Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Helping Your Family Heal from a Devastating Loss
There is no other situation in life that can bring more pain and anguish than the death of a loved one. While the loss of any family member or cherished friend is an agonizing experiencing, knowing your loved one is gone because of another person’s carelessness and negligence is even more devastating and painful. Accidental deaths can bring about many different kinds of overwhelming emotions, anger, stress, and questions.
At Herron Law Office, we’re committed to helping you and your family receive the just compensation you deserve for the wrongful death of a loved one. Whether you’ve lost your beloved spouse, your parent, or your precious child, Attorney Michael Herron can help. Although a wrongful death lawsuit will not bring your loved one back, holding the right party responsible can bring justice to your loved one’s memory and it can also bring some much-needed closure to your family.
Tampa wrongful death attorney, Michael R. Herron takes on each case personally. Unlike large law firms, you’ll have direct access to his expertise, and he’s dedicated to handling your case with the utmost of legal care, knowledge, and sensitivity. At Herron Law Office, we understand how difficult a time this is for you, and we’re committed to going over every detail of your case with you, answering any questions you may have, and bringing the responsible parties to justice with an air-tight wrongful death lawsuit.
If you’ve lost a loved one because some else was negligent, you have our deepest condolences.
How are wrongful death lawsuits conducted in Florida?
These types of cases are governed under the state of Florida’s Wrongful Death Act. Usually, compensation is based on a combination of loss of companionship and economic damages such as loss of income and services. When someone is killed because of another’s wrongful act, the family members or estate of the deceased can bring forth a lawsuit against the responsible party. Under the Wrongful Death Act in Florida, each case must contain these elements:
- The responsible party must have been negligent or committed a wrongful act, breach of contract, or warranty.
- The conduct that was negligent or a breach of warranty or contract must have caused the death.
- If the victim of another’s negligence would have lived, then the conduct must have warranted a personal injury lawsuit or other damages that could have been legally recovered.
Calculating a victim’s lifetime income can be a difficult process. As one of the leading wrongful death attorneys in Tampa, Michael Herron hires some of the most experienced and knowledgeable accountants and economists to assist with calculating the damages in a wrongful death case.
Wrongful death lawsuits can be brought against a multitude of different situations, including the following:
- Car, trucking, and motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Work-related accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Criminal actions
- Defective products
- Mislabeled products
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, and how much time do they have to file?
According to Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, the one who can file a wrongful death lawsuit depends on whether or not the deceased left a will or intestate. Whoever the deceased named as their personal representative in their will may file a wrongful death lawsuit. But if they did not leave a will or have any other estate plan, the court in the jurisdiction of where the deceased lived will appoint a personal representative for the lawsuit. A lawsuit that is filed on behalf of a court-appointed representative is usually filed on behalf of the deceased’s estate and their surviving family.
The family members who are entitled under Florida law to compensation under a wrongful death lawsuit are:
- The deceased’s spouse
- Their children
- Their parents
- Any other blood relative or adopted sibling
- Children born out of wedlock to a mother
- Children born out of wedlock to a father if the father accepted responsibility for the child and supported them.
Furthermore, surviving family members who are entitled to compensation must be considered by the court to be either partially or wholly dependent on the deceased’s support or services.
The statute of limitations for Florida wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within four years of the person’s death. After four years, a lawsuit can no longer be filed in Florida.
Sometimes, wrongful death lawsuits are settled outside of court and before a trial takes place. If this happens, the court will usually appoint a guardian ad litem to finish the settlement. The guardian ad litem will conduct a hearing to finalize and approve the settlement.
What types of damages can be recovered under a wrongful death lawsuit?
Both the surviving family members and the estate of the deceased can recover damages under Florida’s wrongful death law. Those damages can include the following:
- Loss of support and service
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of guidance
- Mental and emotional suffering
- Compensation for medical and funeral expenses
- Damages for lost wages, benefits, and other earnings
The state of Florida does place limits on who can recover damages and how much they can recover. The surviving children of a victim of wrongful death can recover for lost support and service, regardless of how old they are. If the deceased does not have a surviving spouse, then the children can also recover damages for lost guidance, pain and suffering, and parental companionship. But if the deceased does have a surviving spouse, any children of the deceased over the age of 25 may be more limited in what damages they can recover.
For parents of the deceased, if they were over the age of 25 at the time of their death, then parents are not entitled under Florida law to recover pain and suffering unless the deceased had no other surviving family members.
Unfortunately, many tragic wrongful death cases involve more than just negligence or carelessness. Sometimes, the responsible party was intentionally reckless or malicious, and their conduct resulted in an untimely death of an innocent person. In these cases, the court can award what are called punitive damages to the surviving family and estate. These damages are put in place to punish someone for malicious, antisocial, and reckless behavior.
What can Herron Law Offices do for you?
We understand that a wrongful death lawsuit will not make the pain of losing a loved one disappear. But what we can do is bring justice to your loved one, and help ease some of the financial burdens that happens when you lose someone to premature, wrongful death. Many families struggle to pay their bills after the death of a breadwinner, or they can be crushed by unexpected funeral expenses or expensive medical bills.
Our goal in wrongful death cases is to seek recovery for your family that will cover funeral expenses, past and future lost income, hospital bills, and loss of consortium and companionship. In some cases, you may be entitled to receiving punitive damages as well. When deaths are a result of a criminal act, Attorney Michael Herron will use his expertise and past experience as a criminal prosecutor to get you the compensation your family deserves for your pain and suffering as a result of someone’s reckless, malicious behavior.
Herron Law Office offers aggressive, professional, and personal representation for wrongful death cases.
Tampa wrongful death attorney, Michael Herron is personally committed to seeing you through to the other side and getting you just compensation for the tragic loss of your loved one.
If you’ve lost a beloved family member because of another person’s carelessness, please us today. All initial consultations are free of charge, and you do not pay us unless we get money for you.
Request a free wrongful death case review
Call Herron Law Office at 813-536-7602 or complete the form below.