Wrongful Death Case Process in Tampa
A Tampa wrongful death case process starts when a loved one was injured and are either deceased or are on their way to being deceased, as a result of the negligence of someone else. For example, in the case of a car accident when someone was put into a coma and eventually passes away.
A Tampa wrongful death attorney should get involved as soon as possible in a wrongful death case to begin their investigation. The attorney must open up the estate and make sure everything is in order before the proper court documents can be filed. If a decedent has passed away without a will then the estate needs to be established before any lawsuit can be filed. It is important to get the attorney on the case as soon as possible to make sure a person is doing everything they need to do to keep his or her rights intact.
Evidence of Wrongful Death
Wrongful death cases usually involve the same types of evidence as personal injury cases, but there can be an added layer of difficulty when the victim is no longer able to help investigators identify and locate evidence.
Every wrongful death case is different. Some wrongful death cases are settled immediately, while others may take years of negotiation and/or litigation to resolve. There are a number of factors that can cause a wrongful death case to take longer, such as the complexity of the facts, the amount of damages, the collectability of the potential parties, and the availability of evidence.
In wrongful death cases where the victim is deceased and is unable to tell their side of the story, locating evidence can take extra time. A skilled wrongful death attorney will identify and interview witnesses, review footage from surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident, and look for other evidence that can be used in the case. A wrongful death case is resolved when either a verdict comes back or a settlement is reached.
Survivor actions in a wrongful death case are known as consortium claims. They are claims that are derived from the death of the victim, made by their survivors.
The process of investigating wrongful death case in Tampa begins once the procedural requirements of an estate and having the proper parties involved to file the lawsuit, is similar to a personal injury case. An individual wants to have any pictures of the car accident if that was the event that was the cause of death. If it is a nursing home negligence case, the plaintiff will want to get witness statements, medical records, and any evidence that points to what the decedent went through prior to their death.
Once the plaintiff and their attorney have gathered the medical records, photographs, and witness statements they may need, then the documents will be sensitized and analyzed to put forth their theory of the case.
For example, in the case of a car accident, evidence collected would include the crash report, witness statements, pictures to show how the car accident happened, and medical records to show that the car accident resulted in death. This proves the Tampa wrongful death case based on the other party’s duty to drive carefully, the breach of duty by the at-fault party using the statements and the crash report, and then the damages are proved by the pictures of the car accident, pictures of the physical damages done to the person, as well as the medical record that show that this person did eventually pass away as a result of this car accident.
Length of a Case
There is really no standard time for a wrongful death case process in Tampa because of the procedures that need to take place in a wrongful death case into probate court along with the civil court. These cases usually take longer, anywhere from 12 months to five years.
The wrongful death case is completed in one of two ways; either a settlement has been reached, so the injured party voluntarily dismisses the case, or the case proceeds to a jury trial. If the wrongful death case proceeds to a jury trial and the jury return verdicts, that is the end of the case. If the jury returns a verdict in favor of the plaintiff then the injured party will collect their judgment and award. If they rule in favor of the defense, then the case is over and the wrongful death case has been lost.
Hiring a Lawyer
The sooner an attorney can get involved in a wrongful death case, the sooner that lawyer can go to work to protect the best interest of the decedent, the estate, and the family members of the deceased person.Wrongful death cases can be difficult to investigate because the person who would be able to provide the plaintiff’s side with the most knowledge about the circumstances surrounding the case has passed away.
It is important for survivors to seek representation from an experienced wrongful death lawyer as quickly as possible so that their investigators can document the accident scene, interview witnesses, and identify potential evidence, such as surveillance footage from local businesses that may have captured the accident. Wrongful death cases can be time-sensitive, so acting quickly can help ensure that the attorney is able to obtain the evidence they need to support the case. Every step of a Tampa wrongful death case process, the lawyer can make sure that the evidence is gathered in the initial period of the investigation.