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Orlando Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one due to the negligence or recklessness of another party is a devastating experience that no family should have to endure. Orlando wrongful death lawyer James O. Cunningham understands the profound emotional and financial toll of a wrongful death, and is dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to families seeking justice. With decades of combined experience handling complex wrongful death cases, Mr. Cunningham has the knowledge, resources, and commitment to help you navigate this challenging time and pursue the compensation and accountability you deserve.

Understanding Wrongful Death Law

Wrongful death law in Florida provides a legal avenue for surviving family members to seek compensation for the loss of a loved one caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions of another party. Wrongful death claims typically arise from various incidents, including car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and defective products. These claims allow eligible family members to pursue damages for financial losses, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and loss of companionship, as well as non-economic damages for pain and suffering.

Types of Orlando Wrongful Death Cases We Handle

Here at the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., we handle a wide range of Orlando wrongful death cases, including those resulting from:

  1. Car Accidents: Car accidents are one of the most common causes of wrongful death, often resulting from factors such as speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, or reckless behavior. Wrongful death claims arising from car accidents can involve multiple parties, including negligent drivers, vehicle manufacturers, or even government entities responsible for road maintenance.
  2. Truck Accidents: Truck accidents pose a significant risk of catastrophic injury or death due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks. Wrongful death cases involving truck accidents may stem from factors like driver fatigue, inadequate training, overloaded trucks, or mechanical failures.
  3. Motorcycle Accidents: Motorcycle accidents can result in severe injuries or fatalities for riders and passengers due to the lack of protection compared to other vehicles. Wrongful death claims in motorcycle accidents often involve issues such as driver visibility, road hazards, or the negligence of other motorists.
  4. Pedestrian Accidents: Pedestrian accidents occur when pedestrians are struck by vehicles while walking or crossing the road. These accidents can result from drivers failing to yield the right of way, speeding, or distracted driving. Wrongful death claims in pedestrian accidents may also involve issues of inadequate signage or poorly designed intersections.
  5. Bicycle Accidents: Bicycle accidents can lead to fatal injuries for cyclists due to collisions with vehicles, obstacles, or hazardous road conditions. Wrongful death cases in bicycle accidents may involve negligent motorists, defective bicycle components, or unsafe roadway designs.
  6. Medical Malpractice: Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals fail to provide a standard level of care, leading to patient harm or death. Wrongful death claims in medical malpractice cases may arise from surgical errors, misdiagnosis, medication errors, or inadequate treatment.
  7. Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: Nursing home abuse and neglect can result in serious injuries or death for elderly residents due to neglect, physical abuse, or medical negligence. Wrongful death claims in nursing home cases may involve issues such as understaffing, inadequate training, or failure to provide proper medical care.
  8. Defective Products: Wrongful death cases involving defective products occur when a product's design, manufacturing, or labeling defects lead to fatal injuries. These cases may involve defective vehicles, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, or industrial equipment.
  9. Workplace Accidents: Workplace accidents resulting in wrongful death can occur in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare. These accidents may involve falls, electrocutions, machinery accidents, or exposure to hazardous substances.
  10. Premises Liability: Premises liability cases involve injuries or deaths that occur due to unsafe conditions on someone else's property. Examples include slip and fall accidents, dog attacks, swimming pool accidents, or inadequate security leading to criminal acts. Wrongful death claims in premises liability cases may involve property owners, landlords, or businesses failing to maintain safe premises or warn visitors of hazards.

Understanding the various types of wrongful death cases is crucial for identifying liability, gathering evidence, and pursuing legal action on behalf of the deceased and their surviving family members.

Who Can File an Orlando Wrongful Death Claim?

In Florida, wrongful death claims can be filed by specific individuals known as "survivors." According to Florida Statutes §768.18, eligible survivors typically include:


The surviving spouse of the deceased holds a significant legal status in wrongful death claims. In Florida, the spouse is typically the primary party entitled to file a wrongful death claim. This includes both legally married spouses and common-law spouses recognized under Florida law. The spouse may seek damages for various losses, including loss of companionship, emotional pain and suffering, lost financial support, and any medical or funeral expenses incurred as a result of the death.


