Wrongful Death Lawyer in Tampa, FL
Your life is moving along as usual and then without warning, a fatal car accident happens which takes the life of your loved one. Fatal car accidents often cause anger, frustration, sadness, and confusion to set in. We’ve seen it happen with clients before.
The Tampa wrongful death attorney from KFB Law handling your case will be there to help you and your family in this time of need, both as a counselor and advocate.
Tampa wrongful death attorney answers questions about fatal car accidents:
You’re probably left with a lot of questions after the death of a loved one. To help you better understand what a wrongful death case is and what the process is like, here a few frequently asked questions and their answers. We’ll go over the following:
- What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
- Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Florida?
- What four elements must be proven in a wrongful death case?
- What type of damages can you claim in a wrongful death lawsuit?
- What should I look for in hiring a wrongful death attorney?
- How much is hiring a wrongful death lawyer going to cost?
- What amount of damages am I entitled to after fatal car accidents?
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is a claim brought by an estate on behalf of beneficiaries against a person or corporation liable for causing the wrongful death. That means their death was caused by the negligence of another person and is different from a potential criminal prosecution.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Florida?
If someone lost their life due to the negligence of another person, the victim’s surviving family members can file suit against the negligent party. The state of Florida limits the potential parties to only close family members of the decedent under the Wrongful Death Act. This act says that the decedent’s spouse, children and parents may file a claim. Additionally, blood relatives or adoptive brothers and sisters that relied on the decedent for support or services may also file a claim.
What four elements must be proven in a wrongful death case?
Claimants in a wrongful death lawsuit must prove four key elements in order to validate their claim.
- Duty of Care: Duty of care states that someone has a legal obligation to act responsibly, with care, and without causing harm to another member of the general public. For instance, a licensed driver has a duty of care to operate that motor vehicle safely, adhering to speed limits and obeying laws. If a driver was texting while driving rather than paying attention to the road, they may be negligent in an auto accident.
- Breach of Duty: Breach of duty of care is essentially when a person fails to take proper and reasonable care when performing a task. Essentially, they may be liable for their negligence and could be held responsible. Using our car accident example, a driver that is texting while driving rather than paying attention to the road may be negligent, or in breach of duty, in an auto accident.
- Causation: Causation means that in order to hold the defendant responsible in a wrongful death claim, you must first prove that the negligent actions directly resulted in your loved one’s death. A Tampa wrongful death attorney will take important steps to help establish causation including speaking to witnesses, taking photographs and reconstructing the accident.
- Damages: The final element that must be proven in a wrongful death claim is damages. That means that the decedent’s death resulted in financial costs, or non-medical damages such as pain in suffering. The different types of damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit are explored in greater detail below.
What type of damages can you claim in a wrongful death lawsuit?
The types of damages that may be claimed in a wrongful death suit in the state of Florida are complicated and may vary from case to case.
In general, the damages claimed by spouses and survivors can include compensation for medical and funeral expenses, loss of companionship including parental companionship when applicable, loss of financial support and services, and mental pain and suffering.
If the deceased’s estate is making a claim, damages can also include the same medical and funeral expenses, plus lost earnings and net accumulations like future potential income.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in the state of Florida?
In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for car accident injuries is typically four years. However, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is only two years. This means that if you have lost a loved one in a car accident due to the negligence of another person, you must initiate your case no later than two years after the decedent’s date of death.
What should you look for in a wrongful death attorney?
Hiring a Tampa wrongful death lawyer is a big deal. Not all lawyers are created equal, and the most important thing is getting to meet the wrongful death attorney who is going to handle your case.
If you can’t get your wrongful death lawyer on the phone or feel like you’re getting the runaround on the first call, how do you think the rest of the relationship is going to go?
At our first attorney-client meeting you’ll:
- Meet the personal injury lawyer who will handle your wrongful death case in Tampa from start to finish.
- Get a full breakdown of what to expect and how our firm is going to help you and your family in this time of need.
