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Wrongful Death

Jacksonville Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one suddenly and unexpectedly due to an accident is one of the most challenging experiences one can go through. Such a loss can have a lifelong impact on the affected family. While no amount of money can replace a loved one, a wrongful death claim can offer compensation to help the family deal with their losses and the consequences. When a loved one dies as a result of the negligence of another, whether it is from a car, truck, motorcycle, or bicycle accident, it can be challenging to understand the available remedies. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek the advice of an experienced wrongful death attorney in Jacksonville before pursuing a claim.

Florida’s Wrongful Death Act

Apart from the grief, shock, and sadness that come with the loss of a loved one, families may also face unforeseen financial hardships such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and the deceased’s lost earnings.  Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, the measure of damages is based on the loss or harm to the survivors left behind, not on the loss experienced by the decedent. 

Legal remedies for wrongful death lawsuits include compensation or reimbursement under the Wrongful Death Act, and the damages recoverable are set forth under Florida Statute 768.21. You may be entitled to compensation for the following types of damages:

  • Medical, hospital, funeral, and burial expenses
  • Losses suffered by the spouse, children, or next of kin, including:
    • Loss of financial support
    • Loss of services
    • Loss of parental instruction and guidance
    • Loss of protection and companionship
    • Mental pain and suffering
    • Loss of earnings

Who can bring a Wrongful Death Claim?

Someone must take the place of the decedent to bring a wrongful death claim and that is the Personal Representative (PR) of the decedent’s estate.  When deciding who may serve as the PR of an estate, Florida Statute 733.301 outlines a preference in the appointment that differs depending on whether the decedent died with a will (a testate estate) or without a will (an intestate estate).  The statutes also outline who may not serve as a PR, such as a convicted felon, someone who is mentally or physically unable to perform the duties of a PR, or a person who is under the age of 18 (Florida Statutes 733.303).  Regardless of who serves as the PR, that person has a fiduciary duty to all “survivors” under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act.  A fiduciary duty involves behaving in a manner that is best for all the survivors, not just the PR.

Who is a Survivor in a Death Claim?

Florida Statutes 768.18 defines who a survivor is under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act.  While some categories of individuals are obvious (spouse, children, parents), there are others that might not be as obvious such as:

  • Adopted brothers and sisters,
  • A child born out of wedlock of a mother, but not of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.

Medical Malpractice Exception to Florida’s Wrongful Death Act

In all cases other than medical malpractice, when someone dies as a result of negligence, the decedent’s survivors; meaning the wife, children (minors and/or adults), and parents can bring claims for economic damages (medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of future earnings) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering, companionship, guidance).

The Medical Malpractice Exception found in Florida Statute 768.21(8) limits what survivors are eligible to recover as well as limits their recoverable damages.  For example, if a 50-year-old unmarried woman with adult children is struck by a vehicle and dies at the scene of the accident, her PR can bring a wrongful death claim for the loss and harm to her survivors, in this case, her adult children.  However, if that same unmarried woman dies on the operating table due to a doctor’s medical negligence, her adult children are barred from bringing a wrongful death action against the doctor.      

Although money can never fill the void left by the loss of a loved one, a Jacksonville wrongful death attorney can ensure that you receive compensation for the financial consequences and your pain and suffering from this devastating loss. Contact us today to speak with an attorney at Rosenberg & Calvin, P.A., to discuss your case.

Client Reviews

I hired Mark Calvin as my lawyer for a auto accident. They go above and beyond for you and work very hard for you. Several years ago, my wife used Mark Rosenberg who also did a wonderful job for her. If you are...


It was great working with Mr. Calvin. He is very trustworthy and personable. He explained everything in detail and made me feel like a part of the family. I would recommend them to anyone that wants to feel like they’re...


Mark Rosenberg is an amazing attorney and really friendly. Every time I need an attorney he is going to be number one on my list.Thank you for everything


Really great people, they went out of their way to help me out. I've used Mr Mark a few times and he's awesome. I would recommend them to anyone.


This law firm helped me so much through a wrongdoing that happened to me. Seeing as I was a minor, they still treated me with respect – all the way into my adulthood, as well. If I ever need an attorney again, I will go...


I work in the medical field, and I have seen many patients over time with representing attorneys. I’ve come across very few like Mr. Rosenberg, who takes the time to be fully involved in their client’s care the way he...


I had a difficult case. I really didn’t think they would help me, but they did. They kept me informed throughout the entire process. They truly care about their clients, and that is hard to find these days.


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