Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney
When one person suffers an injury or damages due to the negligent actions of another, the injured party can recover losses through a personal injury lawsuit. However, if the injured party dies from his or her wounds or illness, the decedent’s surviving family members may seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. While the plaintiffs must prove the defendant’s negligence and how it contributed to or caused the death in question, wrongful death claims function a bit differently than typical personal injury claims.
Dealing with a wrongful death in the family is never easy, so it’s important to find an attorney who can provide thorough, compassionate representation throughout what is sure to be a difficult time for you and your family. The Williams Law team has decades of experience handling all manner of civil claims, so keep the following in mind and reach out to us with any questions you may have about wrongful death claims in Florida.
Florida Wrongful Death Laws
Under Florida law, wrongful death occurs whenever a person dies due to a breach of contract, default, negligence, or some wrongful act. Florida law also stipulates who may bring a wrongful death claim to court as well as who may claim compensation through such a claim. Florida law states that the deceased individual’s estate representative must bring the wrongful death claim to court. If the deceased did not have an estate or did not name a specific representative, the court will appoint a representative to handle the claim.
The claim representative must provide the court with a complete list of every person or party who has an interest in the case. Florida law states that a deceased individual’s spouse, parents, children, and blood relatives and adopted siblings who are financially dependent on the deceased can claim compensation in a wrongful death suit. Florida places a two-year statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. The surviving family has two years from the date of death to file a claim, but some circumstances may allow for postponing or extending this window.
Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
Damages in most wrongful death claims are similar to those in personal injury cases with some exceptions. Florida law states that damages in wrongful death claims may include:
- The value of services and support provided by the deceased to the surviving family members.
- Mental and emotional pain due to the loss of the deceased person.
- Loss of companionship, protection, affection, and guidance provided by the deceased person.
- Lost earnings. The family can sue for the financial security the deceased person would have provided in the future.
- Lost “prospective net accumulations” of the estate, or lost increased valuations of assets held by the estate.
- Medical and funeral expenses.
- Pain and suffering. In some cases, the deceased person’s final injury or illness may not have been outright fatal. If the deceased spent time in the hospital or had to experience a decline before succumbing to the final injury or illness, the surviving family can sue for the pain and suffering the deceased experienced in that time.
Succeeding in a wrongful death claim depends on the quality of your legal representation. It’s important for plaintiffs in wrongful death cases to secure representation from reliable, experienced attorneys. Many wrongful death claims have avenues of compensation that inexperienced lawyers may miss or fail to fully investigate. After losing a loved one, it’s important to put your legal troubles into competent hands.
Contact the Williams Law team to schedule a free consultation about your wrongful death claim today. We have the experience and resources necessary to help you and your family recover what you deserve after wrongly losing a loved one. Money can’t replace a loved one, but our team can help you secure the compensation you need to move forward and maintain a sense of normalcy during a difficult time.