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The death of a spouse or close family member due to an accident is one of the hardest losses to recover from. Along with the pain and suffering experienced after your loss, your family may deal with financial hardship due to funeral expenses, loss of income, and more.
If your spouse or close family member has died in an accident, a Tampa wrongful death attorney may be able to help you recover compensation to pay for these expenses and other damages including pain and suffering.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, a Tampa attorney will work on your behalf to prove to a judge, jury, or settling insurance company that the death of your loved one was caused by the negligent or reckless act of another.
If you have lost a spouse or family member in an accident, a Tampa wrongful death attorney can review the facts of your case and help you pursue litigation to receive compensation for your losses.
Florida law imposes a time limit in which a lawsuit may be filed, so it is of utmost importance that you contact a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. To learn about your legal options, fill out the free, no-obligation case review form.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act
The Florida legislature enacted the Wrongful Death Act to allow families to recover for losses associated with the death of a loved one. The Florida Wrongful Death Act specifies who may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Under the statute, the following are entitled to receive compensation in a wrongful death case:
- Decedent’s spouse
- Decedent’s children
- Decedent’s parents
- Blood relatives who are dependent on the decedent for support or services
- Adoptive brothers or sisters who are dependent on the decedent for support or services
Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, a personal representative, who is generally named in the decedent’s will, must initiate the wrongful death claim.
If the decedent did not have a will or if the will cannot be found, generally the court will consider the surviving spouse as the personal representative.
If the decedent was unmarried or did not have a surviving spouse, the personal representative will be chosen in a majority vote by the decedent’s heirs. Finally, the heirs cannot decide on who should be the personal representative, the court will appoint one.
Wrongful Death Damages
An attorney in a wrongful death lawsuit will seek compensation for the victim’s surviving spouse and family. Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, the victim’s family may be entitled to the following types of damages:
- Medical and funeral expenses that were paid by the decedent or the decedent’s estate
- Loss of wages and earnings
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship for the surviving spouse and children
- Loss of parental guidance for surviving minor children
To recover compensation for all damages incurred as a result of a wrongful death, the Tampa attorneys at Morgan & Morgan retain expert economists to help value the economic losses that the family will incur as a result of the family member’s death.
In a wrongful death case, the expert will offer testimony regarding the loss of expected wages and the replacement value of all services the decedent provided to the family.
Causes of Wrongful Death in Tampa
In Tampa, wrongful death lawsuits arise out of many types of accidents. Our Tampa attorneys have experience handling wrongful death lawsuits involving the following types of accidents:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Boat and Jet-Ski Accidents
- Defective Drugs and Products
- Workplace Accidents
Our Firm’s Results
The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have over two decades of experience handling wrongful death lawsuits. Because wrongful death claims usually involve a considerable amount of damages, it is important to retain an attorney who has a track record of successfully litigating these types of lawsuits.
With offices throughout the state of Florida, Morgan & Morgan has obtained the following results for their clients:
- $4,800,000 verdict in a wrongful death case involving a 32-year old man who deceased due to a fatal anaphylactic reaction
- $3,000,000 settlement for the wife and children of a 38-year old man who died as a result of a physician’s failure to diagnose and treat an infection
- $2,600,000 settlement of a wrongful death claim involving nursing home abuse
- $2,400,000 verdict in a case arising out of a doctor’s failure to diagnose a 50-year old patient who suffered from an evolving heart attack
- $2,360,000 settlement of wrongful death claims involving a father and daughter when a tractor-trailer pulled out onto the highway in front of their vehicle, resulting in a multi-vehicle accident
If you lost your spouse or family member to the negligent, reckless, or intentional act of another, a Tampa wrongful death attorney can help you learn more about how the law serves you. To understand your legal options after the accident, simply fill out the free case review form.