How do I calculate lost earnings for wrongful death claims in Florida?

Losing a loved one in an accident is one of the hardest things a family will ever have to go through. In addition to suffering on an emotional level, families have to figure out how to live without that person on a practical level. Many accident victims contributed financially to the household. Without their income, families find themselves struggling to make ends meet.

You can recover compensation for your loved one’s loss, but calculating lost earnings for a wrongful death claim can be difficult. Learn more about calculating lost earnings below.

What lost earnings can I recover?

Surviving family members can recover compensation for wages lost because of the accident. This includes earnings lost between the accident and the loved one’s death and earnings the deceased would have contributed to the household had the accident — and resulting death — not occurred.  

Florida law refers to these future earnings as net accumulations.

How do I calculate net accumulations?

The Florida Wrongful Death Act defines net accumulations as a portion of the decedent’s net income that the decedent would have saved in the future had s/he not passed away. Essentially, net accumulations are what would be left over after a person has spent money on food, shelter, clothing, recreation, etc.

To calculate net accumulation, a financial expert can examine your loved one’s earnings and spending habits to determine how much s/he would have saved per year. So, if your loved one made $4,000 a month, but spent $2,200, the expert will find that your loved one would have saved approximately $21,600 a year.

We work with experts to determine exactly how much you can expect to recover in your wrongful death claim.

When are net accumulation damages recoverable?

Net accumulation damages are only recoverable in cases where:

  • The decedent has a surviving spouse or lineal descendants
  • The decedent is 25 years of age or older, was survived by a parent, and there is no lost support recoverable under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act

What if my loved one provided other services to my family?

Under Florida Statute § 768.21(1), survivors as defined by the statute, may recover compensation for lost support and services both from the date their loved one was injured to the date of their death as well as future lost support and services. Future lost support and services will be “reduced to present value.”

Lost support and services can include child care, housekeeping, landscaping, etc.

The amount of support recoverable by each family member will depend on:

  • The relationship between the survivor and decedent
  • The cost of replacing the decedent’s services
  • The amount of net income available to distribute to the survivor

Learning to live without someone you love can be extremely difficult. If your loved one passed away due to the negligence of another person, you may be able to recover wrongful death damages. While no amount of money can bring back your loved one, financial damages can help your family get back on its feet after such a tragic event.

Call a wrongful death attorney from Coffey Trial Law for assistance in filing your wrongful death claim: 954-541-3194.