Have you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence? Money cannot bring back your loved one or minimize the pain you are feeling, but it can alleviate your family’s financial burden and help you achieve some sense of justice.
Catania & Catania, P.A. has represented family members in wrongful death cases in Tampa, FL, for more than 28 years. Call us today at (813) 222-8545 or contact our law office online for a free consultation with a Tampa wrongful death lawyer to discuss what we can do to help you.
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How Catania & Catania, P.A. Can Help You After the Wrongful Death of a Loved One
Nothing is more painful than losing someone you love, especially when their death was sudden and avoidable. If you are facing financial uncertainty and emotional turmoil after a family member’s death, a Tampa personal injury attorney can help you hold the responsible party accountable and seek the compensation your family needs to move forward.
Catania & Catania, P.A. is an award-winning law firm that has recovered more than $500 million for our clients in Tampa Bay. These feats have earned us the 2020 Silver Client Champion award and the “AV Preeminent” rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
When you choose our firm to represent you in Tampa, Florida, you can depend on us to:
- Provide the dependable legal advice, support, and guidance you need
- Handle all communications and paperwork on your behalf
- Conduct an independent investigation into your loved one’s accident to gather evidence and identify liable parties
- Accurately value the damages you have suffered and create a compelling case with the help of expert testimony
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Present your case in court if the insurance company won’t treat you fairly
You have enough to deal with; your family should not face financial insecurity due to another’s negligence. Contact our law office today for a free consultation with a Tampa wrongful death lawyer. We will give you the space you need to grieve while we pursue the compensation you deserve.
What is a “Wrongful Death” in Florida?
Under Florida law, wrongful death refers to a death caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of someone else. Specifically, if the decedent had survived and would have been able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit, the death is considered “wrongful.”
Unlike a murder case, which is tried in criminal court, wrongful death claims are brought in civil court. If a court or jury finds someone else responsible for your loved one’s death, they must pay compensation for your damages. There are no criminal penalties attached to a wrongful death claim.
You can bring a wrongful death claim against someone even if they did not commit a crime or are never charged with a crime. Most wrongful death lawsuits stem from accidents, such as a car crash, medical malpractice, or other injury-causing incident.
Through a wrongful death claim, surviving family members have the right to recover compensation from the at-fault party for the death of their loved one.
What is My Wrongful Death Case Worth?
Every wrongful death claim is unique. While some cases are only worth $10,000, others are worth several million dollars. Valuing your case requires a careful investigation and expert testimony regarding the income your loved one would have provided in the future. This calculation considers your loved one’s life expectancy, general health, earning capacity, and work history.
Valuing the personal and non-economic losses your family suffered can be incredibly difficult. One can’t put a pricetag on a loved one’s companionship or parental support, but a value must be assigned nonetheless. Tampa wrongful death lawyers may present evidence about the household services your loved one performed, the role they played in child-rearing, their character, and more.
The best way to determine the value of your wrongful death case is to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death lawyer. Contact Catania & Catania, P.A. today to learn how we can help you.
What Damages Can Surviving Family Members Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim in Tampa, FL?
Wrongful death damages are divided into two categories in Florida: damages that the estate can recover and damages surviving family members can recover.
The decedent’s estate can recover the decedent’s:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Lost earnings
- Loss of net accumulations. This is determined by a jury and based on evidence showing how much the decedent would have been able to leave in their estate through future income and investments.
Survivors are entitled to recover separate damages, such as:
- Loss of companionship, guidance, protection, and instruction
- Pain and suffering
- Lost services and support
- Funeral and medical expenses that were paid by the family
The Florida Wrongful Death Act only allows a decedent’s adult children who to recover damages for lost companionship, instruction, and guidance if the decedent left no surviving spouse.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
Only certain parties can bring a wrongful death claim under Florida Statute Section 768.19. While many states allow a claim to be brought by a surviving spouse, family member, or someone dependent on the decedent, Florida law is a bit different.
A wrongful death claim must be brought before probate court by the Personal Representative named in the decedent’s will. If there was no will, the Personal Representative named by the court can bring the claim on behalf of the estate.
The wrongful death claim must, however, name all interested parties in the estate. This includes the surviving spouse, parents, adoptive relatives, and blood relatives who were dependent on the deceased for services and support.
We Handle All Types of Wrongful Death Claims in Tampa, Florida
Wrongful death can happen in many circumstances. Sometimes it is the result of a crime, such as an assault. Other times it’s the result of someone else’s negligence. At Catania & Catania, P.A., we represent grieving families in all types of wrongful death cases.
Contact our law firm if you have lost a loved one due to a:
- Car accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Truck accident
- Pedestrian accident
- Bicycle accident
- Boat accident
- Workplace accident
- Medical malpractice accident
- Slip and fall accident
- Dog bite
We are committed to seeking the financial security you need to grieve and support your family. Contact Catania & Catania, P.A. today to discuss how we can help your family pursue a wrongful death action.
How Do I Prove Wrongful Death in Tampa, FL?
To recover compensation, you must prove that the defendant caused your loved one’s death through negligence or wrongdoing.
There are four elements in a negligence case:
- The other party owed your loved one a duty of care
- They breached their duty
- The breach caused the accident that killed your loved one
- You suffered damages
Personal injury attorneys will conduct an exhaustive investigation to gather evidence that establishes negligence or liability. Depending on the type of case, this may include accident reports, police reports, cell phone records, witness statements, property maintenance and inspection logs, surveillance footage, and more.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is shorter than the deadline for personal injury lawsuits. In Florida, you have just two years to file a wrongful death claim.
It’s crucial to consult with a Tampa wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Delays can make it difficult to gather evidence to prove negligence and damages. It can take time to properly investigate your loved one’s accident or attack to hold the responsible party accountable.
Contact a Tampa Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Free Consultation
After the untimely and avoidable loss of a loved one, you are likely facing a great deal of uncertainty and turmoil. While money may seem like a trivial concern right now, you must still provide for your family’s needs. A wrongful death claim can give you some sense of justice to make sure the responsible party is held accountable for their actions.
Contact Catania & Catania, P.A. today for a free case review with a Tampa wrongful death lawyer who cares about you and your family. We will help you explore your legal options and pursue compensation to help your family avoid financial hardship.