Tampa Wrongful Death Attorneys
The unexpected death of a loved one can have an overwhelming impact on a family. Surviving family members often find it incredibly difficult to move forward and struggle economically especially when the decedent was the primary income source. Incredibly, some personal injury lawyers who advertise “aggressive” representation have never been to trial on a wrongful death case. With the stakes so high, it is critical you hire lawyers who understand the many layers, complexities and challenges of handling a wrongful death case and a law firm with the financial resources to go to trial when a fair settlement offer never comes.
At the Fernandez Firm, our Tampa wrongful death attorneys have decades of experience and a long history of success in the courtroom helping families recover when tragedy strikes. Over the past two decades, our firm has represented thousands of clients injured or killed by auto accidents, drownings, motorcycle crashes, nursing home abuse and medical malpractice across Florida. If you have lost a loved one due to negligence or medical malpractice by a hospital, doctor or medical provider, our attorneys are here to help.
How Can We Help
For nearly 25 years, our lawyers have helped grieving family members recover stability and move forward with hope for the future. In that time, we have more than $90 million in negotiated settlements and jury trial verdicts. Our goal is simple, we strive to “provide wrongfully injured clients and their families with exceptional, compassionate, legal representation.” If a fatal accident has changed your family forever, you need proven trial lawyers you can trust to protect your family.
At the Fernandez Firm, we put your needs first, representing our clients on a contingent-fee basis. For our clients, that means you pay no hourly fees for our time or for legal consultations. Instead, we are paid a percentage of the total recovery when we win or settle the case. This way, you have immediate access to legal services without any financial strain and no out-of-pocket expense. Contact our Tampa wrongful death attorneys today for a free case review.
Who Can File A Tampa Wrongful Death Suit?
The Florida Wrongful Death Act specifically defines who may bring a claim for wrongful death. Under the statute, when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence or breach of contract of another, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may bring a claim and recover damages from the person or a corporation responsible for the death.
Depending upon the type of negligence causing the wrongful death, survivors may include the decedent’s spouse, children, parents and, if dependent on the decedent for support or services, blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters and may include children born out of wedlock.
Medical Malpractice Death Limitations
Under existing Florida law, when medical negligence results in the death of a parent, only a spouse and children under the age of 25 may recover damages. Further, parents of an adult child may not recover for the loss of companionship, instruction, guidance or for mental pain and suffering caused by the wrongful death of their child if the death is due to medical malpractice. This legal restriction does not apply in non-medical malpractice death cases.
Wrongful Death Damages You Can Recover
Under Florida law, potential beneficiaries are generally entitled to receive compensation for the following types of damages;
- Past Lost Support & Services – From injury to the time of death
- Future Loss of Support & Services – Since the date of death
- Loss of Companionship, Pain & Suffering – Surviving spouses
- Lost Parental Companionship, Instruction, Guidance and Mental Pain & Suffering – Minor children
- Mental Pain & Suffering – Parents of a deceased, minor child Pain, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life
- Medical & Funeral Expenses – Survivor may recover any amounts paid
To learn more, please contact our office today to meet with a Tampa personal injury attorney, discuss your case and explain the damages you may be able to recover.
Tampa Wrongful Death FAQs: The Answers You Want and Information You Need During a Difficult Time
Losing a loved one is a difficult ordeal at any time. When the death is caused by the carelessness or recklessness of another is a traumatic and confusing ordeal. Not only have their loved ones lost someone near and dear to their hearts, in many instances, they have also lost a source of daily companionship, economic support and financial assistance.
What makes the situation even more difficult is that often grieving family members do not understand their legal rights, they are uncertain regarding what, if any, legal actions they can pursue or who they can contact for legal assistance. That is why the Fernandez Firm is here to help.
To help clear up some of the confusion that is often associated with a wrongful death, we have prepared the following FAQs. We hope that with these answers, we can show you how a wrongful death claim may provide the answer you need. For specific questions about your legal options, please contact Frank and Jennifer Fernandez at the Fernandez Firm today.
How can the Fernandez Firm help me?
