Wrongful Death Lawyer Tampa

Accidents happen every day, and sometimes those accidents result in injuries. In a typical personal injury claim after an accident, the injured victim may file a lawsuit against the person who was at fault. With that case, the person who was hurt has the right to seek damages from the party who was at fault as compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. But what happens if the injured person dies as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence?

Under Florida’s Statute Section 768.21, the Wrongful Death statute, the surviving family members of the victim who died may be entitled to monetary damages from the person who wrongfully caused the accident that resulted in the death of their loved one. When the surviving family files a civil suit against the at-fault person, they can seek damages such as loss of companionship, loss of financial support, loss of the decedent’s future earnings and even pre-death pain and suffering of the person who died.

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one, and you believe that it was the result of someone else’s negligence, contact Future Firm Law. We understand the feelings of grief and frustration you experience when you lose someone close to you. We will use each of our many resources to carefully review your case, construct your legal claim and seek justice for you and your family.

Accidents Which Can Result in Wrongful Deaths

Sometimes a victim’s death occurs quickly, such as if they are walking alongside a road and a vehicle strikes them, killing them instantly. In other cases, the death occurs later on, when the victim dies from the injury he or she sustained, or from another type of secondary condition that was related to the accident. Whenever a victim dies as the result of an accident, no matter if it was right away or months later, their loved ones can still pursue a wrongful death suit.

Some of the most common types of accidents that result in death are:

  • Workplace accidents.
  • Car accidents.
  • Truck accidents.
  • Dog bites.
  • Slip and fall accidents.
  • Motorcycle accidents.
  • Construction accidents.
  • Incidents involving defective products.
  • Pedestrian accidents.

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Pursuing a Wrongful Death Claim and Recovering Damages

Who can file a wrongful death claim after an accidental death varies from state to state, but in Florida, a personal representative should be present in court to initiate the official complaint, according to section 678.18 of the Florida Statute. This representative should be named in the estate plan of the deceased, or if there was no existing estate plan, it could be a wrongful death attorney, such as Future Firm Law. Your family’s representative will file one claim on behalf of all the members of the family who are affected by the loss of their loved one — whether financially or emotionally. Your wrongful death claim will need to be filed no later than two years from the date of your loved one’s death.

The damages a person can recover through a wrongful death claim and the person receiving compensation also depends on state law. In Florida, the children, parents or spouse of the deceased can file a wrongful death suit, and if an adoptive sibling or other blood relative is even partly dependent upon the decedent for support and services, they may also be able to file a claim.

Wrongful death suits in Florida can include compensation for any of the following:

  • The value of earnings, wages and/or benefits that the decedent could have expected to make or receive.
  • The value of companionship, guidance, and protection the decedent provided.
  • The value of any support and services the decedent provided.
  • The value of mental and emotional pain and suffering from losing a child.
  • Medical or funeral expenses that have been paid by the surviving family member or the decedent’s estate.
  • The value of lost “prospective net accumulations” of the estate.

How Liability Can be Proven

In any wrongful death claim, the person/persons filing the suit must prove that their loved one’s death was the result of another person’s negligence or lack of duty of care to the victim. That “duty of care” designation varies, depending on what the incident was that caused the death. If your loved one died in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s aggressive driving was where the duty of care (of other drivers) broke down and led to your relative’s death.

Though you may know what the hard facts are in your loved one’s death, Future Firm Law will need to present evidence to support your claim and win your case. Some examples of these types of evidence would be:

  • A copy of the official accident report if one exists
  • Photographs of the accident scene
  • Testimony from the police officer who attended the scene or your loved one’s doctor
  • A digital reconstruction of the accident scene
  • Copies of your loved one’s medical reports