When you’ve experienced the traumatic loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, the thought of filing a lawsuit can seem daunting and distressing. And yet, the financial burdens faced by surviving family members can often be unbearable. At the Fran Haasch Law Group, our Tampa wrongful death lawyers have nearly 20 years of experience compassionately guiding families through the process of filing a claim to compensate them for their unjust loss. We understand the grief and devastation caused by an untimely death and are dedicated to getting justice.
We have handled many wrongful death claims and recovered multi-million dollar settlements for our clients under a wide variety of circumstances and types of accidents. If your loved one has died as the result of the carelessness or improper conduct of another person or entity, you may be eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim. Call the experienced wrongful death lawyers at the Fran Haasch Law Group today for a free case evaluation.
The Complexities of a Wrongful Death Claim
Wrongful death cases can be complicated and hard to manage because of the sensitive circumstances and because proving negligence can be challenging. Furthermore, only certain parties are permitted to file a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death is also an expensive type of litigation because expert witnesses are frequently needed to provide unbiased testimony in court. Sometimes simulations or other highly technical forms of evidence are also required. For this reason, it is vitally important to be represented by seasoned, competent wrongful death attorneys and a law firm with the financial resources to fund your wrongful death case, regardless of the cost of necessary expert testimony and technical evidence. The Tampa wrongful death attorneys at the Fran Haasch law group have the resources to do this and will help you recover what you are owed. If we don’t win for you, our services are free.
What is a Wrongful Death?
There are many different types of wrongful death cases, but Florida statute states that “when a person’s death is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default or breach of contract or warranty,” the estate of the deceased person has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Said lawsuit must prove the following three things:
- The conduct that caused the death was negligent.
- The negligent conduct was, in fact, the cause of death of the decedent.
- The event would have entitled the person injured to maintain an action and recover damages if death had not ensued.
Wrongful death cases are civil lawsuits, not criminal. Their purpose is to recover compensation for the estate and surviving family members for the loss they have experienced. This differs from murder, manslaughter, and homicide, which are criminal suits brought by government prosecutors on behalf of the state and the victims. Criminal lawsuits are punitive, meaning meant to punish someone for breaking the law, and can result in prison time. The burden of proof for a prosecutor is also much higher in criminal cases.
How a Tampa Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
A skillful and experienced Tampa wrongful death attorney like the ones at the Fran Haasch Law Group is well versed in the complexities of the law surrounding an individual’s death due to the negligence of another person or entity. Wrongful death claims are a delicate and complicated legal area, but we have the track record, resources, and legal expertise to fight for you during this difficult time.
Damages That Can Be Recovered Under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act
In a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, you are entitled to receive both economic and non-economic damages for the loss of your loved one. Economic wrongful death damages are compensation for the loss of financial support that the decedent provided. Often, surviving family members experience significant economic struggles, especially if the decedent was the primary source of income. Some economic damages you could recover are:
- Loss of income
- Loss of projected future earnings
- Loss of benefits
- Medical and funeral expenses
Non-economic damages are compensation for subjective, non-monetary losses. Examples of some non-economic damages you could recover are:
- Loss of companionship for surviving spouse
- Loss of companionship, parental guidance, and instruction for surviving children
- Loss of household contributions, such as child-rearing, chores, etc…
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and anxiety
Surviving spouses and minor children can be awarded damages for the loss of relationship, comfort, and support from the deceased. Parents may also recover damages for the same loss if the child was a minor. However, parents typically cannot be awarded emotional pain and suffering damages for the loss of an adult child.
In rare cases where a wrongful death results from gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct, a court may also decide to award punitive damages.
Who Can File A Tampa Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, a wrongful death claim must be filed by a personal representative of the decedent’s estate. This personal representative can be a family member, but they do not have to be. It may be a non-family member chosen to file the claim on the surviving family’s behalf.