At the Fernandez Firm, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez have experience in a wide variety of personal injury claims. For more than 25 years, we have represented thousands of individuals who have been injured in motorcycle crashes, slip and fall accidents, automobile collisions and other accidents, as well as, wrongful deaths.
Our firm’s goal has always been to assist those with serious personal injuries get the legal help they need and the compensation they deserve. For our legal team, no case is too big and no case is too small. Over the years, we have handled thousands of personal injury claims and have won over $100 million dollars settlement awards and jury verdicts for our clients. One of our recent awards includes $2.6 million dollar wrongful death claim.
Although we cannot guarantee that you will receive the same financial compensation for your case, at the Fernandez Firm we will fight to get you and your family every last dollar you deserve.
1. What does it mean to have a wrongful death claim in Tampa?
A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit that arises when an individual passes away due to another person’s negligent actions. Upon a person’s death, under the common law, they could no longer bring a lawsuit against an at fault party. The Florida Wrongful Death Act created a legal anomaly under which the estate of the deceased’s surviving family members can bring a claim against the party responsible for their loved one’s death.
These wrongful death claims often arise after situations in which a victim who would otherwise have a viable personal injury claim dies by another party’s wrongful actions.
2. What are some common causes of wrongful death in Tampa?
A wrongful death happens when one person or entity’s careless actions or negligence causes someone’s premature death. Wrongful deaths can happen for a variety of different reasons.
Some of the more common causes of a wrongful death claim include:
- Medical malpractice incidents
- Birth injuries
- Occupational hazards or exposure
- Motorcycle accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Property accidents
- Dangerous roadway construction
- Defective product accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Criminal activities
3. What do I need to prove to have a successful wrongful death claim in Tampa?
In Tampa, if you are looking to bring a successful wrongful death claim, you need to prove the following:
- Your loved one has passed away;
- Their death was due to the negligence or wrongful act, default, or breach of contract or warranty of any entity or individual; and
- The event would have entitled the deceased to maintain an action and recover damages for their injuries if the death had not occurred.
Typically, if you cannot settle in a wrongful death case, you would need to prove each of these three elements to succeed in your wrongful death suit. That is why you should consider contacting a wrongful death attorney as quickly as possible following the death of your loved one. At the Fernandez Firm, we can take on these complicated wrongful death claims, properly handle everything, and work to gather the evidence required to prove these elements.
4. What is the statute of limitations in Tampa for a wrongful death claim?
The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time you have to file a claim after an alleged offense. If you do not bring this claim within that allotted time, you cannot collect compensation for your injuries.
In Florida, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim is two years after the individual’s death. However, to protect your rights and help ensure you receive the money you are entitled to, the legal team at the Fernandez Firm encourages you to speak to one of our attorneys as soon as possible. Our lawyers could help you not only figure out how much time you have to file a claim, but we could also help correctly file your claims before the statute of limitations expires.
5. How do I show that another individual was responsible for my loved one’s death in Tampa?
If you are looking to bring a wrongful death claim in Tampa, you need to prove that another individual’s intentional actions or negligence resulted in your loved one’s death.
To prove negligence, you would need to demonstrate:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care;
- The defendant breached this duty;
- This breach was the proximate and direct cause of the victim’s death; and
- The death resulted in quantifiable damages such as medical costs, burial costs, funeral expenses, and even income loss.
To establish each of these elements, you would need to provide strong, relevant, and convincing evidence. That is why working with a wrongful death lawyer can be so vital for a claim. At the Fernandez Firm, our attorneys can promptly get to work, investigating your claim and building a case around the evidence and the facts provided.
6. How do I know if I have a valid wrongful death claim in Tampa?
The only way to know for sure if you have a valid wrongful death claim is to hire a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. At the Fernandez Firm, our lawyers can immediately launch an investigation into the accident, figure out what happened, who was at fault, and determine if you have a viable wrongful death claim.
However, it is essential to remember that speaking to us about your case does not mean you are obligated to take legal action. Rather, we are here to help you understand the possible legal options you have. If you decide to pursue this wrongful death claim, you could rest assured that our legal team can work quickly to assess your options and take the necessary legal action within the required time limits.
