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Wrongful Death Claims
wrongful death
STRENGTH, COMPASSION and PERSONAL SERVICE to effectively handle our clients' claims.

Wrongful Death claims due to reckless driving, criminal behavior, medical malpractice, workplace hazards, toxic and dangerous consumer products, and unmarked public hazards in Jacksonville, Orange Park, Starke, Yulee, Callahan, Gainesville and other areas of Northeast Florida.

Jacksonville Area Wrongful Death Claims Attorneys

 

The untimely loss of a loved one is a tragic event.  This unfortunate tragedy is compounded when the loss is due to the negligence or recklessness of another individual or entity, and simply shouldn't have happened.  At the Law Offices of Ronald E. Sholes, we represent the surviving families of persons who wrongfully died of injuries suffered under a wide range of circumstances, from auto or truck accidents to negligent security and product liability.  We understand that the wrongful death of a loved can leave family members distraught with both sorrow and anger, and that's why we handle these claims with care.  Although we aggressively Fight for our client's rights in serious injury and wrongful death cases, we also understand the importance of service - personal service to the client and family who have suffered this extreme loss.  If you need advice and representation in a wrongful death case in the Jacksonville area, or anywhere in the State of Florida, simply e-mail Attorney Ron Sholes directly for a free, no hassle, consultation, in one of our offices or at your home, to discuss the claims and your options.  

If someone you love has suffered a wrongful death, Florida law may provide you with an option to filing a wrongful death law suit to recover monetary damages.  A claim of this nature is regulated under the Florida Wrongful Death Act.  Our familiarity with litigation under the Wrongful Death Act can protect you from inadvertent mistakes that might jeopardize your right to compensation. At the same time, our experience with the proof of liability and damages against negligent defendants can help maximize the overall value of your claim. In Florida, a wrongful death lawsuit entitles spouses, children, parents and other loved ones to financial compensation for emotional suffering, the deceased person's economic value and other damages.

Attorney Ron Sholes and our firm can help guide you and your family through the legal intricacies of Florida wrongful death liti-gation while we investigate and present your claims, and also support your family through a difficult process of transition. For additional information about our ability to help you in the aftermath of a family tragedy, contact the Law Offices of Ronald E. Sholes.


Florida Wrongful Death Act

The following are selected regulations from the 2004 Florida Statutes (Chapter 768) pertaining to wrongful death.

Legislative intent

It is the public policy of the state to shift the losses resulting when wrongful death occurs from the survivors of the decedent to the wrongdoer. Sections 768.16-768.26 are remedial and shall be liberally construed.


Right of action

Florida law provides that when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those occurring on navigable waters, and the event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued, the person or watercraft that would have been liable in damages if death had not ensued shall be liable for damages as specified in this act notwithstanding the death of the person injured, although death was caused under circumstances constituting a felony.   


Who can bring a wrongful death action?  

In an action for wrongful death, a formal estate must be established and the wrongful death claim must be brought by the decedent's personal representative, which is usually the surviving spouse or parent or the person identified in the decedent's last will and testament.  the personal representative is required to seek all damages and claims on behalf of all the decedent's survivors who are legally entitled to recover damages.  In addition to the survivor's individual claims, the estate itself has claims for medical and funeral expenses and lost net accumulations of the decedent.  the Act defines claimants as the decedent's spouse, children, parents, and any other blood relatives who are dependent upon the person who died for their support.  their are certain limitations imposed for various claims, but Attorney Ron Sholes or other lawyers in the firm can assist you with determining whom may have valid claims under Florida law. 

What damages are recoverable under the Wrongful Death Act?

There are various damages that the personal representative may pursue and the Wrongful Death Act provides that damages may be awarded as follows:

(1) Immediate expenses associated with the death (medical & funeral):

(2) Loss of victim's anticipated earnings in the future until time of retirement or death;

 

 

(3) Loss of benefits caused by the victim's death (pension, medical coverage, etc.);

(4) Loss of inheritance caused by the untimely death;

(5) Pain and suffering, or mental anguish to the survivors;

(6) Loss of care, protection, companion-ship to the survivors;

(7) Loss of support and services; and possibly

(8) Punitive damages. 


How are future damages calculated, and what is 'present value'?

Many states have adopted life expectancy tables for use in calculating future losses. It is common to take the victim's earnings at the time of their death and calculate the remaining years until retirement or expected death to figure future loss of earnings. Life expectancy tables are also used to calculate loss of benefits, such as the amount of pension benefits, which would have been available, had the victim lived.

