Losing a loved one is traumatic for everyone in the family, particularly when their death is unexpected. When you are going about your everyday life, getting your children off to school, saying goodbye to your spouse, and heading out the door for work yourself, the last thing you expect is to not see everyone at dinner that evening. Just before leaving work for the day, you call your spouse and ask them to bring home a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk.
Upon arriving home, you help your children with their homework, toss a load of laundry in the washing machine, and begin preparing dinner. When your phone rings, the last thing you are prepared for is your life to be irrevocably changed. The call is from the hospital informing you your spouse has been involved in a car accident and asking you to come immediately. You contact a neighbor to watch your children and head to the emergency room.
What you learned is your spouse was on their way home when the car they were driving was struck by a drunk driver who was speeding. Doctors tell you they are uncertain about recovery because they have been unable to determine the full extent of injuries. Three days later, after two surgical procedures to stop internal bleeding, and incredible amounts of pain, your spouse loses their life.
A Wrongful Death Lawsuit is Possible
Devastation, pain, and fear are common emotions after losing a loved one. When you lose a loved one because someone was negligent however, chances are you are also feeling very angry. Your first concern however is for your family. You are now facing a future filled with uncertainty. Not only will you have to bring your children up without one parent, but your financial future is tenuous with the loss of income from your spouse.
A wrongful death lawsuit can help you maintain financial stability in your family. An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Tampa may help you recover compensation for:
- Medical bills for your spouse’s end-of-life care
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future earnings
- Your spouse’s pain and suffering prior to death
If you are considering hiring a personal injury lawyer, Tampa offers many options. However, you want to make sure you have someone who is experienced handling car accident claims.
Wrongful Death Rules in Florida
Florida passed a Wrongful Death Act in order to ensure survivors of victims would not have to suffer the financial burdens of the loss of a loved one when someone else was at fault. There are certain rules which must be followed in wrongful death cases including:
- The decedent was owed a duty of care
- The responsible party acted in a negligent manner
- The responsible party’s negligence directly resulted in a death
When you hire a wrongful death attorney, you can ask them questions about how they handle these types of claims. A wrongful death lawyer can also explain duty of care and negligence as they are explained in Florida laws.
A Survivor’s Right to Action in Wrongful Death Claims
Florida’s statutes are clear about who may file a wrongful death claim. By law, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed by the representative of the estate of the deceased. However, the benefits of such a lawsuit are the survivors of the decedent.
- When the victim had a will, the lawsuit is filed by the named executor of the estate
- When the victim had no will or named executor, the Probate Court will name a representative
- All persons who have an interest in a possible settlement must be included as beneficiaries of the lawsuit
When you are working with a personal injury lawyer, Tampa probate court is in Hillsboro County. You must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the date of the accident resulting in death, assuming you are aware the death was associated with the accident.
A Tampa Wrongful Death Claim Lawyer can help. We have several offices where we can meet you. Call Today and Schedule Your Free Consultation.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
There are specific issues a Tampa wrongful death attorney must address when filing a lawsuit. These include:
- A person lost their life
- The loss of life was caused by a negligent act, or an act intended to cause harm
- Surviving family members are suffering financially as a result of the death
- A personal representative has been appointed either by the court or is representing the estate of the decedent per an estate plan
When You Hire us For Your Wrongful Death Claim, You Reap the Benefit of 20+ Years of Experience
We are ready to help you with your wrongful death claim. Our wrongful death lawyers are compassionate, experienced, and conscientious. Let us help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
FAQs – Wrongful Death Claims
Who can sue for wrongful death in Florida?
While the representative of the estate is responsible for filing the lawsuit, the suit is representing the survivors of the decedent. Survivors may include spouses, parents, children, stepchildren, or anyone who was dependent on the decedent for support in full or in part. Division of any wrongful death claim settlement is governed by Florida statutes which your wrongful death attorney can explain to you.
Is wrongful death a crime in Florida?
Wrongful death lawsuits do not require the responsible party be charged with a crime before a lawsuit is filed. Since wrongful death lawsuits are civil lawsuits, there is no need to prove a crime occurred. However, if someone caused death while drinking and driving, a prosecutor will likely pursue criminal charges. Keep in mind, even if the person is adjudicated not guilty of a crime, does not mean your wrongful death case cannot proceed.