Losing a loved one as the result of someone else's wrongdoing presents survivors with long-term challenges that affect many aspects of their lives. Under Florida law, those who have lost a child, parent, or spouse due to the negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing of another may be able to initiate a wrongful death claim to compensate for the financial losses, pain and suffering and loss of companionship as a result of their loved one's death. If you think you may have a case, the dedicated wrongful death attorneys at Greco & Wozniak, P.A., can help you seek the just compensation you deserve.
Trusted Skills and Experience
The attorneys at Greco & Wozniak, P.A., in Tampa, FL, have represented clients in hundreds of wrongful death claims, as well as other types of cases. By effectively explaining to a jury the magnitude of your loss and the lifelong grief and hardship you are experiencing, our attorneys can help you prepare a strong case for receiving the compensation you deserve. Every wrongful death claim is somewhat unique, and we are committed to taking an individualized approach to each case that fully encompasses the lifelong consequences you and your family are experiencing due to the wrongful conduct of another.
Wrongful death law is complex. Our legal team is skilled and experienced in navigating the components of your case on your behalf. Florida Statute § 768.21 outlines the significant limitations that are placed on the types of damages recoverable in a wrongful death suit and the relationship requirements a survivor must meet to pursue a claim. Qualified survivors may file a wrongful death claim to recover financial damages related to past and future pain and suffering, loss of companionship or protection, loss of support and services, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and the loss of prospective net accumulations of an estate, as supported by the evidence at trial.
- Spouse: The surviving spouse is allowed to pursue action in all types of wrongful death cases. - Parent: If there is no surviving spouse, a parent is allowed to pursue action. However, if the case arises from medical negligence, the parent may not seek compensation for pain and suffering or loss of companionship or protection unless the child is less than 25 years of age at the time of death. - Child: A child is allowed to pursue wrongful death actions for the loss of a parent. However, in medical negligence cases, a surviving child 25 years of age or older may not seek compensation for pain and suffering or loss of companionship or protection.
While we at Greco & Wozniak, P.A. believe the legislature's limitations on wrongful death based on medical negligence to be fundamentally unconstitutional, the Florida Supreme Court upholds the restrictions. We're hopeful that the issue will be revisited in the future; until then, we encourage those who qualify to pursue their case with us so that we can utilize our skill and experience to achieve a favorable outcome.
Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are there caps on non-economic damages in wrongful death cases based on medical malpractice? A. No. In 2014, the Florida Supreme Court announced a landmark decision in the case of McCall v. United States, finding the statutory cap on wrongful death non-economic damages to be unconstitutional. Additionally, the Florida Supreme Court held that the statute imposed unfair and illogical burdens on injured parties when an act of medical negligence gave rise to multiple claimants.
Q. Does an estate need to be set up to pursue a wrongful death action? A. Yes, a wrongful death action must be brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The personal representative does not necessarily have to have an individual claim, but must be the person to bring the action. The personal representative may be an independent third party and does not have to be the surviving spouse, parent, or child of the decedent.
Q. What is the statute of limitations for pursuing a wrongful death action? A. Generally speaking, a wrongful death action must be commenced within two years from the date of the decedent’s death. The statute of limitations may expire sooner in a wrongful death action based on medical malpractice if the negligence was committed before the decedent’s death and the decedent knew or should have known of the negligence with the exercise of due diligence. Under either of these circumstances, a trusted wrongful death attorney should be contacted to handle the case as soon as possible.
Q. Can a qualified survivor recover compensation for loss of the decedent's income? A. Yes. As long as a survivor meets the criteria contained in the statute, a wrongful death recovery includes compensation for loss of the decedent’s support, which provides income the decedent was earning.
If you have lost a loved one and believe you may have a wrongful death lawsuit, the experienced attorneys at Greco & Wozniak, P.A., can help you pursue your claim. Contact our Tampa, FL office at 813-223-7849 to schedule your free consultation.
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