Florida Wrongful Death Guide

The Florida Wrongful Death Guide was created by Serrano Law to help residents who have been injured obtain maximum compensation for their claim.

Florida Wrongful Death GuidePersonal Injury Office Located in Lutz, FL

Grieving the loss of a loved one is an unexplainable pain and we are terribly sorry you’re going through this. We know how frustrating it can feel to have lost someone due to the negligence they were subjected to. Our Florida wrongful death attorneys want to fight for you and your family. You have a right to justice after losing someone you love dearly. Please reach out to our office today to set up a free first consultation.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

After you lose someone you love, you might wonder to yourself if it is a wrongful death matter. These cases are tricky and not every incident or accident could be considered a claim, but our Florida wrongful death attorneys will be sure to guide you on what legal action you should be taking.

If you lost someone due to the actions of somebody else who was acting carelessly or negligently, then you likely have a claim. A lot of these cases are also tandem with slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, construction and accidents, auto accidents, etc. 

Of course, there are other cases in which wrongful death is brought for violent actions that seem to be less of an accident than malicious intent. In some circumstances, a criminal case that does not prove a suspect guilty could result in the family seeking civil justice through wrongful death claims. The most famous of those cases would be O.J. Simpson versus Ron Goldman‘s family.

The surest way to discover whether or not your loved one’s passing would be considered wrongful death and you would be entitled to justice is to talk to a attorney as soon as possible.

You would be pursuing the insurance company that represents the liable party to give you the justice that you deserve in the form of compensation for damages that your loved one suffered before they passed and for what you will suffer due to their passing.

The Liable Party for a Wrongful Death Claim

 Your Florida wrongful death attorneys are going to be tasked with proving that the

re was a liable party involved in your loved one’s death and that their actions directly caused your loved one’s harm resulting in their death. With these things proven, you are going to then be able to bring your claim against the liable party.

Their behavior would be deemed negligent if your attorneys are able to show that, had this liable party acted in a different way, your loved one would still be with us. You deserve to have the closure of a wrongful death claim. You can also potentially prevent the liable party from making the same mistake twice.

The Plaintiff for a Wrongful Death Claim

The person who brings the claim on behalf of their past loved one is typically going to be a family member. The plaintiff would likely be the next of kin relative of the past loved one. If you don’t know who that person would be among your family, it’s best to talk to your Florida wrongful death attorneys right away.

In the majority of wrongful death cases, the plaintiff is going to be either the spouse, if the person was married, or the children, if they are not minors. If the children are minors or the person was not married and didn’t even have kids, then the parents would likely be the plaintiff.

Just like every other wrongful death claim is unique we understand that everybody’s relationships are unique also, so the plaintiff for you might not even be family. The plaintiff could be a very close friend, a significant other, a sibling etc. Our attorneys will make sure we know who the right person is to bring the case. We can go over this at your first free consultation.

Wrongful Death Damages

Like any attorney would tell you, it is extremely hard to put a compensation figure on damages for wrongful death. There is no way to make money replace a relationship with someone but this is the justice that we will be seeking and it will be in hopes of perhaps preventing the same accident from happening to someone else.

Here is what compensation can cover in these cases:

  • The victim’s pain and suffering before their passing
  • Medical bills from attempted life-saving treatment
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Earnings your loved one would have provided to their family throughout their life
  • Inheritance
  • Loss of a relationship or companionship with the lost loved one

Punitive Damages in a Wrongful Death CasePunitive Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

We recently had a client ask us whether punitive damages were recoverable in a wrongful death case in the state of Florida. The short answer is yes. To determine whether punitive damages will be awarded needs to be undertaken by a skillful attorney who has handled wrongful death cases. Unfortunately for this particular client, they had a family member who had been killed in a terrible car crash in Tampa and we were called upon to evaluate whether punitive damages would be an element we could recover. Ultimately, a jury will decide that, but there are very various issues that need to be handled before it ever gets to a jury.

We have to determine whether there was an intentional act, and that’s not as easy of a process as it may sound. That basically means you need to hire someone who has experience handling these cases. We will be glad to help you navigate through a wrongful death case during a very difficult time.

