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Wrongful Death Lawyers in Tampa

Wrongful Death Victims

Besides restoring victims to wholeness from a purely economic point of view, personal injury suits that arise when death occurred due to third-party negligence should be pursued vigorously to ensure bereaved loved ones receive true justice to the fullest possible extent. When people die prematurely, family members suffer multiple losses that extend far beyond direct costs like medical bills and final burial expenses. Just a few major examples are loss of the primary breadwinner’s income, outstanding debt such as a large mortgage balance, permanently lost companionship and long-term emotional pain.

funeral from wrongful deathMoreover, depending on case-specific factual circumstances, plaintiffs may be entitled to punitive damages for grossly egregious neglect or willful misconduct by guilty party(ies) with legal responsibility. Even defendant(s) who didn’t act with deliberate bad faith but failed to exercise reasonable care or take prompt measures that could have prevented a fatal mishap are still liable for all resulting harm inflicted on innocent victims. Which is also precisely why it’s vital that victimized parties take prompt steps to hold all villains legally accountable for inadvertent carelessness or purposeful vindictive malicious actions. Anyone who’s ever lost someone they loved dearly to untimely sudden death can easily comprehend the devastating aftermath of far-reaching consequences that literally last an entire lifetime for those left behind.

For that very reason, our Tampa, Florida Law Firm has an entire team of dedicated attorneys with extensive practice experience in wrongful death litigation who work diligently for and exclusively in the client’s best interests. Each one of these well trained legal professionals are very familiar with various tactics that large insurance carriers typically employ to pressure severely distressed pro se claimants into accepting out of court lowball settlements. Our wrongful death lawyers are skilled negotiators who know how to present each client’s case in most favorable light possible as a way of ensuring full and fair monetary damage claims settlements. However, in the relatively unlikely event that informal negotiations fail, we never hesitate to launch full-scale litigation of all disputed matters.

A common misconception is that personal injury attorneys retain excessive sums from the gross amount of any negotiated financial settlement or court awarded judgement in the client’s favor. Consequently, many people try to take on big insurance companies and large corporations alone. This misguided approach virtually always proves a dismal failure because applicable statutory and regulatory provisions as well as controlling judicial precedents are very complex. Not to mention being subject to highly subjective interpretation and application and frequent amendment. Very few laypeople who are experiencing severe financial hardship and extreme grief have sufficient mental stamina to handle extra huge burdens of dealing with indifferent defendants whose self-interests are directly opposed to those of damaged victims.

Even if bereaved family members were themselves experienced wrongful death lawyers, it would still be quite unwise to attempt self-representation, as an objective perspective is essential to present all relevant facts and circumstances in a rational manner that’s most likely to achieve desired results. This is where our Tampa, FL wrongful death trial lawyers provide yet another major fringe benefit with moral support for clients throughout the entire damage claims recovery process. Witnessing family members’ suffering amid times of extreme crises merely inspires even stronger motivation to advocate zealously during every stage of preliminary negotiation and if necessary, subsequent litigation.

A critical task at immediate hand before taking the first step forward that might lead toward litigation is to maximize success with full victory by securing qualified, zealous legal representation. While the mere thought of having to face harsh present realities that evoke painful memories from very recent past events might likely provoke strong hesitation that’s quite natural, it’s essential to avoid letting procrastination continue too long. Prompt action is vital because applicable laws impose strict deadlines, after which times various legal avenues to pursue the most well-deserved vindication will close permanently for those victimized by a wrongful death. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t recognize emotions as valid defenses for neglected due diligence by failure to take prompt remedial steps. Excessive delay by even a single day often may as well be several decades in the eyes of the law.

Thus, anyone who’s suffered a dear loved one’s sudden loss due to death caused by someone else’s negligence must take proactive corrective measures well before the day arrives when it will become too late forever. An ideal planning strategy that offers a risk-free route is available upon requesting initial consultation for a thorough case evaluation by one of our well trained attorneys with lengthy experience in Tampa, Florida personal injury wrongful death litigation. As this valuable service is provided with no cost or obligation whatsoever, no valid excuse can possibly exist for continued delay of even another nanosecond in pursuing rightful and legally entitled financial compensation. Contact our office this instant to schedule a free consultation that can get you well on the way toward wherever your family should be forever.

When a tragic wrongful death occurs, you need answers. How can you support yourself and your family? What resources are available to hold the people responsible who caused the accident? When you need answers, our Tampa attorneys for wrongful death have answers.

What Is Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death is when a person dies because of a legal wrong of another person or party. Although a wrongful death is typically an accident, the accident happens because someone fails to exercise the care and caution required under the law. The family of the victim may bring a claim for financial compensation.

Where Do You File a Wrongful Death Claim in Tampa?

