Tampa Bay Wrongful Death Attorney

Nothing can prepare you for the death of a loved one. When the loved one’s death was due to someone else’s negligence, it can be even more difficult to bear. The wrongful death attorneys of Zervos & Calta, PLLC can help.

If your loved one died as a result of someone’s careless or reckless behavior, we are prepared to take legal action on your behalf. We will demand the highest compensation available to cover funeral and burial expenses, lost support and wages, and other expenses.

For years, we’ve helped families throughout Florida by:

  • Obtaining significant wrongful death settlements.
  • Working with the top experts to build the strongest cases possible, when necessary.
  • Serving our clients with personalized and professional legal counsel.

While financial compensation can never replace a loved one, it can help you and your family get closure after such a significant loss. To schedule a free consultation with our Florida wrongful death lawyer, call us today or contact us online.

Our offices serve Hernando County, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Spring Hill, and other areas throughout the state.

What Is a Wrongful Death?

In legal terms, “wrongful death” occurs when someone dies due to negligence by another person, company, or other entity. The deceased person’s (decedent) surviving family members can make a claim or file a lawsuit and demand compensation from the negligent party (defendant). This is not the same as a criminal case; wrongful death lawsuits are civil cases.

For example, suppose someone is killed in Florida. If the death was due to criminal behavior, the state government may bring criminal charges of murder. Possible consequences for the defendant include prison time, probation, or fines.

Civil wrongful death cases are brought by the loved one’s surviving family members. The defendant may not face prison time or a conviction. Instead, the surviving family members seek financial compensation from the defendant. Compensation is obtained through either a wrongful death settlement or a verdict after trial.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

The personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file a claim for wrongful death. The personal representative is typically named in the deceased person’s will. If the decedent did not set up a will, then the court will appoint a personal representative. A Tarpon Springs personal injury attorney can help you with this process.

When filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, you must list every surviving family member who has an interest in the case. This means you need to include everyone who will be seeking compensation for damages. “Damages” is a legal term referring to the harm you’ve endured.

Under Florida laws, these family members can seek compensation for damages in a wrongful death claim:

  • The decedent’s spouse
  • The decedent’s minor children
  • The decedent’s adult children, if there is no surviving spouse
  • The decedent’s parents, if there are no other surviving family members eligible to seek compensation
  • Any sibling or blood relative who depended on the decedent for support

Your attorney can file the wrongful death complaint on behalf of the family members who have an interest in the lawsuit.

Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim

In Florida, persons filing a wrongful death claim may recover special damages, general damages and punitive damages:

  • Special Damages – This includes any economic losses, such as burial and funeral expenses, medical expenses, loss of earnings or benefits from the decedent, and other lost support and services.
  • General Damages – General damages include non-economic harm, such as mental pain and suffering, loss of parental companionship on behalf of children, loss of consortium on behalf of a spouse, and other psychological harm.
  • Punitive Damages – In some rare cases, the court may decide that the defendant’s actions were extremely reckless or willfully negligent. As punishment against the defendant, compensation for punitive damages may be awarded.

At Zervos & Calta, PLLC, our attorneys can document your ongoing damages and future expected expenses. We will arrive at a settlement figure that fully takes into account the emotional and financial suffering you’ve endured.

If during negotiations the defendant offers less than what you deserve, we will take the case to trial and work tirelessly toward achieving a full and fair verdict. Ultimately, our goal is to secure the financial support your family deserves.

Florida Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

Remember that your time is limited for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The law that sets the deadline is called the “statute of limitations.” In Florida, you must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the date of death. 

After the statute of limitations has expired, you can no longer file suit. Exceptions to this rule are rarely made. Because of the strict deadline for these types of cases, it’s critical to speak to an attorney soon if you suspect your loved one’s death was caused by negligence. An attorney can evaluate your claim and quickly take legal action to protect your rights.

Our wrongful death lawyer in Florida can evaluate the facts of your case. Our lawyer can let you know how much longer you have until the statute of limitations expires.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Careless or reckless behavior can lead to wrongful death under a number of circumstances. The wrongful death claims our attorneys handle typically arise from these situations:

  • Car Accidents – Florida has one of the highest rates of fatal car accidents in the nation. In a single recent year, Florida recorded 400,000 car crashes and 3,135 car accident-related deaths, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV).
  • Truck Accidents – Florida’s high number of motor vehicle collisions often involve big rigs, 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks. Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that often result in death.
  • Motorcycle Accidents – Florida’s sunny weather makes it a desirable spot for motorcycle riders. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are at an increased risk of sustaining fatal injuries in crashes. In one recent year, 500 deaths were related to motorcycle crashes (FHSMV).
  • Bicycle Accidents – It only takes a moment of distracted driving for a bicyclist to be left with fatal injuries. According to FHSMV, 160 deaths in one year were related to bicycle crashes.
  • Pedestrian Accidents – Like bicyclists, pedestrians are at significant risk of sustaining fatal injuries when hit by a car. In a single year, Florida had more than 9,000 accidents and 720 fatalities involving pedestrians (FHSMV).
  • Falls on Dangerous Property – Property owners have a duty to maintain safe walking spaces. Failure to do so can result in fatal slip-and-fall accidents.
  • Medical Malpractice – Surgeons, anesthesiologists and other physicians must undergo rigorous training, and they must follow strict safety protocols. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always prevent fatal medical mistakes. Every year, people die due to surgical mistakes, delayed diagnoses and other types of medical negligence.

How a Florida Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help Your Family

After suffering the loss of a loved one, it can be difficult to focus on a lawsuit. This is where an attorney can help. At Zervos & Calta, PLLC, our wrongful death attorneys can seek justice on your behalf and aggressively litigate your case. When you choose our law firm to handle your claim, you can expect:

  1. No Upfront Costs

    Litigation can be costly, which is why we take cases on a contingency basis. You won’t owe us anything unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

  2. Aggressive Legal Strategies

    While accidents happen, careless behavior that takes away someone’s life is unacceptable. Our Florida wrongful death lawyers will take legal action against all responsible parties. We will fight for the highest compensation available to you and your family.

  3. Access to Top-Notch Experts

    Wrongful death cases are complex to litigate. They often require a review by relevant expert witnesses. We have access to a vast network of experts. They can help us investigate your case and prove fault.

  4. Caring Legal Service

    After the death of a loved one, you need a competent legal team that understands the challenges you’re facing. We will always take the time to listen to your questions and concerns. You can expect caring, personalized and professional legal service throughout your entire case.

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Talk to a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Florida Now

At Zervos & Calta, PLLC, we understand the pain and grief of suddenly losing a loved one. It’s common for surviving family members to be frustrated and overwhelmed by the legal process. It’s important to know that there is hope, and our attorneys can help.

If your loved one was killed due to someone’s careless or reckless behavior, our Florida wrongful death attorneys can take aggressive legal action on your behalf. When you’re ready to take the next step, give us a call to set up a free consultation. We serve Hernando County, Tarpon Springs, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Spring Hill, and other areas throughout Florida.

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