Understanding Wrongful Death Actions in Florida
A personal injury claim arises out of an injury caused due to the negligence of another person. A wrongful death action, similarly, is brought as a result of the negligence of another, but here the individual died from his or her injuries. Wrongful death actions are unique in that they are brought in court by the survivors, known as the estate. The estate is comprised of a person or persons named in a will or, alternatively, assigned by the court in the absence of a will.
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When someone we love has been killed in a lawsuit, the aftermath is devastating. Aside from the obvious emotional loss, financial difficulties may become immediately apparent. This is particularly true if the decedent was the primary breadwinner of the household, incurred significant medical expenses before his or her death, and/or had primary custody of dependent (minor) children. Though no amount of money can bring back what a family loses in a fatal accident, monetary compensation can aid survivors in paying medical expenses, future earned wages, and other expenses. Unlike personal injury cases, however, the compensation is designed to compensate the survivors, not the individual involved in the accident.
The idea behind this is that survivors should be able to bring the same legal action that the decedent could have brought had he survived. The decedent could have brought an equivalent action seeking redress for his or her injuries, medical expenses, lost earnings from work, and similar benefits. The estate can recover the:
- Decedent’s medical expenses;
- Loss of future earning capacity;
- Loss of earnings during time of incapacitation before death;
- Loss of consortium (love, affection, sex), loss of companionship; and
- Funeral expenses paid on behalf of decedent.
Minor children may also recover loss of parental companionship, instruction, guidance, and mental health and suffering as permitted under Florida law.
The types of compensation awarded are dependent on the nature of the relationship between the estate and the decedent. It is more likely that some of the above benefits will be recovered if there were individuals enumerated in a will or other instrument, or that are direct family members.
Miami Wrongful Death Attorneys
Losing a member of your family or anyone you love will have a profound, lasting effect on your life. At Alan Goldfarb, P.A., we understand that there is no legal recourse that can put your loved ones back into your life. Our experienced wrongful death attorneys will do everything possible to zealously advocate on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation that you are entitled to for your losses. Losing a member of the family is not only emotionally devastating, but financially difficult for the remaining members of the family, especially when the decedent had minor children. Compensation can ensure the decedent’s children grow up comfortably, and that they will never have to go without basic needs. Contact our Miami office to learn more about your rights as a survivor of a catastrophic accident or injury today.