Wrongful death claims in Tampa are typically filed in the 13th Circuit Court for Hillsborough County. This is the court that hears disputes over $30,000. There are 20 circuit courts in Florida, plus courts of appeal and the Supreme Court. There are also county courts that hear a wide range of matters. However, a wrongful death claim is for more than $30,000, so it originates in the circuit court. For the Tampa area, that is the 13th Circuit Court. Be sure to verify that Tampa is the correct location to file the claim based on the facts and circumstances.

Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

In Florida, the victim’s estate, along with the spouse, children and parents, get the money in a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. If there is a settlement, Florida law 768.25 [1] requires the court to approve of distribution of the funds among the qualifying parties. When the claim resolves by a jury verdict, the law requires the verdict form to state the amounts separately for each party (Florida law 768.22 [2]). All of the potential beneficiaries must be identified in the complaint.

How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?

Wrongful death settlements are paid out either by a lump sum or through a structured settlement. A lump sum amount is apportioned to all parties who have a lawful interest in the claim. In cases where a surviving family member is a minor or a party otherwise wants a steady and reliable stream of income in the future, it may be appropriate to negotiate for a structured settlement that pays in the form of an annuity. However, payments are typically in the form of one lump sum that is paid after the judgment is final.

What Are Types of Wrongful Death Cases?

Some types of wrongful death cases include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck crashes, pedestrian accidents
  • Drunk driving
  • Motorcycle and bicycle accidents
  • Machine equipment that malfunctions
  • Workplace accidents, OSHA violations
  • Electrocutions, fires, burns
  • Products that don’t operate the way they should, poor or inadequate instructions
  • Poorly designed products
  • Falls from ladders
  • Accidents that occur because of dangerous property conditions
  • Assault and battery; intentional homicide
  • Medical malpractice
  • Boating accidents
  • Plane and train crashes
  • Poisoning or overdoses
  • Drunk driving, driving under the influence of medications or drugs

How Do You Prove Wrongful Death?

You prove wrongful death by proving the elements of negligence, or another legal wrong that would be the basis for a personal injury tort claim if the victim had lived. Examples of legal liability for wrongful death are:

  • Negligence – a failure to act with ordinary care
  • Recklessness – extreme disregard for the safety of others
  • Intentional acts – purposeful conduct
  • Medical malpractice – failure to act up to a professional standard
  • Product liability – manufacturing errors, poor design or a lack of instructions

To prove wrongful death, you confirm the elements of the legal wrong. Also, you show how the other side acting below a legal standard caused the accident. Finally, you demonstrate what damages that survivors have that you may recover under the law. Each of these elements must be proven in order to win the claim.

What Are Tampa’s Wrongful Death Laws?

Tampa, Florida’s wrongful death laws are found in Florida Statutes Chapter 768 [3]. The law says that if the death is caused by a wrongful act, and the person could have brought the personal injury claim if they had survived, the defendant remains liable for damages. The action is brought by the victim’s personal representative. Defenses may apply to the claim brought on behalf of the defendant’s estate.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?

The following parties may file a wrongful death claim in Florida:

  • Estate of the victim
  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Other family members who rely on the victim for support

How Much Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice for Wrongful Death?

There is no limit to how much you can sue for medical malpractice for wrongful death. The Florida Supreme Court struck down limits to non-economic damages, and there are no limits to what you can claim for economic damages. Your damages are based on financial losses, lost wages and loss of support and companionship. Because of the nature of a wrongful death claim, damages for medical malpractice wrongful death are high. The amount of compensation is unique to the actual damages of the victim.

What Is a Florida Wrongful Death Complaint?

A Florida wrongful death complaint is the document that formally begins a wrongful death claim. Even if the other party or their insurance company makes promises of voluntary payment, it’s critical to have the wrongful death complaint filed by the statute of limitations deadline. A complaint states the facts, the legal theories of the case and says that the defendant is responsible for damages. Once the claim is formally filed, the other side has a chance to respond, and the case proceeds to further legal proceedings.

Can I Hire an Attorney for a Wrongful Death Claim?

Yes, you can hire an attorney for a wrongful death claim. In fact, an attorney specially trained for wrongful death cases can assist you in making your claim.

Attorneys for Tampa Wrongful Death Claims

You may have additional questions regarding wrongful death—How much can you sue a hospital for wrongful death? How does a wrongful death lawsuit work? How much is a wrongful death lawsuit worth? If you’ve lost a family member in a Tampa accident and don’t know where to start, contact the Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, friendly and professional legal team today. We can answer all your questions and walk you through the process. We’re here to help you seek justice for your loved one.

Sources:

[1] FLA. STAT. § 768.25 (2011) [2] FLA. STAT. § 768.22 (2011) [3] FLA. STAT. § 768 (2020)

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