Losing a loved one is difficult enough, but losing someone you love due to an avoidable accident is horrific and devastating. Taking legal action in the wake of their death may not be on your mind, but it is important for surviving members to consider retaining a wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible. Along with the loss of a loved one, families may also face financial hardships in the wake of the deceased member. The compensation provided by a wrongful death lawsuit can help alleviate this financial burden.
The wrongful death attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have an established history of recovering compensation that recognizes the value of the deceased and helps the surviving family recover from their loss. If you have lost a loved one in an unexpected tragedy, we can help. To find out what our Miami wrongful death attorneys can do for you and your family, please fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today.
Wrongful Death Definition
Wrongful death claims are civil actions made by the survivors of a loved one who has passed away because of the negligence of another. In these claims, the law allows the family of the deceased to file a wrongful death suit seeking monetary damages. The wrongful death action works to provide compensation for relatives who depended upon the deceased for financial and emotional support.
Who has the Right to Sue for Wrongful Death in Florida?
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act states that all survivors of a deceased loved one have a right to compensation following a death caused by negligence. These survivors include the deceased’s spouse, children, parents, and siblings who were dependent upon the deceased for support. Even though these survivors have a right to receive compensation, it is the responsibility of the representative of the deceased’s estate to actually start and prosecute the lawsuit.
What Constitutes a Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death can be attributed to recklessness, negligence, or deliberate actions that result in a fatality. To establish that a wrongful death occurred, an attorney must prove that the individual had a duty of care to the deceased, their act or omission breached that standard of care, and that their wrongful actions were the direct cause of the injury or death of the deceased. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death include:
- Birth Injuries
- Car Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Workplace Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Boat and Jet-Ski Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Defective Drugs and Products
Wrongful Death Damages
The court will consider a list of factors when determining the number of damages to be awarded to the survivors of the deceased. These elements include the relationship between the deceased and the survivor and the total amount of the deceased’s net income that is available to the survivor. An individual’s relationship to the deceased may entitle them to certain benefits.
Spouse: A deceased’s spouse may recover compensation for the loss of the decedent’s companionship, protection, support, and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
Children: Young children may seek compensation for lost parental companionship, instruction, guidance, and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
Parents: Parents of a deceased minor child may each recover compensation for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of a deceased adult child may also recover compensation for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.
All: Each surviving member may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the deceased’s injury to his or her death, with interest. Also, medical or funeral expenses due to the deceased’s death may be recovered by the survivor who has paid them.
In addition to the compensatory damages mentioned above, a court may also choose to award punitive damages. These damages serve to punish the offending party, as well as preventing others from behaving similarly in the future.
At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys understand the difficulties that a family may face in the wake of a loved one’s wrongful death, and are dedicated to seeking fair compensation for these individuals. To learn more about your legal options following an unexpected death, fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today.