Attorneys in Florida can only launch wrongful death suits on behalf of clients when cases follow the guidelines set out in the Florida Wrongful Death Act. The act only allows specific people to seek damages for a wrongful death. These persons include:
*A surviving spouse. A spouse may seek damages for loss of companionship, for pain and suffering and for lost services and economic support. This means that any income the deceased could have made in a lifetime and any household services or tasks the loved one would have completed are taken into consideration when determining wrongful death suits. If a spouse paid funeral or memorial service costs, the spouse may be able to sue for these costs to be covered as well.
*A dependent or partly dependent blood relatives. If the person who has passed on supported or helped to support grandchildren, parents, siblings, children, or even adopted children, those persons can launch a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for the support lost.
*Surviving children of the person who has passed on. Any surviving children under the age of 25 can recover damages for lost support but also for lost parental guidance, loss of companionship and for suffering.
*The estate of the person who has passed on. It is possible for an estate to seek “lost net accumulations of the estate” damages, which are damages against any assets which the loved one may have acquired during their lifetime. When an estate files a wrongful death suit, it is important to hire qualified Florida attorneys, as these cases require expert testimony to prove what sort of assets a person could have reasonably earned over a remaining work-life expectancy. If a wrongful death was caused by medical malpractice, the estate can also usually seek damages to cover medial bills attributed directly to the medical negligence.
Some groups point out that the Florida Wrongful Death Act may not fully protect the elderly and young, unmarried adults. Cases of nursing home and elder abuse are rife, but if an elderly loved one passes away due to the negligence of a nursing home or elder care facility, the estate may not be able to bring a lawsuit under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, if the children of the elderly person are over 25 years of age and if the person has no surviving spouse. At most, a family devastated by their loss might be able to sue for medical costs and funeral expenses. Similarly, independent adults who are unmarried and have no children may also fall prey to medical malpractice, but their devastated families may not be able to face those responsible in court.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you need a qualified Florida attorney to help you determine whether you have a case or not. We understand how difficult a wrongful death case can be and so we offer a free, no-obligation consultation. Call 1- 800-535-2962 (1 800 5 FLAXMAN) and we will discuss your options.