7. Does insurance cover a wrongful death claim in Tampa?
In Florida, insurance may cover various parts of a wrongful death claim, depending on the type of accident that occurred. However, before you can pursue this insurance coverage, you need to figure out who caused your loved one’s death. Fortunately, when you work with a wrongful death attorney from the Fernandez Firm, you would not have to worry about taking on this investigation by yourself. Instead, our lawyers could take care of this process for you and figure out which parties can be held accountable for your loved one’s passing.
For instance, if your family member passed away in a car accident. Our legal team can look for insurance coverage from the vehicle they were in, the vehicle that struck them, the motorist that caused the crash, and even the vehicle’s manufacturer if a defective part caused the car accident.
8. How long does it take for a Tampa wrongful death claim to conclude?
In Florida, there is no set time for a wrongful death claim once it commences. Rather, the amount of time the case takes to resolve will depend on the individual circumstances. In some instances, a settlement can come relatively quickly. Other times, the case can take longer, especially if it heads to trial because you cannot settle. Yet, when you work with the Fernandez Firm, you could rest assured that our lawyers can handle these scenarios and continue to fight for your rights no matter how long it takes for your case to reach the end.
9. What is the difference between a Tampa wrongful death claim and a murder?
There are two broad categories of lawsuits in the United States. They are criminal and civil suits. Wrongful death claims are civil suits brought by survivors or the decedent’s estate against the wrongful party responsible for the deceased’s death. These lawsuits do not usually lead to incarceration. Instead, if the defendant is found guilty, they will have to pay the surviving family members compensation for the harm they caused. In comparison, murder results in criminal lawsuits brought by government prosecutors on behalf of the state and the victims, and a finding of guilt can lead to prison time.
Additionally, the burden of proof is much more stringent in a criminal case than a civil one. Generally, in civil cases, the individual bringing the claim would need to prove that, more likely than not, the defendant was responsible for acting negligently. However, in a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove the defendant was guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.
10. Do I need to request an autopsy if I want to bring a wrongful death claim in Tampa?
Florida does not require an autopsy if you decide to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. However, a successful claim may require an autopsy. An autopsy may show what truly happened.
For instance, if an individual dies in a motor vehicle accident, they most likely died because of the crash, and an autopsy may not be needed. Yet, if an individual suddenly dies after a medical procedure, the cause of death may become a huge issue, and an autopsy may need to determine what actually happened.
When you work with the Fernandez Firm, you do not have to make these decisions alone. We can help determine if an autopsy is required and help you find out exactly what happened to your loved one.
11.What should I do after a loved one’s wrongful death in Tampa?
The passing of a loved one can be a traumatizing time for anyone. Yet, when this death results from another person’s wrongful actions, the situation can become unmanageable. However, you do not have to go through this devastating ordeal on your own. At the Fernandez Firm, we are here to provide you the legal help you need to get through this challenging time.
Once you retain our firm, our wrongful death attorneys can:
- Go over your case in detail, answer any questions you have, and determine your legal options.
- Investigate the wrongful death accident thoroughly, secure the valuable evidence needed to show fault and damages, and prepare a comprehensive claim on your behalf.
- Bring in the experts that can substantiate your claims, such as accident re-constructionists, economists, engineers, and doctors.
- File critical motions and legal documents before time runs out.
- Handle all the discussions and negotiations with the insurance company, ensuring we go after a fair settlement on your behalf.
- Take your case to trial, if necessary, and fight for maximum compensation.
If you have lost a loved one, do not wait any longer. Contact Frank and Jennifer Fernandez at the Fernandez Firm today, and let our wrongful death attorneys go after the justice you deserve and fight for the compensation your family needs.
Tampa Wrongful Death – Call Today
A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida must be filed within two years of the date of death. Because of this short time-frame, if the life of your loved one has been cut short due to negligence, it Is imperative you contact our office as soon as possible. Our Tampa attorneys understand the anguish and stress resulting from the unexpected death of family. We will always strive to provide you with results-focused legal representation and recover the compensation your family deserves.
If you have questions regarding a Tampa wrongful death case, our experienced team of professionals is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will provide a free case consultation, and you will pay no attorney fees or legal costs unless we succeed in obtaining a recovery for you.
Please call today 1-800-222-8163