Tampa Wrongful Death Lawyer
If you need a wrongful death lawyer in Tampa, you’ve come to the right place. We regularly handle lawsuits involving accidents or malpractice that lead to an accidental (or, in some cases, intentional) death. We can help you get the most money possible for your case, which isn’t the norm. Far too many law firms these days are relying on paralegals to do the job of lawyers. Not so with our practice.
What Types Of Cases Might Lead To A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
You can learn much more about Tampa wrongful death cases by reading through my website. Although I mention different cities on my website, we handle & accept wrongful death cases from across the state of Florida. That means that the content on my website summarizes wrongful death law throughout the state. Florida has ONE wrongful death statute and ONE medical malpractice statute. Those two statutes govern most wrongful death cases. However, there are lots of other statutes that can impact a wrongful death case, like statutes governing auto insurance requirements. Anyway, if you read through my website, you will learn everything you need to know about Florida’s wrongful death law.
If you have any questions about a potential Tampa wrongful death case, please call or text my office immediately. I can help you the most when you call my office the earliest. My phone number, for texting or calling, is (407) 383-7290.
There are a wide variety of Tampa wrongful death cases. There are shooting death cases, which we pursue as premises (property) liability cases. In those cases, our job is to prove that the property owner had negligent security in a high crime area. Then there are car, truck, motorcycle and boating accident death cases. Those are very similar to regular auto accident cases, except we often need to do more to collect evidence, particularly since the victim isn’t here to tell their story anymore. And we need a probate lawyer. Then there are death cases caused by medical malpractice. Those involve an overlap between Florida’s wrongful death statute, and Florida’s medical malpractice statute. Those also always involve evaluation by a medical expert (doctor or nurse, depending on the facts). Then there are many others, such as swimming pool deaths, defective product or drug deaths, or even slip and fall deaths.
The most important question, when determining whether a lawsuit might lead to a valid Tampa wrongful death lawsuit, is whether there was someone whose negligence caused the death of your loved one. If the answer is “yes,” then the question is whether that person or company has assets or insurance.
Who Can Sue For A Tampa Wrongful Death Case?
Surprisingly, not everyone can sue when a loved one dies. We think this is a travesty of justice. But Florida’s law can be quite restrictive. If you’d like to know whether you might be able to pursue a case — please read our article regarding “who can sue for wrongful death?” here.
When Must You Sue For A Tampa Wrongful Death Case?
There is a strict deadline for Florida wrongful death cases, and that’s two years. That time runs from the date you “knew or should have known” about the negligence. Ideally, to pursue a Tampa wrongful death case, you will call an attorney well before two years after the time of death. If you only learned of the negligence sometime after the death, in certain situations, there might be an argument that the two years should be extended. But you would need a very good reason. Also, as a practical matter, wrongful death lawyers can get the best recovery the earlier they get involved in the case. The reason is that our main job is to collect evidence to prove your case. Evidence gets old, and therefore less effective, with time. In other words, automobiles get crushed or sold, witnesses move away, die, or forget, employees quit their jobs and stop caring, police investigators forget what they learned from initial interviews, etc. So, bottom line, you should call a wrongful death lawyer the minute you think you might have a case.
What Is The Value Of A Tampa Wrongful Death Case?
I’ve discussed the concept of wrongful death case value throughout my website. But, basically, this is a very fact-dependent question. The main criteria we consider are: (1) the degree of fault of the defendant (how bad was what they did?); (2) the available insurance coverage and defendant assets; (3) your relationship with the decedent, including how close you were; (4) the number of survivors entitled to recover (if there is a maximum policy limit, then the survivors may have to divide that amount); (5) any blameworthiness of the victim who died (for example, if they died in a car accident, does the evidence suggest that they shared any blame, or contributed in any way to the accident?) That means that wrongful death cases can vary in value from zero to millions. We can only judge the case value after we learn the case facts, and usually that’s only after a considerable amount of investigation and discovery.
How Long Does A Tampa Wrongful Lawsuit Take To Finish?
This also varies from a few months to several years, and everything in between. Auto accident death cases tend to resolve fairly quickly, unless there is disputed liability (fault). That’s a broad generalization. But, through a lot of hard work, we are usually able to convince insurance companies to pay pretty quickly unless there is some doubt regarding fault. In medical malpractice death cases, some settle fairly quickly, but many take longer to resolve. That also depends on degree of fault. If the evidence of fault is very clear, then insurance companies are usually more eager to settle than fight in court. But, beware, many very strong cases require litigation. Insurance companies vary a lot in how they respond, as a company, to demand packages from lawyers. As a very general rule, if your case doesn’t require litigation (a lawsuit), then you can expect a settlement within 6 months to a year, sometimes sooner. (3 months is probably the minimum.) If a Tampa wrongful death case requires litigation (filing a lawsuit), then the time frame jumps to an average of a year and a half to two years. But, again, some cases take much longer.
We had one wrongful death (auto accident) case recently that continued for years because there was a simultaneously pending criminal case. The defendant had been drinking and driving when he killed the family member of our client. So, after we filed a civil lawsuit based on wrongful death, the prosecutor brought a criminal case against the defendant (You should know there is a big difference between a wrongful death case, and murder, or any criminal conviction. Basically we can get information from the prosecutor, but they are pursuing a completely different lawsuit.) In that particular case, the defendant kept asking to “stay” or “stall” the civil case (our wrongful death case) to protect her constitutional right not to incriminate herself in her pending criminal case. So that type of thing can greatly delay a wrongful death case. Fortunately, most cases are not delayed in that extreme manner.
What Results Have We Achieved?
Rather than list the settlements and verdicts we have achieved on our website, we’d really like to talk to you about them. The reason is that every case is different. So if I tell you about a 2 million dollar settlement, but can’t achieve that for you, how will you be better served? I work with another smaller firm, and together we have accomplished a tremendous amount for our wrongful death clients. Once we know more about the exact facts of your case, we can give you an idea of what we think your particular case might be worth. You can also read my reviews by searching for “Tina Willis Law Orlando,” which will lead you to my main law firm website.
Should You Talk To The Insurance Company Or “Risk Manager” For A Big Company?
No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Clear enough?
Well, I take that back. If you want to settle for FAR less than your case is worth, even if you eventually hire an attorney, then go ahead and call them. Otherwise, be smart, and call me FIRST.
This might seem like a backwards way of doing things. But insurance companies have ONE goal, regardless of how nice their adjusters may be, and that’s to pay you the least amount of money possible. They can achieve that goal by getting information from you that can hurt your case. Perfect example, in a death case, they start asking you about your relationship with the person who died. You talk about your regret over a last argument. Just like that, they have evidence to drastically hurt the value of your case. They also have no incentive to make sure there are no other insurance policies, or available defendant assets (they actually have good reason to hide those from you). There are MANY pitfalls of this nature. So, please, don’t talk to insurance agents, or really anyone, about your possible wrongful death case.
What Should You Do Now?
If you have any questions about a potential wrongful death case, please give me a call or text, 24 hours a day at (407) 383-7290. I will drop everything to talk to you, if at all possible. If that isn’t possible, then I will call you at my first available opportunity. Texting is usually the fastest way to reach me, or you can call my office and schedule an appointment. Your choice. My number is (407) 383-7290.