Losing a loved one suddenly and unexpectedly is something many people never get over. The loneliness from the loss of companionship is often overwhelming, and results in depression or other mental distress. Many people are forced to struggle with this on top of financial stress, if the lost loved one provided or contributed to a household income.
Recovering from this type of loss is especially difficult when the loss is caused by someone else’s negligent actions. Florida’s wrongful death statute was enacted to help individuals in this situation and to hold negligent parties accountable.
A personal representative must file the claim
Florida law requires the personal representative of the decedent’s estate to file a wrongful death claim. However, compensation may be collected by the decedent’s surviving spouse, minor children or parents, if evidence is shown that they were fully or partially dependent on the deceased individual.
Compensation in wrongful death actions can be recovered for:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Lost benefits and income
- Loss of services and support
- Mental pain and suffering
If the deceased loved one was initially injured, and eventually died from the injuries, compensation may also be available for the cost of any medical services or other treatments that were required from the time of the injury until death.
The amount of damages depends on various factors
It is difficult to estimate the exact amount of compensation that will be awarded for factors such as loss of services and support or mental pain and suffering. Each case is unique, and courts will generally analyze the specific relationship between each survivor and the deceased loved one, and how much they depended on their deceased loved one for support.
You have legal rights if you believe the loss of your loved one was caused by negligence. Proving negligence can be challenging but having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side increases your chance of successfully recovering the compensation you deserve.