Tampa Wrongful Death Lawyers - Paul Knopf Bigger

Tampa Wrongful Death

Have you lost a loved one in an incident caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing? Your loved one’s passing may cause your family considerable emotional pain and the feeling of an unfillable void. But you may also feel anger on top of your grief when your loved one suffered an avoidable or preventable death due to somebody else’s actions. A Tampa wrongful death attorney from Paul Knopf Bigger can help you pursue financial recovery for your family from those responsible for the loss of your loved one.

Our team approach to legal representation enables us to make a more significant difference in our clients’ lives. Everyone at our firm strives to fulfill our core principles of commitment, excellence, and personal service. With Paul Knopf Bigger, you will never feel like just another case number. We have developed a proven reputation among our clients and legal peers as a trustworthy partner.

When you’ve lost a loved one due to the wrongful acts of another party, you need legal help to seek accountability for your loved one’s death and compensation for your family. Contact Paul Knopf Bigger for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.

What Are the Common Wrongful Death Cases in Tampa?

At Paul Knopf Bigger, our team of attorneys and staff advocate for the rights and interests of families who have lost loved ones due to:

What Do You Have to Prove in a Florida Wrongful Death Case?

In a wrongful death case, you must prove that your loved one’s death occurred due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional acts, such as an assault or murder. In a negligence claim, you must prove that another party caused your loved one’s death by breaching a duty of care they owed to your loved one.

For example, in a wrongful death claim arising from a car accident, you must prove that the other driver caused the crash by operating their vehicle illegally or unsafely. In a medical malpractice wrongful death claim, you must prove that the treatment your loved one received fell below the accepted standard of care. (Standard of care is defined as the treatment decisions and actions that other healthcare providers of similar training and experience would undertake.)

Your family may also have a claim that another party caused your loved one’s death by reckless conduct. Recklessness involves consciously disregarding a substantial risk that one’s actions will cause severe injury or death. For example, someone may recklessly cause your loved one’s death by driving far faster than the speed limit or willfully running red lights or stop signs.

Evidence that can help your family prove a wrongful death case includes:

  • Police accident reports
  • Arrest and conviction records
  • Business accident/incident reports
  • Accident scene photos and videos
  • Surveillance/traffic camera footage
  • Staffing records
  • Medical records and treatment notes
  • Cell phone records
  • Vehicle computer data logs
  • Inspection, maintenance, and repair records
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Accident reconstruction or engineering expert reports and testimony

Finally, you must prove what losses your family and your loved one’s estate have incurred due to your loved one’s passing. Examples of evidence that can help you prove what compensation your family should recover include:

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral/burial invoices
  • Your loved one’s pay stubs or income statements
  • Financial expert reports and testimony
  • Your family’s testimony about the grief and loss caused by your loved one’s passing

What Compensation Is Recoverable in a Tampa Wrongful Death Claim?

Under Florida law, your family and your loved one’s estate may have the right to pursue financial recovery for losses caused by your loved one’s death. Wrongful death compensation can include money for:

  • The loss of your loved one’s support and services from the date of their injury to their death and loss of future support and services
  • Loss of your spouse’s companionship and protection
  • Loss of a parent’s companionship, guidance, and instruction
  • Mental pain and suffering from the loss of a spouse, parent, or child
  • Medical or funeral/burial expenses
  • Your loved one’s lost earnings from the date of their injury to their death
  • Loss of prospective accumulations of your loved one’s estate
  • Punitive damages awarded in cases where a loved one’s death occurred due to another party’s intentional or reckless actions

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

Although a deceased individual’s estate and surviving family members can recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit, the decedent’s personal representative must file the suit in Florida. A personal representative is usually the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate. Often, a close family member such as a spouse, parent, child, or sibling will serve as executor or administrator of their loved one’s estate. Alternatively, the court can appoint someone to serve as a decedent’s personal representative to pursue a wrongful death claim.

How Are Tampa Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?

When a person dies due to the wrongful acts of another party, their death can have significant financial and emotional consequences for their family members. As a result, wrongful death settlements may include substantial compensation for surviving family members. Because these settlements can reach into the seven-figure range, parties may agree to one of two primary methods for paying out settlement compensation: lump-sum settlement and structured settlement.

In a lump-sum settlement, surviving family members receive the total settlement amount in one payment. Conversely, a structured settlement pays monthly, quarterly, or annual installments. Lump-sum settlements benefit families by immediately providing them with the compensation they need and deserve. However, structured settlements can also benefit families, as liable parties may agree to higher total compensation if they can pay that money over time.

A wrongful death lawyer in Tampa can help your family decide which form of settlement may work best for you by discussing your family’s needs and goals and the pros and cons of each type of settlement.

What Is the Florida Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations?

 Under the Florida statute of limitations, you typically have two years after a loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for your loved one’s death. Although two years may seem like plenty of time, you should not wait to talk to a Tampa wrongful death lawyer about your case. You and your attorney will need time to prepare a case. Additionally, if you file a lawsuit after the limitations period expires on your family’s claim, you may lose your opportunity to pursue financial recovery if the trial court dismisses your case as untimely.

How a Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You

Losing a loved one can cause your family considerable emotional distress and grief. It can take time for you and your family to heal and learn how to move forward after your loved one’s death. However, your family also deserves financial recovery from those responsible for your loved one’s passing.

At Paul Knopf Bigger, our compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys can help your family by taking the stress of your wrongful death case off your shoulders. By doing so, you and your family members can focus on grieving for your loved one and healing. Our law firm will handle all the details of your family’s wrongful death claim, including:

  • Thoroughly investigating the circumstances of your loved one’s passing to secure evidence for your family’s case
  • Identifying the party or parties responsible for your loved one’s death and your family’s financial and personal losses and evaluating potential avenues for recovering compensation
  • Documenting your family’s losses, including gathering medical and funeral bills and your loved one’s income statements, working with financial experts to calculate lost prospective earnings, and building a compelling case for the personal loss and grief your family has experienced
  • Sitting down with you to discuss your family’s rights and options and explaining what you can expect at each stage of the claims process
  • Filing your family’s claims and communicating with insurance adjusters and defense attorneys on your family’s behalf so you can focus on healing from your grief
  • Vigorously pursuing maximum compensation for your family, whether through a settlement or by taking your family’s case to trial

Contact a Tampa Wrongful Death Lawyer

After your family has lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you deserve to pursue accountability and financial recovery for your family’s harm and loss. Learn how a wrongful death attorney in Tampa can help. Contact Paul Knopf Bigger today for a free, no-obligation consultation.