Wrongful death is defined as the death of a person because of the negligence or malicious intent of a third party. The death is considered wrongful because if it wasn’t for this negligence, the death would not have occurred and could have been easily prevented. If you live in Florida and lost a loved one under these circumstances, you can get justice. Call an experienced Tampa wrongful death attorney at Winters and Yonker today if you want to find out how the legal system can help you ensure that the person responsible for the wrongful death is held accountable for their actions.
Similar to other states, surviving family members can file a lawsuit against the person they believe was responsible for the death of their loved one. However, it is important to remember that just because family members or friends believe their loved one died a wrongful death that may not be the case. There has to be sufficient evidence to prove it was caused by negligence. Only then will the justice system compensate the surviving family members and will hold the person responsible accountable. Talk to our Tampa injury attorneys about this aspect of the lawsuit and what evidence would be required to make your case strong.
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What is Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death Claims?
If you are a resident of Florida, you need to be aware that a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of death of your loved one. If you fail to do so within this timeframe, the legal system will not be able to bring the violators to justice. In other words, if you don’t take legal action within two years, the statute of limitations will prohibit you from taking any legal action after that. This is why it is important that if you strongly believe the death of your loved one was due to the negligence of a third party, you should speak to our team as soon as possible.
What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death?
Many times, those accused of wrongful death cases are healthcare providers. If a person is hospitalized and dies in the hospital, the family may choose to take legal action against the doctor, the nurse, the surgeon or anyone they deem responsible for the death if they have sufficient evidence to prove that this is the reason their loved one died.
There have been many cases where untimely deaths have occurred through the hands of a healthcare provider. Often, nurses have given the wrong dose or the doctor has prescribed a dose that is much higher than the recommended dose. There are also cases where the patient is misdiagnosed and is treated for a condition which they do not suffer from.
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Often, surgeries are performed on patients who do not need them and these surgeries then result in complications that could result in the death of the patient. All these scenarios demonstrate wrongful death. If the family members have evidence to prove the death was caused by any of these actions, they can choose to file a lawsuit against the person they hold responsible. Talk to our attorneys to find out if you have sufficient evidence to take legal action.
Who Can Initiate a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In most cases, it is the surviving family members that can choose to take legal action against the person they believe caused the death of their loved one. These include:
- Surviving spouses
- Surviving adult children
- Living parents
If the deceased has no spouse, parents or children, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by a personal representative. Most of the time, wrongful death lawsuits are initiated by a surviving spouse. If you have lost a loved one and if you want to find out whether you are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
If you are not directly related to the deceased, but you still want to file a lawsuit, you will need to find out if you are eligible. Keep in mind that the compensation you receive as part of the settlement if you file as a personal representative will be held in trust for the deceased’s next of kin.
Different Types of Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you have lost someone in Tampa, Florida, and it was caused by negligence, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, before you do so, you should talk to a wrongful death lawyer as there are two different types of wrongful death lawsuits. These include:
- A wrongful death lawsuit through the traditional route where surviving family members or a personal representative can seek compensation that is based on the value of the life of the deceased. This means that they can seek compensation for lost wages that the deceased would have earned had they not passed away in an untimely manner. Also, a traditional wrongful death lawsuit can also include compensation for loss of companionship (in case of a surviving spouse); loss of care (in case of children or elderly parents).
- A wrongful death lawsuit from an estate claim where surviving family members or a personal representative can seek compensation that is based on the financial loss that has resulted from the death of the victim. Such a claim can include compensation for any medical expenses that were incurred during the treatment of the deceased, burial and funeral expenses for the deceased, the pain and loss of losing a loved one and any other financial costs that the person filing the lawsuit deems to be associated with the untimely death of their loved one.
If you are serious about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you need to speak to a wrongful death lawyer as to how you should proceed. There are many factors at play when you seek compensation based on wrongful death. First and foremost, you need to have sufficient evidence to prove that the death was wrongful.
This means that if you are accusing a nurse or a doctor of being negligent, you need to have evidence to prove this claim. You cannot say that the doctor killed the victim simply because you have a feeling they did or that your instinct tells you that something was not quite right. Your instinct might be right, but you still need evidence if you want your claim taken seriously.
It is important you seek legal counsel because accusing someone of wrongdoing can get you into legal trouble as well unless you have the necessary proof to back up your accusations. You don’t want to be in a situation where the other party files a lawsuit against you claiming defamation of character.
This is why whatever you say or do, just make sure you know what you’re doing. It is recommended that you do not confront the accused directly. We are ready to file the case with the court and proceed in a manner that is within the rules and regulations of the legal system in Tampa, Florida.
Another important reason why you should let us handle everything is to make sure you don’t tip-off the accused. If they are notified of a lawsuit against them, they may not be able to hide or cover up important information, but if you create a hue and cry and throw out accusations before you take any legal action, this could give them the opportunity to chalk out a defense strategy before you even do anything. Don’t play right into their hands. Be smart and talk to a wrongful death lawyer to find out the best course of action.
How Can a Lawyer Help a Wrongful Death Claim?
At Winters and Yonker, we understand losing a loved one can be a very emotional and traumatic experience. If you are a young spouse with little children and you have lost the only earning member of your family due to the negligence of a third party, it can be extremely frustrating for you and your family.
Similarly, if your spouse or parent lost their lives in the workplace and you find out that their employer refuses to take any responsibility while you feel that they are directly responsible for their death, it can make you angry. You might want to retaliate in the worst possible way. Our wrongful death lawyer understands these emotions as they have dealt with many similar families who have lost a loved one through the malicious intent or negligence of another person.
While we understand your need for justice and we understand that losing someone you love can be very difficult, we would still advise you to approach the situation in a calm and composed manner. If it was the healthcare providers who played a role in the untimely death of your loved one, we need you to provide every little detail to our lawyers. Keep in mind that anything and everything you can think of is important in such a case as this can help your wrongful death lawyer to establish the authenticity of your claim. No court will take your lawsuit seriously if you don’t have evidence to support your claim.
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Also, you have to understand that the person you are taking legal action against is not simply going to sit there and accept their punishment. Life would be much easier if they would but in most cases, the person you believe is responsible for the death of your loved one will retaliate and will fight back. This is especially true if they work in healthcare and if they have their reputation on the line. Nobody is going to simply say that they overdosed a patient and that is why they died. You will have to give our wrongful death lawyer information that would enable them to prove that this was the case.
Similarly, taking on an employer for being responsible for the death of your loved one is not an easy task. You will need evidence. You will need witnesses. The employer may refuse to let you into the workplace. They may even forbid other employees to talk to you. A wrongful death lawyer can help you overcome these challenges and can find ways and means through which they can push down these hurdles and get the information they need. But the point is that in a wrongful death lawsuit, things can get very tense, and you need somebody who understands the legal system to help you get through the many barriers that will be put up by the accused.
Call a Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney
Call us today so that we can help you overcome these challenges. We understand your need for justice and your need for closure. We are here to assist you in making sure the party or parties responsible for the death of your loved one are brought to justice. You have to understand that this is important so that they don’t cause harm to anyone else in the future as well. Ensuring that they are held accountable for their misdeeds is the first step in seeking justice for your loved one and for protecting any future victims from the same fate.
Contact a personal injury lawyer, that handles wrongful death lawsuits, at Winters & Yonker for a case evaluation today. Take the first step and simply call and schedule an appointment. Don’t wait!