Wrongful Death Claims For a Sibling

We recently had a claim in Tampa where the sibling of a person who was a victim of a wrongful death was the person who contacted us. It was a very sad case. This involved a construction accident that could have been prevented. The sibling in this case, the brother, asked if he could bring a claim on behalf of his brother in wrongful death. The short answer to that – and it’s complicated – is the personal representative assigned to the estate usually brings the case. In that instance, the claim could be made through the personal representative.

The Florida statutes regarding wrongful death are complicated. You need an attorney who is well-versed in those areas. We would be glad to speak with you and help you navigate through the wrongful death process in a very difficult time. Give me a call.

Heirs Hiring Separate Attorneys For Wrongful Death

We had a case in Tampa recently where it got really hairy because the heirs of the decedent, who was the person that unfortunately died in the accident, hired separate law firms. We had, as a client, one of the heirs and another law firm in Tampa had the other heir. Unfortunately, there was a dispute as to which heir could get more money in the case, as far as damages. We had to work that out and ultimately go to court and have the judge provide us with a distribution plan.

It gets complicated, and it’s never the same. Every case is different. The answer to the question was, yeah, you can have heirs who have different attorneys, and it has to get worked out throughout the litigation process. You need a lawyer that is experienced in these areas, and you need to find that out at the initial consultation. We would be glad to speak with you in Tampa about your wrongful death case and help you navigate through an extremely difficult time.

Choosing The Right Wrongful Death Lawyer

We had the family of a client call us because their loved one had been killed in an auto accident. They asked us how to find the best attorney for a wrongful death case. It’s a difficult answer, but the answer we gave was communication. You have to have a lawyer that not only is going to be able to communicate with you at that first consult, which is very critical, but you also want someone that knows the ins and outs of the wrongful death statute.

The rules regarding wrongful death are peculiar in the sense that they are governed by a law, a statute. You’ve got to have someone that’s familiar with it. You’re going to find out at the consult whether the lawyer is familiar with it, whether they’ve done their homework, whether they can properly evaluate your case and whether they are able to take the case ultimately to trial if that’s necessary.

We would love to look at your wrongful death claim and evaluate it for you. Give us a call in our Wesley Chapel office.

Wrongful Death Claim ValueWrongful Death Claim Value

The other day, a client in the Wesley Chapel area asked me how we determined the value of their wrongful death case. They had a loved one that unfortunately died in an auto accident. Generally speaking, there are two sets of recoverable damages— one to the estate of the deceased and one to the survivors. The survivors of the deceased are determined by the statute, so what you need is a qualified attorney who’s handled cases in wrongful death before to properly evaluate the case.

We would be glad to look at your wrongful death case in Tampa. Give us a call.

Wrongful Death Case Timeline

We recently had a wrongful death case out of Hillsborough County in Tampa, and the client asked a good question that many clients ask: How long is my case going to last? It’s hard to answer that. Wrongful death cases carry with them a very peculiar set of rules and laws, and they’re very well-stated, if you will, in the Florida statutes. That said, there’s no telling how long your case is going to last.

What you do want to make sure is that you have a lawyer that’s going to fight and get you the maximum value on your case. That could take a year and a half, it could even take three years, but it’ll be well worth it. Settling for a smaller amount is what the insurance carriers want you to do. Wrongful death cases carry with them tremendous pitfalls, and you need a lawyer who is knowledgeable about these areas of the law. We would love to discuss your wrongful death claim with you. Give us a call.

Wrongful Death Insurance Investigation

We had a client, unfortunately, whose family member had been a victim of wrongful death in the state of Florida. He asked us whether he should speak to the insurance company. We told him, no, not off the bat. Talk with a lawyer first. If you decide to pursue a claim, maybe then after you can speak with them. At the initial part of the case, no, you shouldn’t because the insurance companies are there to adjust a claim; they’re there to pay the lowest amount possible. You need a lawyer if your family member was the victim of a wrongful death. You need a lawyer that is well-versed in the Florida statutes regarding wrongful death claims.

Give us a call so we can help you navigate through what is usually a very difficult time.

