Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney
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Was your loved one killed because of negligence?
When beloved family members die, the last thought on anyone’s mind is hiring a wrongful death attorney. Instead, the family (rightfully) focuses on their shared grief and pain. However, when a person dies as the result of a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, medical malpractice, or other avoidable personal injury accident, the sorrow can be accompanied by fear.
Surviving family members of victims of negligence have to deal with their grief and sadness. But often they are left to determine a new financial future. Many times, a death in the family brings with it massive amounts of medical bills. It also brings the loss of an income and the financial support of that family member.
There is nothing a wrongful death lawyer can do to bring back a lost loved one. But the Florida Wrongful Death Statute lays out a method of recovery for surviving family members via a wrongful death claim. An experienced Florida wrongful death lawyer can help the surviving family members secure their financial future and recover a small part of what has been taken from them.
When Can a Wrongful Death Attorney Help Your Family?
Wrongful death cases can happen in any number of ways. People may think of wrongful death cases as their own separate field of practice. However, they are quite often simply the most serious versions of every other sort of personal injury case.
Proportionally, car accident deaths are far less common than truck accident deaths. This is because vehicles (and therefore the exerted forces) involved in car accidents are far smaller. However, car accidents still account for a sizable amount of wrongful death cases each year. That’s because there are far more car accidents everyday on Florida roadways.
Big rig trucks are often used to transport large quantities of goods many miles at high rates of speed. Consider the distance covered by a truck making a delivery to Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach or West Palm. The speed, weight, and amount of time forms a deadly combination. Truck accidents are incredibly dangerous because the size of the truck is often many multiples heavier than cars they strike.
Additionally, trucks are quite often transporting goods on the freeway at high rates of speed. The speeds at which trucks travel combined with the weight of a full tractor trailer makes these vehicles incredibly deadly.
With the exception of regular check ups, people typically go to see their doctor when they are not their healthiest. Therefore, there tends to be a higher probability of death for a person visiting their doctor. Additionally, anytime a person undergoes surgery or a serious medical procedure, there is the possibility that the doctor will fail to meet the standard of care and a person could die.
People who work in construction and in factors are in constant danger in their places of work. Electrical contractors that fail to ground a wire could be electrocuted. City workers that have to climb telephone poles and electric lines risk their lines for their careers daily. Suffice to say, many jobs carry with them perils most of us never consider.
Additionally, in an effort to save money, some companies will encourage their employees to disregard certain safety measures and precautions. In these situations, if the the employer contributed to the death, surviving family members have a wrongful death claim.
Much like trucking accidents, accidents involving motorcycles have a high risk of death because. The high risk is a result of the size comparison between the vehicles involved. Motorcycles are (obviously) quite a bit smaller than automobiles. Further, motorcycles do not have doors, windshields, windows, or a roof to protect the rider. Instead the rider wears a helmet for protection (and not all of them even do that).
Also, when a motorcyclist is hit by a car, they are quite often ejected from the bike. Motorcycles do not have seatbelts (for good reason). This will often result in the motorcyclist enduring two or three collisions. The first collision is with the vehicle that strikes them. The second collision is with the object they are projected into. And the third collision is with the ground.
A Wrongful Death Attorney Can Get Your Family Fair Compensation
As stated above, Florida has a statute specifically for determining who and what can be recovered in a wrongful death case. This law allows a Florida wrongful death attorney to pursue the negligent party that caused the death.
A wrongful death lawsuit requires the family or court appoint a personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The personal representative is typically appointed in the decedent’s will.
However, if one is not chosen for the decedent or possibly court-appointed. Often, the surviving spouse is chosen as the personal representative The personal representative then proceeds to file a wrongful death lawsuit (with an experienced wrongful death attorney) against the negligent party or parties.
What can a Wrongful Death Attorney Recover for my Family?
Here is a brief list of the things a personal representative and a wrongful death law firm can recover on the families behalf:
- Lost financial support and services as well as loss of future financial support and services.
- A surviving spouse can recover for the loss of companionship and protection as well as mental pain and suffering.
- Minor children of the deceased can recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance as well as mental pain and suffering.
- Parents of a deceased minor child can recover for their mental pain and suffering.
- Parents of a child that is not a minor can recover for their mental pain and suffering too if the deceased child had no other survivors.
- Surviving family members can recover for medical and funeral expenses.
- The decedent’s personal representative can also recover the decedent’s lost wages from the date of injury until the date of death on behalf of the estate.
Determining the Damages of a Florida Wrongful Death Claim
The Florida Wrongful Death Statute quite clearly lays out the things a surviving family member can claim as part of their wrongful death case. However, determining the values of these items and the ultimate value of the wrongful death case is far more difficult.
Often, these damages are proved with expert witness testimony. Some evidence comes from actuaries, who can provide evidence regarding life expectancy of the decedent and the lost earning capacity of the decedent. Without these types of witnesses, a wrongful death case becomes an uphill struggle against an unscrupulous insurance company.
Call Knapp Accident & Injury Law If Your Family Suffered a Wrongful Death
Compassion for my clients is one of the keys to my practice and my years of success as a personal injury attorney. When a family comes to a wrongful death lawyer after the death of a loved one, they do not simply want money. Often, the surviving family members are just looking for someone to make sure their family member did not die in vain.
Sadly, as personal injury attorneys all we can recover for our clients is money. Attorneys cannot bring the dead back. But every client of mine has my personal assurance that their deceased family member will have a voice.
I will see to it that the family receives fair and proper compensation. That is what we do not because it is about the money, but because spending money is the only thing insurance companies fear and it is the only way to show them the price of their lack of compassion.
If you are in need of a wrongful death attorney, call Knapp Accident & Injury Law today at (813) 568-3724. Alex is ready and able to serve your needs 24 hours a day and seven days a week.