Wrongful Death

Contact an Injury Lawyer in Sarasota If You and Your Family Have Been Affected by a Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death

“When he died, all things soft and beautiful and bright would be buried with him.”
― Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles

There is no amount of money, there are no words, and there is no revenge, that can bring your loved one back.

At Luhrsen Goldberg, we understand that. But we also understand that the loss of a spouse, mom, dad, child, sibling, or other loved one can leave more than an emotional void for you and your family. An unexpected death can result in financial chaos, even ruin, and all because of the negligence of another.

Florida’s Wrongful Death Act

Florida’s Wrongful Death Act states that losses from wrongful death, including financial expenses, should be the responsibility of the negligent party and not the survivors. The act applies to wrongful deaths caused by negligence due to car accidents, medical malpractice, retirement and nursing home abuse or neglect, defective products, airplane accidents, some on-the-job accidents, and more.

Statute of Limitations

Specific to a wrongful death claim is the statute of limitations. Although a negligence claim has a four year statute of limitations in Florida, a wrongful death claim, resulting from that very negligence, has a shortened two year statute of limitations.

This means that your wrongful death claim must be resolved or placed into litigation within two years of the date of death. Because of this, and because the victim him or herself is not able to testify as to the facts of a case, it is vital that you act quickly to find an attorney you trust to assist you.

Rest assured, the insurance company has already begun its investigation by the time you even think to begin yours, simply due to your own trauma and grief. Protecting evidence must become a priority, and an experienced wrongful death attorney will have the knowledge to help.


Florida requires that a wrongful death claim be made by the appointed personal representative of the estate of the decedent. This means that when a person dies, there is no longer a physical entity on this earth to handle legal matters, and as such, one must be either designated by will or appointed by a judge.

Once established, the estate and personal representative go through a process called probate, which is the legal process of administering the estate of the deceased person to resolve all claims (including gathering assets and applying them to pay debts, taxes and administration expenses) and distributing the deceased person’s property to beneficiaries as indicated in their will, if such a will exists.

Luhrsen Goldberg is equipped in-house to handle the opening of the probated estate, appointing a personal representative, and pursuing claims under the Wrongful Death Statute.

Recoverable Damages

The damages recoverable by an estate through a wrongful death claim vary based on the survivors of the deceased, the expenses incurred prior to death, post death, the decedent’s income, etc. The details are intricate and detailed and a patient, knowledgeable attorney will spend the time necessary to ensure your appropriate understanding of the process.

Generally, however, recoverable damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost net accumulations (loss of the money the decedent anticipated making into the future)
  • Survivors’ damages (i.e.: pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of dependent finances and care)