A loved one's sudden death can cause overwhelming emotional pain for family members, but it can also result in financial distress that lasts for years after the accident.
Under Florida law, you have a right to be compensated when a loved one is killed through someone else's negligence. By filing a wrongful death claim, you and your family can recover the past and future costs of the accident, known as damages.
Different Types of Damages in a Florida Wrongful Death Claim
Florida's wrongful death laws allow survivors to collect two different categories of compensation in a wrongful death case. The first category is the losses that your loved one experienced before death (in other words, the personal injury damages that your loved one would have sought compensation for).
Damages in this category often include:
- Medical costs such as emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgery, and medications
- Lost wages incurred due to time away from work
- Damage to your loved one's vehicle or other property as a result of the incident
- Loss of value to your loved one's estate, which might reasonably have been expected if death hadn't occurred
- Funeral expenses such as burial costs, viewings, and funeral home services
- Mental and physical pain and suffering from the moment of injury until the time of death
The second category of damages covers what you and your relatives have lost as a result of the death. These damages are meant to compensate survivors for financial losses, but also the hardships they endured as a result of losing a trusted and beloved member of the family.
Damages in this category may include:
- Loss of household services. There are many expenses that may result from the unexpected death of a spouse. Surviving spouses may have to hire lawn care services, accountants, repair and maintenance providers, and other professionals due to a loss of household support. Spouses could also recover the increased costs of becoming a single parent, such as childcare or tutors. We can help calculate the replacement value of your loved one's lost services.
- Lost financial support. You may be able to recover various forms of compensation to replace the income that your loved one would have earned throughout their lifetime. Damages in this category can include the total amount of lost wages that would have been earned until the anticipated retirement date, the amount of any bonuses and wage increases, and the lost value in retirement accounts and pensions.
- Loss of companionship. Surviving spouses may recover damages for loss of their partner's love, companionship, and protection, and children who will be deprived of the love and support of a parent can claim similar damages.
- Lost parental guidance. Minor children and surviving spouses may claim compensation for the loss of parental training, instruction, advice, and guidance resulting from a parent's untimely passing.
- Mental pain and suffering. While all survivors may claim emotional distress, Florida law specifically allows parents to recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury if a minor child has died. Surviving parents of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.
Trust Our Wrongful Death Attorneys to Take Care of Your Family
We want you to have the time you need to grieve the loss of your family member. If your loved one was fatally injured in an accident, reach out to us right away. We'll listen to your story and advise you on potential options, and make sure your claim is filed before the right to receive damages is lost. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up a consultation and get answers to your questions.