Individuals eligible to be awarded damages include:
- The deceased’s spouse
- The deceased’s children
- The deceased’s parents
- Any blood relatives or adoptive sibling who was partly or wholly dependent on the deceased
- A child or children born out of wedlock when the child’s mother is the deceased
- A child or children born out of wedlock when the child’s father is the deceased, and the child was dependent on the father for support
Typically, the surviving spouse acts as the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate unless stated otherwise in the decedent’s will. If there is no surviving spouse, the decedent’s heirs may appoint a personal representative themselves or choose to have one appointed by a court.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death in Tampa Bay
Wrongful death can occur for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common causes of a wrongful death claim are:
- Medical malpractice – The death of a loved one can be caused by the negligence of a medical or health care professional, through either a negligent act or omission that deviates from the standards of their profession. This can include misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, errors in treatment, or inaction.
- Car accident or other vehicle accident – These can include truck accidents and motorcycle accidents. Ordinary drivers and professional drivers are responsible for safely and lawfully operating vehicles. Those who employ professional drivers also have a responsibility to ensure the drivers operate safely.
- Work-related deaths – Employers have a duty to ensure that their employees work under safe conditions and with proper safety equipment.
- Defective or unsafe products – Manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their products, including vehicles, machinery, tools, toys, and other consumer products.
- Supervised activities – Supervised activities can include daycare, adult care, sports tournaments, field trips, and other activities.
Other wrongful death claims can result from unsafe property accidents, dangerous roadway construction, and criminal activities. In any of these situations, an experienced Tampa wrongful death lawyer will know exactly what needs to be done to establish that the death resulted from a negligent act. Our personal injury lawyers at the Fran Haasch Law Group will hold the at-fault parties liable and advocate for the surviving family members with compassion and skill. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Medical Malpractice Limitations
Under Florida law, when death is the result of medical negligence, the only people eligible to receive compensation are the surviving spouse, children under the age of 25, adult children dependent on the deceased for financial support, and parents if their deceased child was 25-years-old or younger.
What Should I Do If I’ve Lost a Loved One in a Tampa Wrongful Death?
If you’ve lost a loved one as the result of a negligent act in Tampa, contact our law firm immediately. We are wrongful death experts, and we will offer an honest evaluation of your case for free. We work on a contingency basis and do not collect any payment until we reach a successful settlement or win a judgment for you in court. You shouldn’t have to face this difficult time alone.
Our wrongful death lawyers will go over your case in detail, answer any questions you have, and inform you of your legal options. If you decide to proceed with a claim, we will perform a thorough investigation, collect the necessary evidence to prove negligence, and go to battle for you. We handle all documentation and negotiations so that you can focus on your family. We are capable litigators and are not afraid to take your case to court if necessary.
Does Insurance Cover Wrongful Death in Tampa, FL?
Insurance may cover portions of a wrongful death claim under Florida law. This depends on the cause of your loved one’s death, and you will need to prove it was the result of negligence. Our skilled wrongful death attorneys will take care of investigating your case and holding all liable parties responsible. We’ll secure the maximum compensation for your loss, and if it includes insurance payments, we will recover them for you.
The Statute of Limitations for a Tampa Wrongful Death
The statute of limitations for a Florida wrongful death action is two years from the date of death. There are a few rare exceptions. However, it is imperative to consult with a knowledgeable wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to properly preserve your claim and discuss the next steps. It can take time to negotiate and litigate a wrongful death case.
Call the Tampa Wrongful Death Attorneys at Fran Haasch Law Group Today
If you’ve experienced the death of a loved one due to wrongful death in Tampa, Florida, contact our proficient personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. Wrongful death is one of our many practice areas. We are knowledgeable and skilled attorneys unwavering in our commitment to securing the maximum compensation for our clients.
No amount of recompense can make up for the pain and suffering of unexpectedly losing a loved one. Still, at the very least, you deserve the financial support you’ve been deprived of and compensatory justice for your extraordinary loss. As soon as possible, contact an attorney at our law firm for a free evaluation of your wrongful death case. Let us speak for you during this difficult time.