Minor children of the deceased, including adopted children, hold a substantial stake in wrongful death claims. Florida law considers both biological and adopted children eligible to file a wrongful death claim. This includes minor children born within or outside of marriage. In cases where the deceased had no surviving spouse, the children become primary beneficiaries and may seek damages for loss of parental guidance, support, and companionship, as well as future financial losses resulting from the death.


Parents of the deceased may also have standing to file a wrongful death claim under certain circumstances. If the deceased person did not have a surviving spouse or minor children, their parents may step in as eligible claimants. This provision acknowledges the profound emotional and financial impact that the loss of a child can have on parents. Parents may seek damages for mental anguish, loss of companionship, and any financial support or services they might have expected from their child.


Individuals who were partially or wholly dependent on the deceased person for support or services at the time of death may also be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. This category can include various individuals such as adult children, siblings, and other relatives or household members who relied on the deceased for financial assistance, caregiving, or other forms of support. Dependents may seek damages for the loss of financial support, services, and companionship, as well as any expenses incurred as a result of the death.

It's important to note that Florida law prioritizes the surviving spouse and children over other potential claimants. Additionally, if the deceased person did not have a surviving spouse, children, or parents, other blood relatives or adoptive siblings who were dependent on the deceased for support or services may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

What's Next?

Once a claim has been initiated, Orlando wrongful death lawyer James O. Cunningham offers assistance and counsel to clients during the entirety of the legal proceedings. Here is an outline of the support available:

  • Legal Strategy: A strategic legal plan tailored to the specific circumstances of the case is developed. Our extensive experience in wrongful death law is utilized to identify the most effective legal theories and arguments to pursue maximum compensation for clients.
  • Communication and Updates: Open and transparent communication is maintained with our clients, keeping them informed about the progress of their case and providing updates on any significant developments. Prompt responses to clients' questions and concerns ensure they are kept fully informed and involved in the decision-making process.
  • Evidence Gathering: A thorough investigation is conducted to gather evidence supporting the wrongful death claim. This may involve collecting medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and expert opinions to build a strong case on behalf of clients.
  • Negotiation: Negotiations with insurance companies, opposing parties, and their legal representatives are undertaken to seek a fair and just settlement for clients. The evidence is skillfully presented, persuasive arguments are made, and clients' best interests are advocated for during settlement negotiations.
  • Litigation Representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached, preparation to advocate for clients in court is undertaken. Representation during litigation proceedings includes presenting compelling evidence, examining witnesses, and making persuasive legal arguments to secure a favorable verdict.
  • Maximizing Compensation: Diligent work is performed to maximize the compensation available to clients. Damages sought include economic losses such as medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost income, as well as non-economic damages for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and emotional distress.
  • Compassionate Support: Recognizing the emotional toll of losing a loved one, compassionate support and guidance are provided to our clients throughout the legal process. A sympathetic ear, empathy, and understanding are offered to help clients navigate the complexities of the case with dignity and respect.

Overall, Orlando wrongful death attorney James O. Cunningham is dedicated to providing his clients with exceptional legal representation and compassionate support as they seek justice and closure in the aftermath of a wrongful death. He tirelessly advocates for their rights and interests, helping them move forward with their lives while honoring the memory of their loved one.

Contact Us Today

For additional information or to schedule a free 30-minute case evaluation with Orlando wrongful death lawyer James O. Cunningham, please contact us today today at (407) 425-2000 to speak with an associate.

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  • 5 StarsI would most definitely recommend James Cunningham for a Personal Injury Attorney

    We interviewed 3 different lawyers before we chose Mr. Cunningham. We are glad we did. I felt besides helping us with the needed funeral expenses for my father, he was honest, upfront, and of the highest ethics.

    - Jay, a Wrongful Death client