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Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney

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Losing a loved one is a very painful and emotional experience, especially if someone else is responsible for your loved one’s passing. In these situations, you could hold the at-fault party accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit—and the attorneys at Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner can help. Our Tampa wrongful death lawyers can help seek justice for your loved one and guide you and your family through the litigation process.

Why Choose Us

  • Our Tampa personal injury attorneys will work directly with you throughout your case and will be available to answer any questions you may have.
  • Our firm is dedicated to achieving the results that your family deserves. Our wrongful death lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts for our clients.
  • We understand how difficult it can be to navigate the aftermath of a loved one’s death. Our firm will handle all aspects of your claim on your behalf so your family can focus on healing.

The Definition of Wrongful Death

Under Florida Statute 768.19, a wrongful death occurs when another person’s wrongful act, negligent, default, or breach of contract or warranty leads to another person’s passing. If the deceased had survived the incident, he or she would likely have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit or another type of legal action against the at-fault party.

At Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner, our Tampa car accident attorneys handle multiple types of wrongful death claims involving different accidents, including the following:

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Tampa?

In most states, certain people are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased person. While some states require a spouse or other relative to represent the deceased in the lawsuit, Florida law requires the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate to file. The personal representative acts on behalf of the deceased person’s surviving family members as well as the estate.

Your loved one will have likely named a personal representative in his or her will or estate plan. If your loved one did not name a personal representative or did not leave these documents behind, the court can appoint a personal representative on his or her behalf.

Damages Available in Tampa Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Through a wrongful death lawsuit, the at-fault party will be liable for damages to compensate for the deceased person’s passing. There are two types of potential damages in wrongful death claims: damages awarded to the deceased’s estate, and damages awarded to the deceased’s family.

Damages available to surviving family members in wrongful death claims include the following.

  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses paid by family members
  • Loss of companionship and protection
  • Loss of support and services

Damages awarded to the deceased’s estate include the following.

  • Medical expenses paid by the estate
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Earnings and benefits that the deceased would have earned if he or she lived
  • Lost wages, benefits, and other compensation between the final injury and death

Time Limit for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Tampa

In the state of Florida, just like every other state in the country, there are specific timelines in place for filing wrongful death claims. In this state, the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate must file the claim within two years from the date of the deceased’s death. If the case is not filed before the two-year deadline passes, the right to file the wrongful death claim will likely be lost forever. This means that the estate or the surviving family members will be unable to recover any compensation for their losses.

Will Your Case Go to Court?

It can be challenging to understand whether or not you have to go to court for your wrongful death claim. The vast majority of personal injury and wrongful death claims in Florida are settled out of court, but this does not mean that a lawsuit is not filed. What generally happens is that a lawsuit gets filed, and the discovery process begins. This is when the attorneys for the plaintiff and the defendant will exchange evidence with one another. During this process, there will also be depositions taken of witnesses. It is not uncommon for one party or the other to discover it is in their best interest to settle or drop the claim.

If a case gets settled at any point before age retrial, then you will not have to go to court. In the event a settlement cannot be reached, then the case will go to trial, and you will have to go to court. However, your attorney will be the one to represent you and your loved one’s estate in the courtroom.

How Will an Attorney Help?

It is crucial for a skilled wrongful death lawyer to be by your side throughout the entirety of the claim. The sooner your attorney gets involved, the better. An attorney will play a valuable role, and their job entails:

  • Conducting a complete investigation into the death and obtaining evidence needed to prove liability
  • Handling all communication with other parties, including insurance carriers and legal teams
  • Making sure the claim gets filed on time within the court system
  • Handling all negotiations for a fair settlement
  • Fully preparing to take the case to trial if necessary

How Much Does a Wrongful Death Attorney Cost?

Our team handles wrongful death claims in Tampa on a contingency fee basis, which means a few things for family members and the estates of deceased individuals. First, under a contingency fee basis, we will handle all of the upfront and out-of-pocket costs related to the case. Additionally, the client only pays legal fees after we successfully recover the compensation they are entitled to. The final legal fees will be a previously agreed-upon percentage of the total settlement or jury verdict.

Under a contingency fee arrangement, the client will pay absolutely nothing in the event we do not win the case. This helps alleviate some of the financial stresses involved with making a decision to pursue a wrongful death claim in the first place. We take all of the risks so the clients can rest easy as we pursue justice and compensation on their behalf.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. The Tampa wrongful death attorneys at Salter, Healy, Rivera & Heptner can help you seek justice. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options.

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