If you have a loved one going in for surgery or dealing with a health crisis, you may pray for the best and fear for the worst, but one thing you never expect is that you will lose a beloved family member due to the negligence or incompetence of the doctor or hospital in charge of your loved one’s care. Florida law allows bereaved family members to recover compensation for the negligence or wrongful act of another which results in death, including cases of medical malpractice. In Tampa, the lawyers at Palmer | Lopez take on the task of recovering this compensation for you to help you pick up the pieces after the sudden loss of a loved one and move forward with your life as best you can.
How Wrongful Death Actions for Malpractice Work in Florida
A wrongful death action in Florida is typically filed by the personal representative of the estate on behalf of the decedent’s estate. However, surviving family members can be parties to this action and receive compensation as part of a settlement with or judgment against the hospital or other responsible party. Beneficiaries of a wrongful death recovery may include the spouse, children, parents or siblings and other relatives who were dependent on the deceased for financial support.
Compensation in the case of wrongful death may be sought for the following legal damages:
- Final medical expenses incurred before death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Compensation for emotional and mental pain and suffering
- Loss of earnings between the date of the malpractice and death
- The value of future wages or income the deceased would have earned
- Loss of services and support to the household and family members
- Loss of companionship and protection of a spouse
- Loss of parental guidance, instruction and companionship for a child
For decades, noneconomic damages, such as emotional and mental pain and suffering, were limited by law to no more than one million dollars in the case of death resulting from medical malpractice. This cap on damages has since been held unconstitutional by the Florida courts. Now, if a settlement cannot be reached with the hospital or their insurance company, it is up to the jury to decide an appropriate financial amount for the wrongful death caused by surgical error, medication error or other hospital malpractice.
Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Cases are Most Often Complex
It can be difficult to prove that medical negligence is responsible for the wrongful death of a patient, particularly when the patient was already seriously ill or was set to undergo a risky surgery. To make matters worse, all the records are in the hands of the hospital, and perhaps only those present in the operating room truly know what happened. At Palmer | Lopez, our attorneys get those records out of the hands of the hospital, and we interview the people who were in the operating room. We retain medical experts and do whatever it takes to uncover the facts and build a strong case for liability against the responsible parties.
Help is Available for Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death in Tampa
If you believe that negligence or other wrongful conduct may have played a role in your loved one’s death in a Tampa hospital or medical facility, please call Palmer | Lopez at 813-506-5651 for a no-cost, confidential consultation. Our Tampa wrongful death lawyers will investigate the facts and let you know your options, and we only charge a fee if we are successful in obtaining a recovery for you.