It is often devastating when somebody is killed because of the negligence of another person or entity. The impact that misconduct or negligence has on a loved one cannot be measured. By hiring a Tampa wrongful death attorney, can help survivors find justice.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death can occur from a number of different outcomes. Unlike murder, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action. This is not a criminal case.
One example of wrongful death occurs from driving accidents. A driver that unintentionally kills another individual can be held legally accountable with a wrongful death lawsuit. This can also occur if a medical professional neglected a patient who died as a result of it.
Medical malpractice is a complex issue that a Tampa wrongful death attorney can handle. Medical malpractice can include multiple scenarios such as the failure to diagnose a condition that caused the death of an individual. Physicians who are careless or negligent can face civil charges if the patient dies.
Wrongful death can happen when the death is intentional. Although an individual charged with murder will be facing a criminal case, a civil lawsuit can also be filed. Not all alleged murderers face civil charges, but the option is usually available for survivors.
Depending on the state, the statutes for wrongful death may vary. A Tampa wrongful death attorney has extensive knowledge about the Florida justice system and can help residents find justice.
How To Prove A Wrongful Death?
Proving that death is caused by an individual or entity is a complex process. Expert witnesses may be called in addition to finding other evidence.
Since the charges of a wrongful death lawsuit are considered a civil case rather than a criminal case, the burden of proof is lower. A case strategy will be developed between an attorney and the client after evidence is discussed. The plaintiff must prove several elements during a wrongful death case.
Duty Of Care
The plaintiff first must prove that the defendant had a duty to care for the deceased individual. In the case of an automobile accident, the defendant had a duty to follow the law of the road. This is much easier to prove than certain medical malpractice cases.
Breach Of Care
The plaintiff must then be able to prove that the defendant did not carry out his or her duty to the deceased individual. The driver in a car accident can be held accountable because of the specific action that caused death. An example of this can be if the driver ran a red light causing the death of the individual.
Causation refers to the direct action that could have caused the death of the individual. Although a driver may have run a red light, the death of the individual must be directly related to this. If the deceased died from an outside cause that made the driver run the light, this can be legally debated.
How Can The Wrongful Death Act Benefit Your Family?
A wrongful death lawsuit can provide compensation for the family members of the deceased. This can occur in several ways including financial support.
For those who depended on their loved ones for financial support, legal compensation can be awarded. If the deceased individual provided significant and ongoing financial support, this money may be invaluable to the basic needs of a family. Loss of wages and benefits that a family would have received if their loved one was still alive can also be awarded.
Future earnings of the deceased family member, medical benefits, funeral expenses, and household services can be financially compensated. While a deceased family member will never be able to return, financial compensation can be available for the loss of intangible forms of support. This includes the loss of guidance, moral support, affection, and love.
How Is Compensation Determined?
Multiple factors are considered for financial compensation. An individual’s age, education, career skills, and health can all make a difference.
A wrongful death lawsuit is typically filed by the representative of the deceased individual’s estate. This can include children, a spouse, or parents. Depending on the state, there are different laws about whether a parent can file for their adult child.
Compensation, even provable, is not always awarded to the plaintiff. This occurs when the statute of limitations has expired for the case. Each state has a separate amount of time in which a family member is allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In Arizona, the statute of limitations is two years. In Oregon, the statute of limitations is three years from the act of negligence.
How To File A Wrongful Death Suit
Filing a wrongful death claim first requires filing a complaint. This document will have information about the case and the reasons for supporting it. The amount of compensation that is requested will also be added.
After filing the complaint, the defending party is given a specific amount of time to respond. Typically the time limit is 20 to 30 days.
Hiring professional legal help can help maximize financial benefits during this process. An experienced attorney can guide the plaintiff through every step with confidence and representation.