Wrongful Death Claim Lawyers in Florida
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
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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
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
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
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FAQs – Wrongful Death Claims
Who can sue for wrongful death in Florida?
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.
Very competent attorney. Very serious case. I was guilty but wasn’t taking the states incarceration deal so did an open plea today. If I was innocent I’d like to have used him in trial. Scales of justice were balanced.
Thomas Grajek did an awesome job communicating with me and my my family. He handled this case profesionally, is well liked in the court room. If your seeking legal help i highly recommend him.
Mr. Grajek got my case dismissed so fast, I did not even have to go to court. I was referred to him by a friend of mine that said he was the best lawyer they have ever dealt with. He explained the strategy he was going to use for my defense by using terms that made the court process easy for me to understand. He started working on my case immediately and my charges were dismissed in less then 2 weeks. He is very nice and professional, but also aggressive and smart, which was just what I needed.