Florida’s wrongful death statute has a highly detailed and convoluted set of rules. It includes various exclusions and exceptions. Many people injured emotionally and physically along with the trauma of the death of a loved one cannot recover anything worthwhile in this wrongful death lawsuit in an unfair way. However, it takes a proficient Florida accidental death lawyer to create innovative ways in exceptional cases to convince that some of the people deserve to be allowed to raise a wrongful death lawsuit.
The value of lost guidance and support is counted from the date of the decedent’s injury to his or her demise. It includes the interest during the time-period as well as future loss of support from the date of death and to the present time. The evaluation of the damage depends on various factors:
- the survivor’s relationship to the decedent
- the total sum of the decedent’s net income available
- the substitution value of the decedent’s services to the survivor
- the combined life expectancies of the survivor and the decedent for evaluating future losses
The recovery law might be applicable for the current spouse for the loss of the decedent’s companionship, support, protection and for mental trauma and personal suffering from the date of the injury. In case there is no present spouse, all the children of the decedent including the minors might as well recover for the eternal loss of critical parental guidance, instruction, support and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each spouse is believed to have been predeceased by the other in case both spouses die consecutively within a month due to the same injudicious act or several acts caused by the same incident.
If a minor or adult child gets deceased due to a wrongful act, his or her parents might also claim for the recovery for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors. A survivor can cover up the recovery for the medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death.
However, as per the Florida statute, parents might not recover for pain and suffering if the deceased child was older than 25 at the time of death. The recovery is possible only if there were no other survivors. Also, parents of adult children cannot claim for the recovery of these damages if the wrongful death was actually a result of some medical negligence or misuse such as drugs intake.
So parents of a deceased child below the age of 25 at the time of death might recover:
- The value for the loss of support and services
- The value for the future loss of support and services
- The mental trauma and suffering
- The expenses related to medical or funeral events of the deceased child which have been paid by the parents.
There are special factors on which different set of rules exist. This factors include common law marriages, divorce, remarriage, intention to remarry and divorce, adopted children, children born outside marriage, biological fathers and stepfathers, stepchildren, divorced parents, financial dependency etc.
What is the meaning of “Support” And “Services”?
The statute of Florida defines Support as something that includes “contributions in kind and money.” Services are defined as tasks of a household nature that are performed by the decedent on a regular basis that would be a necessary expenditure for the survivors of the decedent. These services might differ according to the status and identity of the decedent and survivor.
In a nutshell, support and services refer to the amount of money or value of services that the survivor or plaintiff can prove that the deceased person provided it to him or her at any cost. It requires the assistance of an able economist to prove it. These damages are not as valuable as those for mental pain and suffering.
The potential claimants can be divided into two major categories:
- First Category
When an adult dies, he or she leaves an estate. An estate typically includes the grand total of everything that they owned during their entire lifetime. This estate is entitled to the beneficiaries who are defined in a will left behind or as per defined by statute in Florida. The personal representative of the estate form the first category of claimants. They are entitled to raise a wrongful death lawsuit under-representing all the estate beneficiaries. However, the available damages are limited to this category.
- Second category
The personal representative has the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the all the survivors of the deceased person. He or she is required to include all survivors in any wrongful death action. These survivors may also be part of the first category. However, they are different from the personal representatives in terms of entitlements towards the recovery of various types of damages. This results in much more advanced settlements for damages. The qualifications of a true survivor are also defined by the Florida statute of wrongful death.
Why do you need a wrongful death lawyer?
- Get entitlement for the compensation for the monetary losses
The wrongful death is a result of the irresponsible or deliberate actions of another person. A wrongful death lawyer ensures that you receive reimbursement for funeral expenses, medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.
- Ease out the complex paperwork
An expert lawyer is able to complete paperwork and negotiate with insurance companies.
- Reliable source of advice
it is always better to consult with a wrongful death lawyer before bringing a claim. You and your family will be able to find some solace through the services of the lawyer.