If you have suffered the tragic and unexpected loss of a loved one in Florida, you may be wondering about your legal rights as family members to recover wrongful death damages. While no amount of money can ever replace what has been lost, understanding wrongful death damages and how they are allocated by law can assist families with their grief and move forward during this difficult time.
Herman & Wells has extensive experience handling wrongful death cases in Florida and can help you through this difficult process. Contact us today and one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys will review your claim at no cost.
Let’s review all the details about Florida wrongful death damages so that you know exactly where you stand when it comes to seeking justice for an untimely passing.
The Cliff Notes: Key Takeaways From This Post
Know exactly where you stand when seeking justice for an untimely passing with details on Florida wrongful death damage; however, here are the key bullet points if you are in a rush:
- Wrongful death in Florida is the legal term used when a person dies as a result of another person’s negligence or intentional act.
- To qualify as a wrongful death claim in Florida, the death must have been caused by the wrongful act or omission of another person and at least one family member must suffer an actual financial loss.
- Damages awarded can include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
- Factors such as degree of fault, reckless/malicious conduct and knowledge are considered when awarding punitive damages.
- Only certain family members can sue for compensation, including spouses, minor children, and parents of a minor child. Adult children may be eligible under certain circumstances.
- Damages are calculated based on type and degree of injury, economic/non-economic losses suffered by surviving family members.
- There is a two year statute from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim in Florida.
Wrongful Death Eligibility Laws in Florida
Wrongful death in Florida is the legal term used when a person dies as a result of another person’s negligence or intentional act. If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s wrongful conduct, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
In order to qualify as a wrongful death claim in Florida, certain conditions must be met. First, the death must have been caused by the wrongful act or omission of another person or entity. Second, at least one family member must suffer an actual financial loss as a result of the death. This can include lost wages, medical expenses associated with the deceased’s death, and funeral/burial costs.
What Types Of Damages Are Rewarded In Wrongful Death Cases?
In a successful wrongful death claim, damages awarded to family members and/or beneficiaries may include economic or non-economic damages. In Florida wrongful death cases, both economic losses (which can be easily calculated), as well as non-economic losses (which can be harder to calculate), are eligible for compensation.
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages and future earnings of the deceased
- Medical bills related to the fatal incident
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased from the moment of injury until death
- Loss of services, including love and companionship
In certain cases, punitive damages may also be awarded in Florida wrongful death claims. Punitive damages are additional monetary awards that are intended to punish the wrongdoer and serve as a deterrent against similar future occurrences.
To determine whether punitive damages should be awarded, a Florida court will consider factors such as the wrongdoer’s degree of fault, any reckless or malicious conduct, and whether the defendant possessed a high degree of knowledge.
If you have questions about wrongful death in Florida, seek legal help from an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney who can provide you with expert advice regarding your situation.
What Factors Determine How Damages Will Be Allocated In A Wrongful Death Case?
Under Florida law, the court will look at several factors when determining how damages should be allocated in a wrongful death case. These factors include:
- The degree of dependency on any particular beneficiary by the deceased person
- The age and health of each beneficiary
- Each beneficiary’s current financial situation
- Each beneficiary’s need for financial assistance
- The amount of lost financial support or inheritance resulting from the death
- Any other relatives who may have a claim to damages, as well as their degree of dependence on the deceased and/or the estate.
Ultimately, a Florida wrongful death attorney can help guide you through this process, ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your loss.
Can Any Family Member Sue For Damages In A Florida Wrongful Death Case?
In Florida, a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. This is usually one of the next-of-kin, such as a surviving spouse or child. The personal representative files the lawsuit on behalf of “all those persons entitled to recover damages” which are usually determined by statute. Those who may file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive damages typically include:
- Spouses: Usually, the surviving spouse has a claim for the loss of companionship that resulted from their partner’s death, as well as for the financial impact of losing them.
- Children: Usually, only minor children can be awarded damages for the loss of benefits from their relationship with the deceased parent. These benefits might include comfort or support, in addition to any financial damage caused by the death.
- Parents: Parents of a minor child who has tragically passed away can potentially recover damages for their emotional trauma, as well as the lost relationship with the child. In some cases, parents may also be able to receive financial compensation for their loss.
Are Adult Children Still Eligible To Sue For Damages?
In Florida, wrongful death claims may be brought by adult children of the deceased. In such cases, Adult children who can prove an emotional attachment to the decedent and suffering caused by the wrongful death are likely to recover damages in a wrongful death action.
How Are Damages Calculated In Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
The amount of damages awarded in wrongful death cases generally depends on the type and degree of injury, as well as the economic and non-economic losses suffered by surviving family members. An experienced Florida wrongful death attorney can help you calculate an accurate estimate of your damages based on the specifics of your case.
How Expensive Is It To Sue For A Wrongful Death In Florida?
The cost of filing a wrongful death lawsuit can vary widely depending on the circumstances. In general, however, it is important to understand that pursuing such a claim will involve both court-related costs and attorney fees. Depending on the complexity of your case, you may need to pay for expert opinions or witness testimony, as well as other expenses related to preparing for court. Additionally, in Florida, you may also be responsible for any court costs associated with the process.
Fortunately, there are experienced wrongful death attorneys in Florida who can help guide you through the legal process and ensure that all necessary steps are taken to protect your rights. These attorneys will typically provide a free consultation to discuss the details of your case, and depending on their experience and expertise they may be able to provide a more accurate estimate of potential costs. An experienced wrongful death attorney will also typically work on a contingency fee basis which means that you will only pay them if they successfully recover compensation on your behalf.
How Much Time Do You Have In Florida To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Florida, when a wrongful death occurs as a result of the negligence or wrongdoing of another, the family of the deceased has two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The two-year statute known as the Florida Wrongful Death Act sets this deadline.
Contact Herman & Wells If You Have A Wrongful Death Claim In Florida
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wrongful act of another person in Florida, it is important to contact an experienced wrongful death attorney. At Herman & Wells, our attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of a wrongful death claim. We understand how difficult this time may be for you and your family, and we are here to provide compassionate and effective legal representation to ensure that you receive the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We are here to help!