Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death in Florida?
Wrongful death can be a confusing term because losing a loved one never feels right. Still, only certain kinds of losses justify wrongful death claims. Wrongful death claims apply when someone causes another’s death through negligence or as the result of an intentional action.
In Florida, Sections 768.16-768.26 of The 2020 Florida Statutes make up the “Florida Wrongful Death Act.” Under this act, people who lose loved ones are entitled to compensation in situations where the deceased would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit had they survived.
Common Causes of Wrongful Deaths
The leading causes of accident-related deaths are motor vehicle accidents, but other common wrongful death claims include:
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Boat accidents
- Casino accidents
- Medical malpractice
- And more
Accidents and unintentional injuries are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. All too often, these deaths are also the result of negligence (or the failure to behave carefully). There are too many situations, for example, where family members would still be alive if a drunk driver would have only called a cab. If you’ve found yourself in one of these life-changing situations, Four Rivers Law Firm is here to help.
We understand legal action may be the last thing on your mind, but when you’re ready, we encourage you to call us at (813) 331-5056 so we can explain your rights and legal options.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim in Florida. Most of the time, the decedent names this person in their will or estate plan before passing away, but in some situations, the court names a personal representative after the person’s death.
In either case, the lawsuit benefits the deceased person’s surviving family members. Damages will go to the decedent’s estate on behalf of their surviving:
- Spouse (husband or wife)
- Blood relatives
- Adoptive siblings
Blood relatives and adoptive siblings are only entitled to damages if they were “partly or wholly” dependent on the person who passed away.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is two years from the date of death. If you fail to file a claim within this timeframe than you will lose your right to do so. By guiding you through a wrongful death lawsuit, our lawyers can help you balance the scales of justice and take the time you need to grieve properly.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
When you lose a loved one, the expenses can quickly stack up. You may have to pay for a funeral and burial services, and you will undoubtedly suffer emotional losses.
As such, the Florida Wrongful Death Act allows survivors to collect the following damages:
- Final medical expenses
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost earnings and financial contributions
- Lost support and services
- Lost retirement savings/ inheritances
- Pain and suffering
- Lost companionship and protection
- Lost parental guidance
- And more
Some funds are awarded to survivors and others are only available to the estate, but the purpose of a wrongful death claim is to help ensure survivors have the resources they need to cope with their loss.
If someone else caused your loved one’s death, you should not have to cope with the consequences alone. We help make sure you don’t have to.
Why Choose Four Rivers Law Firm?
We believe that our main job is a human one, and in no case is this philosophy more important than in wrongful death cases. We understand what you’re going through, and we are dedicated to lighting the way forward with justice, advocacy, and fairness.
Every time you communicate with our firm, you will speak with a real, compassionate lawyer. This is the person who will be handling the bulk of your casework and offering legal advice and support every step of the way. We will build your case to meet your unique goal, and we never forget what our priority is – you.