James O. Cunningham is a Brevard County attorney with proven experience in successful wrongful death claims. He built his reputation over 30 years of assisting the families of victims of wrongful death obtain justice. His dedication to superior customer service is obvious in the attention, compassion and hard work he and his staff give to every case.
Florida Wrongful Death Statistics and Causes
According to the Florida Department of Health, 433 Brevard County deaths were due to homicide, unintentional injury and motor vehicle fatalities in 2011. In 2012, 372 deaths alone resulted from unintentional injury and car accidents in Brevard County.
A wrongful death in Florida happens because of a malicious, negligent or reckless act of another. Some situations in which wrongful deaths occur are the following:
- Car accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Aviation accidents
- Boating accidents
- Train accidents
- Premises accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Defective products
- Elder abuse
- Medical malpractice
Parties in a Wrongful Death Claim
Under Florida statutes, if the decedent had a Will, then the personal representative (executor) of the estate files the wrongful death claim. If there was no Will, the family chooses the personal representative. The representative files the claim on behalf of the estate and family members who have priority as heirs. First priority is a spouse and minor children. If there is no spouse or minor children, then adult children, parents, siblings, grandparents or other relatives who received financial support from the decedent may have a claim. A Titusville wrongful death lawyer like James O. Cunningham will be able to tell you who is eligible in your particular situation.
In the investigation of the claim, an experienced Central Florida fatal accident attorney ascertains who is responsible for the wrongdoing. This could be a person, a company or organization or a combination thereof. For instance, in the case of medical malpractice, a doctor and a medical facility may be the responsible parties.
Compensation for a Negligent Death
The Florida Statutes set out what damages are compensable in a wrongful death. In a personal injury claim, there are three levels of damages: special damages, general damages and punitive damages.
Special damages relate to economic compensation such as the following:
- Medical expenses
- Burial expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of accumulations of an estate
General damages relate to noneconomic compensation such as the following:
- Loss of the decedent’s companionship
- Loss of services
- Loss of support
- Loss of parental guidance
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages are reparations over and above special and general damages. These damages serve as punishment when the wrongdoer acted in a malicious or grossly reckless manner.
A Brevard County Attorney for You
We hope that you will never need the services of a Central Florida fatal accident attorney. However, if you do, the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., is as close as a phone call, email or website chat. This Titusville wrongful death lawyer and his staff proudly serve fellow citizens and visitors throughout Central Florida.