Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney
The Tampa wrongful death lawyers at Williams Law, P.A. have the experience and resources necessary to help you and your family recover what you deserve after wrongly losing a loved one. When one person suffers an injury or damages due to the negligent actions of another, the injured party can recover losses through a wrongful death 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 Tampa personal injury claims.
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. Contact the Williams Law team to schedule a free consultation with a Tamp wrongful death attorney about your wrongful death claim today.
Tampa Wrongful Death Lawyers You Can Trust
Dealing with a wrongful death in the family is never easy. It is important to find a wrongful death 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 wrongful death cases, so keep the following in mind and reach out to us with any questions you may have about Tampa wrongful death claims. If your loved one was killed because of the negligence of a drunk driver, you should certainly consider contacting a Tampa drunk driving attorney right away.
Causes of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death can occur in any situation that puts the victim at risk of serious bodily injury or illness. Any type of accident that threatens the physical safety of a person could result in wrongful death, if the accident is fatal. A case may quality as wrongful death if someone else’s negligence or recklessness contributed to the cause of death. Some accidents cause wrongful death in Florida more than others:
- Auto accidents
- Boat and waterway accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products
- Criminal activity
- Medical malpractice
- Accidental poisoning
Identifying the cause of death is one of the first steps necessary to bring a wrongful death claim. In the aftermath of a fatal accident in Florida, hire a Tampa wrongful death attorney. An experienced attorney can investigate who or what caused the death of your loved one. Learning the exact circumstances of the accident can help you identify the correct defendant, and begin taking steps toward obtaining justice and financial compensation. A law firm has connections to experts who can thoroughly investigate each case.
Negligence is the main cause of wrongful death in Tampa. Human error, recklessness, and carelessness can cause fatal accidents when one or more parties breach their duties of care to victims. In these situations, surviving family members may have grounds to seek financial restitution through a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party or parties could bring justice, closure, and financial stability to a family during a hard time. You and your family do not have to accept someone else’s fatal negligence without a fight.
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.
Our wrongful death lawyers are equipped to handle wrongful death cases in Tampa, Florida relating to:
- Auto or truck accidents
- Bicyclist or pedestrian fatalities
- Motorcycle crashes
- Boat or Jet Ski fatalities
- Medical malpractice
- Falling accidents
- Other accidental deaths
The Florida Wrongful Death Act
The Florida Wrongful Death Act is the law that outlines the rules, requirements, and regulations for a family that wishes to recovery for losses associated with a death in the family. The Act specifies who may file a civil claim for wrongful death, as well as who must initiate the claim. It is necessary for claimants in a wrongful death case to learn the stipulations of the Florida Wrongful Death Act if they wish to have a successful claim. According to the act, the following people have the right to file a claim.
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Any blood relatives wholly dependent on the decedent
- Adoptive siblings wholly dependent on the decedent
The Wrongful Death Act states that the only party that may official bring the claim is a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. The decedent may have named a representative in his or her will; otherwise, the courts may assign one during probate (usually the surviving spouse). The representative will file the wrongful death claim on behalf of all eligible survivors. The survivors may then determine how to allocate any settlement or verdict won among eligible dependents.
Damages Available Under the Wrongful Death Act
The Act also outlines what damages may be available to families during wrongful death claims. It states that each survivor can recover a monetary value equal to the loved one’s lost support and services, according to the relationship between the survivor and the decedent. A surviving spouse may also recover for loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection, as well as for mental pain and suffering. Minor children of the decedent may recover for the loss of parental guidance and instruction, as well as pain and suffering. Survivors who paid the decedent’s medical bills may also recover these expenses.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of love and companionship
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
It is possible for family members in Florida to obtain compensation for past and future lost support and services, lost wages, lost companionship, medical expenses, and reasonable funeral and burial costs after the wrongful death of a loved one. The value of a particular case will depend on the unique circumstances of the family and the loss. If you are curious about what your case could be worth, contact a wrongful death lawyer in Tampa to schedule a consultation.
Damages in Tampa 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 therefore 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 wrongful death attorneys. Many wrongful death claims have avenues of compensation that inexperienced lawyers may miss or fail to fully investigate because of their lack of experience. After losing a loved one, it’s important to put your legal troubles into competent hands. While no amount of financial payment can ever compensate for the loss of a loved one, being financially secure in your future and the comfort of responsible parties being brought to justice can provide a sense of closure and security to survivors.