Since a settlement of the trial verdict is calculated at one time, the amount of damages to the plaintiffs must include not only damages until the time of settlement or verdict, but also those which reasonably would have been incurred in the future. However, to avoid overcompensating a plaintiff it is common to reduce future losses to present value, the amount of future damages will be calculated, then reduced to an amount that will equal the full amount if it is conservatively invested. 


When are punitive damages available?

Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant, not to compensate the plaintiff. As a result, punitive damages cannot be recovered unless it is proved that the defendant's conduct was intentional, malicious, or reckless.


Protection of minors and incompetents

the court shall provide protection for any amount awarded for the benefit of a minor child or an incompetent pursuant to the Florida Guardianship Law.


Death of a survivor before judgment

A survivor's death before final judgment shall limit the survivor's recovery to lost support and services to the date of his or her death. the personal representative shall pay the amount recovered to the personal representative of the deceased survivor.


Court approval of settlements

While an action under this act is pending, no settlement as to amount or appor-tionment among the beneficiaries which is objected to by any survivor or which affects a survivor who is a minor or an incompetent shall be effective unless approved by the court.


Litigation expenses

Attorneys' fees and other expenses of litigation shall be paid by the personal representative and deducted from the awards to the survivors and the estate in proportion to the amounts awarded to them, but expenses incurred for the benefit of a particular survivor or the estate shall be paid from their awards.


Definitions

  1. "Survivors" means the decedent's spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. It includes the child born out of wedlock of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child's support.
  2. "Minor children" means children under 25 years of age, notwithstanding the age of majority.
  3. "Support" includes contributions in kind as well as money.
  4. "Services" means tasks, usually of a household nature, regularly performed by the decedent that will be a necessary expense to the survivors of the decedent. these services may vary according to the identity of the decedent and survivor and shall be determined under the particular facts of each case.
  5. "Net accumulations" means the part of the decedent's expected net business or salary income, including pension benefits, that the decedent probably would have retained as savings and left as part of her or his estate if the decedent had lived her or his normal life expectancy. "Net business or salary income" is the part of the decedent's probable gross income after taxes, excluding income from investments continuing beyond death, that remains after deducting the decedent's personal expenses and support of survivors, excluding contributions in kind.

Attorney Ron Sholes and our firm can help guide you and your family through the legal intricacies of Florida wrongful death litigation while we investigate and present your claims, and also support your family through a difficult process of transition. For additional information about our ability to help you in the aftermath of a family tragedy, contact the Law Offices of Ronald E. Sholes.


LOCATIONS

RON SHOLES, P. A.
9282 Atlantic Boulevard,
Jacksonville FL 32225
At the intersection of Southside Blvd. and Atlantic Blvd., next to Furniture Mart. Entrance and parking on the left side of the building.
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4608 Norwood Ave.
Jacksonville, FL 32206
Across the street from the
Brentwood Animal Clinic

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637 Blanding Blvd., Ste. 4
Orange Park FL 32073
Next door to Fiore Chiropractic,
across from Starbucks Coffee.

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486 North Temple Ave.
Starke, FL 32091
Across the street from
Bradford High School

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700 Reid Street
Palatka, FL 32177
Next to Pain Relief Centre
corner of N. 7th Street.

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© 2009 - LAW OFFICES OF RON SHOLES, P.A.
The Law Firm of Ronald E. Sholes, P.A. is based in Jacksonville, FL, with offices in Orange Park and Starke.
We represent clients in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Orange Park, Argyle Forest, St. Augustine,
Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Fruit Cove, Fleming Island, Doctors Inlet, Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, Callahan, Palatka,
Fernandina Beach, Yulee, Hilliard, Melrose, Lake Butler, Kingsley Lake, Ponte Vedra, Starke, Lawtey, MacClenny, Lake City,
Ocala, Gainesville, Waldo, High Springs, Keystone Heights, Hampton, Palm Coast, Glen St. Mary’s, Baldwin, Port Orange,
Ormond Beach, Flagler Beach, Brooksville, Mayport Naval Station, NAS Jacksonville, New Smyrna Beach, DeLand, Orlando,
Altamonte Springs, Winter Park, Orange City, Kissimmee, Tallahassee, and San Marco.   Counties that we have represented
clients in include Duval County, Clay County, Nassau County, St. Johns County, Bradford County, Union County, Columbia County,
Putnam County, Suwannee County, Alachua County, Orange County, Flagler County, Citrus County, Marion County, Lafayette County, Levy County,
Osceola County, and Gilchrist County.   Our attorneys are licensed to practice throughout the State of Florida.