Why Choose Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore for Your Wrongful Death Case?

Our firm has worked with families who have lost loved ones since 1967. We know how to help you and your family navigate the wrongful death process and get the maximum compensation possible.

Wrongful deaths caused by negligence or others’ wrongful actions can be caused in many different ways, whether by medical malpractice, car accidents, defective products, airplane accidents, truck accidents, boating accidents, motorcycle accidents, and all other types of personal injury related deaths.

Whether your loved one passed away on a Florida highway or on a cruise ship on the high seas, we can help. Our compassionate Tampa wrongful death attorney at Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore will ease your burden if your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence.


Areas We Serve

We are based in Tampa, but we have successfully represented victim’s families throughout the state of Florida, serving cities including:

  • Clearwater
  • St. Petersburg
  • Ft. Lauderdale
  • Bradenton
  • Key West
  • Brandon
  • Orlando
  • Sarasota
  • Boca Raton
  • Lakeland
  • Naples
  • Fort Myers
  • Cape Coral
  • Miami
  • West Palm Beach
  • Jacksonville

Florida’s Wrongful Death Process

Every wrongful death case is unique and requires a custom approach by a compassionate attorney who understands the Florida Wrongful Death Act. A lawyer can stand beside you through the most difficult time in your life after you’ve lost a loved one. We can help with the following steps in the wrongful death process:

Investigating a Wrongful Death Case in Florida

Gathering as much evidence as possible to support your case is important. You have a limited amount of time to do so because your loved one will not be able to testify about what happened and witnesses’ memories can fade over time.

Your Tampa wrongful death attorney can conduct an in-depth investigation to gather crucial evidence. The goal is to determine who is responsible for your accident and injuries while evaluating the extent of your damages and those of your loved ones.

Establishing Negligence in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

You must prove that the other party was negligent in causing the wrongful death, which makes them liable. This requires establishing the following elements:

  • The other party owed your loved one a duty of care
  • They breached that duty of care
  • The breach caused your loved one’s death

Your lawyer will work to prove negligence and establish financial liability of every potentially responsible party in order to maximize your claim.

Calculating Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

Only the personal representative of the estate may bring a wrongful death claim in Florida.  The personal representative brings the claim on behalf of the estate to recover medical and funeral bills, as well as the decedant’s loss of “net accumulations” – essentially what the decedent would have earned and saved over time had he not been wrongfully killed.

The personal representative also brings the claim on behalf of the “survivors” of the decedent.  The survivors are defined in the wrongful death statute but can include the spouse and children of the decedent who are 25 years or younger, adult children when there is no surviving spouse, and relatives who were dependent or supported by the decedent.

You need to prove your loved one’s damages as well as your own in order to request full and fair compensation in a wrongful death claim. Multiple factors will determine how much your case is worth, including the number of parties involved, where the case is being heard, your damages, and more.

When calculating your damages, we will use information about your loved one’s losses before death as well as expenses you have had to pay out-of-pocket since your loved one’s death. That includes both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are directly related to money you must spend due to your loved one’s death, including medical bills and funeral expenses. Non-economic damages include mental pain and suffering and loss of services of the deceased individual.

Pursuant to the Florida Wrongful Death Statute, you can recover the following:

  • Lost support and services
  • Loss of companionship and protection
  • Mental pain and suffering
  • Lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance
  • Past medical bills of the decedent
  • Funeral and burial expenses of the deceased individual
  • Loss of net accumulations of the deceased individual

Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations in Florida

There is a time limit, called a “statute of limitations,” that sets a deadline for the filing of a wrongful death claim.    You have two years from the date of the death to file a claim.  In wrongful deaths caused by medical malpractice, sometimes an additional 90 days is available.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida

Wrongful death lawsuits can be contentious and difficult to navigate. That’s why you should work with a wrongful death attorney who understands the Florida Wrongful Death Act and can apply it to your case.

Our attorneys can help you gather evidence, draft and file legal documents, communicate with insurance companies, and present your case to a jury. We have decades of litigation experience, so we are not afraid to push through to trial. We won’t recommend a settlement unless you get a full and fair offer from the insurance companies and defendants.

Contact a Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney at WMW Today

Your life will forever be changed by the death of a loved one. When someone else’s negligence causes that death, you deserve compensation. Our knowledgeable and collaborative legal team can help you get the maximum recovery possible in your case.

The experienced Tampa wrongful death lawyers at Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore are ready to help. We will handle all the legal issues while you mourn your loss and focus on moving forward with life.

We're Available — Call Today

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