Fort Pierce Wrongful Death Lawyers
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in St. Lucie County
At Smith, Ball & Báez, we recognize that there is nothing more difficult than losing a loved one due to an unexpected and tragic event. We also understand that, after the sudden loss of a family member, taking legal action may be the farthest thing from your mind. No amount of financial compensation can ever undo the loss you have experienced—but by filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you can obtain a sense of justice and the monetary resources you need to manage unanticipated financial hardships.
Our Fort Pierce wrongful death attorneys are here to provide the guidance you need during this extremely difficult time. We are deeply sorry for the loss you and your family have suffered, and we want to help you hold the at-fault party responsible. Our lawyers have decades of experience serving clients throughout St. Lucie County and the surrounding communities, and we are prepared to provide you with the compassionate, personalized, and attentive legal service you deserve.
Help is just a call away. Reach out to us today to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team: (561) 500-HELP.
What Is “Wrongful Death?”
Florida defines “wrongful death” as the death of an individual resulting from a “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty.” One way to determine whether a death is considered “wrongful” in the eyes of the law is to ascertain whether the individual who passed away (referred to as the “decedent”) would have had grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit had they lived. If this is true, the death is likely considered “wrongful.”
Wrongful death cases often arise from the following types of accidents and events:
- Boat accidents and other recreation accidents
- Defective product-related accidents
- Car accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Serious falls
- Truck accidents
- Violent crimes, such as homicide
If someone else was at fault and, therefore, legally liable for your loved one’s death, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
Under Florida’s wrongful death statute, only the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative, sometimes referred to as the “executor,” is someone named by the decedent in their will to administer the estate. If someone passes away without a will, the court will appoint an individual to serve as the personal representative.
While the personal representative must be the one to file the wrongful death lawsuit, they do so on behalf of certain eligible individuals, including the decedent’s surviving:
- Spouse or domestic partner
- Children, including adoptive children
- Parent, grandparent, sibling, or another blood relative
- Dependents, heirs, and other beneficiaries
Our Fort Pierce wrongful death lawyers at Smith, Ball & Báez represent personal representatives and eligible surviving family members in all types of wrongful death matters throughout St. Lucie County and the entire state. If you have questions about whether you are eligible to file a claim or recover wrongful death damages, do not hesitate to reach out to our team.
Types of Damages in Florida Wrongful Death Cases
In Florida, eligible surviving family members and the estate as a whole can recover compensation for certain damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
A surviving family member may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Medical bills paid by the individual for the decedent’s final treatment or care
- Any funeral and/or burial expenses paid directly by the surviving family member
- Loss of services and support provided by the decedent to the surviving individual
- Mental pain, suffering, and anguish associated with the loss of the decedent
- Loss of comfort, companionship, and protection provided by the decedent
- Loss of parental guidance, companionship, and instruction (when the survivor is the child or adoptive child of the decedent)
Additionally, the estate may recover the following damages:
- Medical and/or funeral expenses paid by the estate
- Lost income, wages, and benefits, including future earnings the decedent would have likely earned, had they lived
- Lost savings, including the reasonable value of income, earnings, and benefits the decedent would have likely left to the estate
Our team can review the specific details of your case and determine what types of damages you may be entitled to recover, as well as the potential overall value of your claim.
Call Smith, Ball & Báez for Compassionate, Client-Focused Representation
During this difficult time, you need a legal team you can rely on to handle the details of your case and fight for the fair compensation you deserve. At Smith, Ball & Báez, our Fort Pierce wrongful death attorneys are here to guide you through the entire legal process. We believe that you and your family deserve justice, and we are here to help you fight for every penny you deserve.
We not only strive to help our individual clients obtain justice in the wake of a tragic loss, but we also seek to hold negligent and reckless parties accountable to better protect our communities and ensure that similar events do not happen again in the future. If someone you love tragically passed away due to the careless, reckless, or negligent conduct of another, we encourage you to reach out to our team today to learn how we can help.
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