We strive to ensure that families are cared for to the maximum extent of the law. We will help navigate the family through the legal process with compassion while relentlessly protecting their rights utilizing our decades of experience and resources. Wrongful death lawsuits are actions, based on the Florida’s Statute §768.21and only allows certain close relatives of a person who was injured and died as a result of a wrongful act to recover for lost financial and emotional support. There are limited legal rights that victims have in these circumstances and immediate legal consultation is critical in order to obtain justice.
Persons who can obtain a recovery in Florida are called potential beneficiaries or survivors. Survivors are entitled to recover for what is considered to be , the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and the future loss of support and services from the date of death. Both amounts have to be reduced to present value. In those cases we utilize the assistance of economist and accountants to help value the economic loss based on the decedent’s probable net income as well as the the replacement value of the decedent’s services to the survivor.
When calculating the future losses, both the life expectancies of the survivor and the decedent are considered.
In Florida, the surviving spouse may also recover for loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Unfortunately, only minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
If both spouses die within 30 days of one another as a result of the same wrongful act each spouse is considered to have been predeceased by the other.
Parents of a deceased minor child are entitled to make a claim for their 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 legal survivors.
In a Florida wrongful death law suit, both medical and funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death are recoverable if paid by a survivor.
The decedent will also have an Estate and will require the appointment of a Personal Representative to act on behalf of the Estate. The Estate can recover the loss of earnings from the date of injury to the date of death, less lost support of survivors excluding contributions in kind, with interest.
Florida utilizes a concept called net accumulations to calculate the economic loss of an Estate. This amount is considered to be that which might reasonably have been expected to have been accumulated during the life of the decedent had he or she not been killed, reduced again to the present money value.
If the surviving spouse remarries, that evidence would be admissible at trial.
The wrongful act may be negligent (such as careless driving), reckless, or deliberate (such as an intentional murder or when a hospital or doctor makes a mistake). The prosecution of the alleged wrongdoer under a criminal statute for a wrongful death does not preclude a private, wrongful death suit in most cases.
If you think a loved one or family member is the victim of an accident or medical mistake, please contact ourexperienced Florida wrongful death lawyers for a confidential evaluation.