Florida Legal Support for Wrongful Death Cases
Losing a loved one unexpectedly is perhaps one of the most difficult things a person can go through. When a family member is killed due to the negligent, careless, or wrongful acts of another, the family of that individual has the legal right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Florida Statute § 768.19 states that:
“When the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty… [that person] shall be liable for damages as specified in this act.”
Seeking Justice After a Wrongful Death in Tampa
When someone we love dies because someone else is negligent, it can be emotionally and financially devastating. Legal action may be the last thing on your mind. We understand this. However, our Tampa wrongful death lawyers at Robert Sparks Attorneys are here to help you through this process so you can recover the compensation you need and deserve. We are backed by decades of collective experience and millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.
Did you lose a loved one in a preventable accident? Contact Robert Sparks Attorneys online or call (813) 606-5050 for a free case evaluation.
We help with wrongful death cases that involve:
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Tampa?
Florida’s wrongful death act is found in Florida Statutes § 768.16 through § 768.26, also known as the “Florida Wrongful Death Act.” In Florida, survivors of the deceased can bring a wrongful death action.
According to Florida Statute 768.18, “survivors” of the deceased means:
“…the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. It includes the child born out of wedlock of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.”
In other words, the following parties may be eligible to file a lawsuit:
- The deceased’s spouse
- Minor children (children under the age of 25) of the deceased
- Parents of the deceased
- Siblings of the deceased, if they were dependent on the deceased
Whoever brings the wrongful death action can pursue compensation in the form of support, services, and net accumulations – such as lost income, funeral expenses, lost household tasks, and lost pension benefits.
What Damages are Available to Families of Wrongful Death Victims?
Damages you can receive in a wrongful death case are often dependent on your individual situation. For instance, damages may include lost wages the decedent would have earned and money to cover vocational training. Punitive damages may also include loss of companionship and pain and suffering experienced by the decedent prior to death. Other potential damages may include lost parental support, funeral expenses, and more.
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Florida’s Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death
According to Florida law, a surviving spouse, child, or parent has two years from the date of the victim’s death in which to file a wrongful death claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. For example, if your loved one passed away on February 13, 2011, you have until February 13, 2013 to file your wrongful death claim against responsible parties.
There is a time limit on filing for wrongful death cases because:
- Evidence, witness testimonials, and recollection of dates fade with time
- It offers surviving family a sense of closure
- It keeps the legal system from getting cluttered with old claims
It is important to file wrongful death cases promptly while the evidence is still fresh. This offers the family an avenue to seek justice. Once the statute runs out, it is almost impossible to receive reparations for your loss.
The Jeffrey Klee Memorial Act
There is one exception to Florida’s strict statute of limitations on wrongful death cases.
This exception to the statute of limitations was enacted as a result of the Jeffrey Klee case. In 1977, 18-year-old Klee went missing. His body was found in 2008. The police officers were able to get a confession from the killer. However, because the statute of limitations had expired, there was nothing the surviving family members could do legally.
Because of this incident, the House and Senate passed the Jeffrey Klee Memorial Act which states that there are no statutes of limitation in wrongful death cases caused by homicides.
Wrongful death cases can be overwhelming and heartbreaking when you realize that, because of someone’s negligence or carelessness, your loved one is gone. But there are avenues to gain restitution. Contact our wrongful death lawyers in Tampa, FL today. Don’t let your loved one’s death be in vain.
Contact Our Tampa Wrongful Death Law Firm
As Tampa wrongful death attorneys, we know that the loss of a loved one is a tragic and stressful experience. However, it’s important to have the right law firm on your side to ensure that you are able to secure justice for your loved one, as well as the financial compensation you need. At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our wrongful death attorneys in Tampa understand how difficult this time is, and we are committed to working with you and fighting for the outcome you deserve.
To learn more about how we can help you, call us today at (813) 606-5050 or fill out our online form to get started with a free evaluation.