Tampa Wrongful Death
When a person dies from the actions of another person, there may be a case for wrongful death. If the action was criminal, the state brings the legal lawsuit against the defendant. A wrongful death lawsuit is separate. The evidence is similar, but the level of proof is different. The defendant does not need to be found guilty of a crime to be liable in a wrongful death case.
The Tampa Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The court appointed personal representative brings the wrongful death lawsuit. The suit is brought on behalf of the following:
- the deceased’s spouse, children, and parents
- spouses may have a case for loss of consortium
- children are generally minors, not adults
- parents of minors, not adult children, generally
- any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is dependent on the deceased person for support or services.
If a child is born to unmarried parents, the child may recover damages for the mother’s wrongful death. For the child to recover damages for the father’s death, he must have formally recognized the relationship and was obligated for support.
Tampa Wrongful Death Law
Under Florida law, you can receive damages for loss of:
- support and services of the deceased person
- companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased person
- wages, benefits, and other earnings, including lost earnings
- “prospective net accumulations” of the estate, including potential value of earnings
Damages also include
- mental and emotional pain and suffering from the loss of a child
- medical or funeral expenses paid for the deceased person
- medical and funeral expenses paid by the estate directly
If the injury and the death of death are not simultaneous, damages can include
- medical expenses
- the deceased’s person’s mental and physical pain and suffering
Florida also has a law to prevent “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” If someone commits suicide because of the emotional distress, you may have a case for wrongful death. The complaint must include all of the following elements
- deliberate or reckless infliction of mental suffering
- outrageous conduct that caused
- emotional distress
- the distress was severe
Punitive Damages in Tampa Wrongful Death
Punitive damages punish the defendant and attempt to stop similar behaviors. If the defendant was particularly reckless, you may be able to recover punitive damages as well.
Remember there is a statute of limitations for wrongful death suits. Don’t delay. Contact a personal injury attorney like Brian Hoag as soon as possible.
About Hoag Law Firm
Hopefully, you will never need the legal services of a Tampa personal injury lawyer, but if you do, please give Hoag Law Firm a call at or complete your online Free Case Evaluation. A free consultation can help you understand your rights. With honest advice and an experienced attorney at your side, you can recover the largest possible settlement and get back to living your life.