Getting the right information you need to hire the best wrongful death lawyer for you can’t be found on a website. Nor can it be located at the other end of a 1-800 number. We believe the answers you need should come from a face-to-face meeting or phone interview.
Seek Legal Advice Immediately
Fatal car accidents are often caused by negligence or carelessness. If a loved one has suffered a wrongful death due to the negligent act of another, you should hire an attorney. Get legal advice from an aggressive and experienced Tampa wrongful death attorney quickly. Issues related to personal injury law, insurance coverage, and claims of negligence and damages are often complicated. We have the experience and desire to provide legal representation that puts your interests first and protects your rights.
The initial meeting with your Tampa wrongful death lawyer is free.
Our wrongful death lawyer will seek to resolve the problems that come with fatal car accidents, and file a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain the monetary compensation you and your family deserve.
We work on a contingency fee which means we only collect a percentage of what we recover for you. Contact a Tampa wrongful death attorney at KFB Law today.
Car accident wrongful death
Florida’s roadways can be a dangerous place. In 2017, more than 400,000 car accidents occurred in our state, resulting in 3000 fatalities. While not every car accident death will result in a wrongful death claim, it’s important to understand what elements must be present in order to have a viable wrongful death car accident wrongful death claim in the state of Florida.
- The other party must have had a Duty of Care, which is a legal obligation to act responsibly. This includes both the driver of the other vehicle, or even the manufacturer of the car, if a faulty product contributed to the car accident.
- The other party must also have had a breach of that duty, which means that they failed to abide by that legal obligation.
- There must be causation. Causation is evidence of the negligence that directly resulted in the car accident and ultimately the death of a loved one.
- Finally, you must have damages. This means that the death of your loved one had a direct final impact on you or your family.
Wrongful death cases can be complicated and difficult. This is why it’s critical to have an experienced wrongful death accident attorney handle your case. Our experienced Tampa attorneys take the time to carefully evaluate your case during your free consultation, advising you of your rights in a wrongful death case, and taking the critical steps to ensure you and your family get the compensation you deserve.
Semi-truck accident wrongful death
According to the IIHS, 1 in 10 highway deaths occurs in a crash involving a large truck. Sadly, most of the deaths in large truck crashes are actually the occupants of passenger vehicles. This is because damage and subsequent injuries sustained in semi-truck accidents are often more serious than typical car accidents.
Tractor trailers are heavy-load vehicles. Their size and the weight of their cargo are major factors in semi-truck accidents. When a car is hit by a force of this magnitude the damages sustained are often catastrophic. In fact, more than 3,986 people died in large truck crashes in 2016.
Additionally, semi-trucks are at a higher risk for accidents. Factors that your wrongful death attorney should evaluate include:
- Truck driver fatigue. Under federal regulations, semi-truck and tractor-trailer drivers are allowed to drive up to 11 hours in a stretch, and up to 70 hours in one week. Your semi-truck accident attorney will carefully evaluate driver logs to ensure that the vehicle operator was not exceeding guidelines.
- Truck braking capability. Loaded tractor-trailers take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop. This can be even greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes. Properly trained truck drivers must take critical steps when operating in poor conditions to ensure that their vehicle is given adequate time to brake and avoid a collision.
- Rollover. In an effort to reduce semi-truck accidents, electronic stability control requirements took effect for most new truck tractors in 2017. This technology helps tractor-trailer drivers mitigate issues that are the cause of rollover accidents. However, this requirement exists only for recent models.
In fact, there are a number of common types of semi-truck accidents that our semi-truck wrongful death attorneys have experience handling. These include jackknife accidents, truck rollovers, accidents caused by wide turns and blind spots, lost load, and even tire blowouts.
If a member of your family was killed as the result of an accident involving a semi-truck, tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler, it’s important to talk to an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney.
Our team will carefully review your case to help guide you through the different issues faced in semi-truck accidents. This includes filing your commercial insurance claim against the trucking company, navigating the laws that govern wrongful death in commercial trucking accidents, and any negotiations to help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.