful death case in the days after a fatal car accident, but unfortunately the way Florida’s wrongful death statute works, a personal representative must be established for the estate. If the victim doesn’t leave behind a will, then a judge gets involved to make those types of decisions. This is where we often help the family get through probate and then establish the case facts for a wrongful death suit.
Our Wrongful Death Attorneys Are Ready to Help You
Buckman & Buckman, P.A., is a family-operated law firm that represents families and individuals dealing with wrongful deaths in Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, North Port and surrounding areas.
Our interest is your interest — full and fair compensation for your untimely loss. We take our responsibility for your well-being very seriously. You will meet with your attorney at the start of your engagement with Buckman & Buckman, and he or she will be at your side throughout your wrongful death case.
In addition to conducting a thorough investigation into your loved one’s death, we will take the time to learn how the death has impacted you and your family. We believe that knowing these details will give us an enormous advantage as we seek compensation for you in court or in settlement negotiations with the insurance company. We want to tell your story.
Connect with us today. We can provide a free consultation and discuss how we can help you to seek the answers and the compensation your family deserves.