Benefits Available in a Wrongful Death Case

We had a large wrongful death case, unfortunately, with a very big family in the Wesley Chapel area. Their family member was unfortunately the victim of a wrongful death in a car accident, and they asked what the recoverable damages were in a case like that. Basically, there are two categories of recoverable damages – those that are recoverable by the estate for the person who unfortunately passed away and those damages that are recoverable by the survivors. The statute specifically delineates various members – sometimes minor children, the surviving spouse, for instance – who are entitled to damages. What kinds of damages, then, is the question.

There are various types of damages that are delineate throughout the statute. To determine what you qualify for, you need a lawyer who is well-versed in the wrongful death statute. Give us a call, if your family member has been the victim of a wrongful death, and we will evaluate your case, including the damages elements.

Cost of a Wrongful Death LawsuitCost of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Wrongful death lawsuits in particular can be very expensive. Sometimes we have to hire experts and a lot of times we have to go to trial. We recently had a client that asked us how much their wrongful death case would cost at the consult. It’s a very good question. Yes, you hear from lawyers all the time who will take the case on a contingency fee, which means we get a percentage of the recovery, but what about the costs? What about the costs that are going to be involved regardless whether you hire a lawyer? They’re there. There’s a filing fee, there’s service of process – those are on the low side. The expert fees are what get very expensive.

With these cases, once we, at this firm, have had an opportunity to evaluate it, we will advance those costs on your behalf. If we feel that you have a case and we can pursue it, and we can get you a maximum recovery, we will advance those costs so that we can be able to prosecute the claim adequately and then you don’t come out-of-pocket. Do not let the prospect of an expensive endeavor scare you away from pursuing a claim that you may have. Let us evaluate it and we’ll be glad to do so.

Wrongful Death From Injuries

We had an unfortunate case where we had a client who was severely injured in an accident in Hillsborough County, Tampa, and unfortunately passed away a few weeks after the consult. One of the family members called and asked us if there’s a wrongful death case. The answer is yes. It’s unfortunate, but what happens is the case has to go by the rules delineated under the Florida statutes, and those statutes are very specific.

You need a lawyer who is able to master those rules and be able to effectively consult you to get the maximum value for your case. We would be glad to review your wrongful death case for you and your family. Give us a call.

Partial Fault in a Wrongful Death Case

We recently had a very, very bad motorcycle accident case in Wesley Chapel. The client’s family, in this case, were concerned because their family member was partially at fault for the accident. Unfortunately, this gentleman had been driving over the speed limit. They asked if they could still bring a claim. The answer in that particular case was yes. The reason why is because the other vehicle that was involved in the accident – not the motorcycle – was also determined to be at fault.

There is a principal of law in Florida called comparative fault or comparative negligence, and it’s based on exactly what it sounds like. It’s percentages. If you are determined to be 10% at fault, it doesn’t mean you have a case. Let us evaluate. We can evaluate it for you and give you our opinion regarding the value of the case. We’ll be glad to speak with you in the Wesley Chapel area.

Definition of Wrongful Death

We had a client who called the other day and asked a very good question – what is a wrongful death claim in the state of Florida? The legislative intent of a wrongful death claim under the statute was to pass responsibility for the loss from the survivors of the decedent to the actual wrongdoers. That means there’s a statute that was specifically created for cases where, unfortunately, one or more members of a family are killed in an accident resulting from the fault of another.

The wrongful death statute is very specific, and you need an attorney who is well-versed in that statute. We would love to speak with you about your wrongful death claim. Give us a call.

Wrongful Death SurvivorsWrongful Death Survivors

We had a client in Tampa recently ask us if they were a survivor under the wrongful death statute in the state of Florida. It was a good question. Generally speaking – and this discussion could last for a long time – the survivors are the minor children of the decedent, who is the person that unfortunately passed away, and the statute defines minor children, as any children, of the decedent that are under that age of 25. Generally, the spouse, as well, is considered a survivor.

There are many pitfalls that are involved with wrongful death claims. If, unfortunately, a family member of yours has died as a result of the fault of someone else, we would be glad to speak with you and your family concerning the ins and outs of the wrongful death statute in the state of Florida. Give us a call.

Call Our Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys Today for a Free Consultation 

Losing a loved one to negligence is horrible. Our Florida wrongful death lawyers can help you get the justice you deserve. Please call us as soon as possible to get started. We will guide you through this legal process every step of the way. Get your free consultation set up today.

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