The unexpected death of a close loved one can impact your life in many ways. In the immediate aftermath of a close loved one’s passing, you will likely need to make costly funeral arrangements while coping with your grief. Unfortunately, the consequences of a family member’s passing can last even after you’ve dealt with your emotional struggles.
Perhaps you lost a spouse who was responsible for providing for you and your children. The loss of their income can alter the quality of your life in a number of ways.
No one can replace your loved one. However, there are instances when the close surviving members of someone who passed away may recover compensation for various losses resulting from their death.
They may do so if a loved one’s passing could have been avoided had another party not been negligent. In Florida, you can pursue compensation by filing a wrongful death claim or lawsuit against the party whose negligence caused your loved one’s death. Learn more about your options by reviewing your case with a Florida wrongful death attorney.
What is Wrongful Death in Florida?
Under Florida law, certain surviving family members of those who passed away unexpectedly may be eligible to recover compensation for losses caused by their loved one’s death. They may do so if it can be shown that the deceased’s death was the result of another party’s negligence or other wrongful act. They must also show that, had their loved one not passed away but instead been injured, they would have been eligible to recover compensation accordingly.
Who Can Recover Compensation for Wrongful Death in Florida?
Individuals and parties who may be eligible for compensation after a wrongful death in Florida include the deceased’s:
- Surviving spouse
- Minor children
- Parents, if they were a minor child
- Parents, if they were an adult child and there are no other survivors
Knowing whether your relationship to the deceased justifies filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be challenging. An attorney can help you better understand if you should take legal action.
What Types of Damages Are Available in Florida Wrongful Death Cases?
Florida law generally allows surviving family members of wrongful death victims to recover compensation for the support and services of the deceased.
Support can include financial support. A family who receives compensation for the loss of financial support will ideally collect a sum that reflects how much money their loved one would have made over the course of their lifetime if they hadn’t died.
Services refers to the important roles the deceased may have played in their loved ones’ lives. For instance, maybe your spouse was responsible for taking care of your children’s daily needs. Now that they are deceased, you might need to hire someone to fill this role. That can be costly.
In some cases, those who file wrongful death lawsuits can also recover compensation for losses that are not strictly economic in nature. An example would be the parents of a minor child recovering compensation for their mental pain and suffering. Or, someone may recover compensation for loss of consortium after death of a spouse.
How to Pursue Compensation for a Wrongful Death in Florida
The first step in pursuing compensation after a loved one’s wrongful death involves identifying the party or parties whose actions caused your loved one’s death in the first place. This may require conducting a thorough investigation.
You will also need to gather evidence proving negligence or other wrongful conduct. Additionally, you will need to document the extent and nature of your losses. This is key to putting together a strong claim to submit to the insurer of the negligent parties.
Putting together a claim that thoroughly and clearly demonstrates why you deserve to be compensated can be difficult if you lack the proper training and experience. This is one of the many reasons it is wise to consult with an attorney. Most lawyers will review your case for free. If they believe you have reason to take legal action, they can handle all these tasks for you. This allows you to focus on yourself and your family during a painful time.