Tampa and Sarasota Attorneys Seek Compensation for Wrongful Death and Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents
Established firm provides compassionate counsel for grieving families in the Bay Area
There is nothing more tragic than the sudden, unexpected and unnecessary death of a loved one. But when it is also a wrongful death, caused by someone’s negligence, recklessness or intentional act, the situation cries out for justice. For intentional harm, a family can seek justice through the criminal court system. But what if the death was “accidental”? Sessums Law Group, P.A. helps next-of-kin obtain justice through the civil court system by holding wrongdoers accountable for monetary damages. A settlement or judgment often gives grieving family members some closure and also helps with any financial hardship the death caused. We provide compassionate counsel throughout every step of the legal process, as we work aggressively to deliver the results you deserve.
Effective attorneys help bereaved clients obtain compensation for their losses
We know it can be difficult to take the first step after a tragedy, but we deliver compassionate guidance regarding:
- Eligible plaintiffs — Spouses, children and parents of fatality victims are able to initiate wrongful death claims. In some instances, siblings and other dependents can seek relief. There are also certain types of damages that a representative can seek to recover for the decedent’s estate.
- Types of fatal incidents — Our accomplished litigators handle cases involving all types of deadly incidents that result from negligence and misconduct, including auto accidents, falls, deaths caused by defective products and intentional assaults.
- Damages — Surviving loved ones can collect damages for emotional pain, funeral expenses and the loss of companionship and household assistance resulting from the untimely death. Estates are entitled to reimbursement for income the victim would have earned and final expenses.
If you’re the closest surviving family member, you might be pressured to accept a quick settlement. Before entering settlement discussions, it’s important to contact a qualified wrongful death attorney. We’ll give you an informed assessment of the potential claim value and advise you of specific legal issues that might apply, such as potential immunity of government defendants.
What is the time limit for filing a wrongful death case?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of the decedent’s death, not the date of the injury that results in death. If a criminal court case results from the death, the statutory period does not begin until the criminal case concludes, and then the wrongful death claimants have two years to file.
What damages are available in a Florida wrongful death claim?
In a wrongful death case, family members recover for their own losses due to the death, not for the decedent’s own losses. All survivors may recover the value of:
- Lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to his or her death, with interest
- Future loss of support and services from the date of death, reduced to present value
These losses are based on the survivors’ and the decedent’s normal life expectancy. Minor children of a deceased parent, if there is no other surviving parent, may recover for loss of “parental companionship, instruction, and guidance,” and for their mental suffering from the date of the injury. Parents of a deceased child may recover for their mental pain and suffering from the date of the injury.
A survivor who has paid hospital, funeral and burial expenses can recover those amounts. A personal representative of the decedent’s estate may also recover the net lost earnings of the deceased over the remaining normal lifespan.
Determining liability in a wrongful death accident
Wrongful death cases require plaintiffs to prove the same basic elements as plaintiffs in other accident cases: duty, breach, causation and damages. In most cases, including fatal auto accidents, this means proving negligence on the part of a defendant and showing the negligent act or omission led directly to the victim’s death.
In recent years, Florida has seen a dramatic increase in fatal vehicle accidents, including commercial truck accidents and motorcycle accidents. Many factors are responsible: the end of the recession means more vehicles are on the road, and technology has created numerous distractions for those drivers. Proving liability can be complex, but our firm has established a strong track record of results for our clients in serious and fatal accident cases. You can trust us to seek justice aggressively and professionally for your loved one.
Contact a dedicated Sarasota lawyer for assistance with a wrongful death action
Sessums Law Group, P.A. advises Florida clients on wrongful death claims arising from vehicle accidents, falls and other fatal incidents. Please call 813-435-5058 or contact us online to make an appointment for a meeting at our Tampa location. We also have offices in Sarasota, Lakeland and Sebring.