Compassionate Wrongful Death Lawyers in Florida
When a loved one dies unexpectedly, surviving family members are left to cope with the emotional and financial turmoil that often accompanies a sudden loss. The North Tampa wrongful death attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC understand the challenges that arise in the wake of a relative’s loss due to another’s negligence or misconduct. Our lawyers can offer you the legal counseling and representation you need to pursue a wrongful death claim in Citrus County, Pasco County, or anywhere throughout Florida. We can help you hold those responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for their actions. Please contact our office today to discuss how we can help.
What is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death occurs when a person is killed because of another’s negligence or misconduct. Catastrophic injuries suffered in car collisions, truck crashes, or tree injuries can cause a wrongful death. Victims who survive these accidents have the right to sue a negligent party for their injuries. If a victim dies, Florida law allows certain family members of the deceased to recover damages that result from the death. They can initiate a wrongful death claim, which is a civil action to hold the parties responsible for the victim’s injuries and death liable for their actions or omissions.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim
If your family member died because of someone else’s negligent or wrongful act, you may recover damages through a wrongful death claim. You must first establish the defendant’s liability before recovering damages. Wrongful death claims are usually based on the legal theory of liability known as negligence.
To succeed on a claim based on negligence, you must show that:
- The defendant had a duty to the victim to use reasonable care;
- The defendant failed to exercise this duty of care;
- The defendant’s breach caused the victim’s death; and
- The survivors suffered damages as a result of the death.
For example, if your relative was struck by a car while riding a motorcycle, you must show that the driver of the car breached his or her duty to drive reasonably and caused your relative’s death. A person may also suffer a fatal injury while on another’s property, with the death being the result of a property owner’s failure to protect the victim from a dangerous condition on the property. In either case, you must be able to establish a nexus between the defendant’s breach of his or her duty and your relative’s death to succeed in a wrongful death claim.
Types of Recoverable Damages and Who May Recover
Recoverable damages in a Florida wrongful death claim include medical expenses, funeral bills, lost earnings, and future loss of financial support and services. Factors that impact the amount of loss of support and the duration of future losses include the survivor’s relationship to the deceased, the amount of net income available, and life expectancies.
Certain survivors are also entitled to other specific damages. These survivors and the potentially recoverable damages are:
- A spouse, who may recover for loss of companionship and protection, and for pain and suffering;
- Any minor children (or all children if there is no surviving spouse), who may recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, guidance, and pain and suffering; and
- A parent, who can recover for pain and suffering if the deceased is a minor, or pain and suffering if the deceased is an adult and there are no other survivors.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Florida is two years. By speaking with an experienced wrongful death attorney, you can take steps to ensure the parties responsible for your relative’s death are held accountable for their actions.
Seasoned Representation in Wrongful Death Claims
The Spring Hill wrongful death lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC are committed to providing you with exceptional client service and representation in your wrongful death claim. Our compassionate attorneys will give you the legal advocacy and support you need to seek damages from those responsible for your relative’s death. With more than fifty years of combined legal experience, our lawyers will work tirelessly to negotiate a settlement that is fair, or take your claim to trial if necessary. Please call us at (866) 597-0009 or you can fill out our online form, and we can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.