Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Although many people who are involved in accidents are lucky enough to walk away without sustaining serious injuries, many are not so fortunate and may even lose their lives as a result of their injuries. In these cases, the surviving family members of the victim could be eligible to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party in court, where, if they are successful, they could recover damages compensating them for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
While monetary damages can never truly compensate someone for the loss of a loved one, they can go a long way towards helping grieving families get back on their feet. To learn more about the process of filing your own wrongful death claim, please contact a dedicated wrongful death attorney who can assist you.
Initiating a Wrongful Death Claim
When a person passes away as a result of injuries sustained in an accident that was not his or her fault, that individual’s family members could have standing to initiate a claim for wrongful death against the responsible person or entity. However, only certain surviving family members are actually eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Florida, including the victim’s:
- Parents; and
- Blood or adoptive relatives who were at least partially dependent upon the victim for financial support.
Plaintiffs who fall under one of these categories can file a claim on their deceased loved one’s behalf, at which point they will be required to prove that the victim’s death was the result of someone else’s wrongful act, negligence, or breach of contract or warranty.
Successful plaintiffs are eligible to recover a wide range of damages, including compensation for:
- The value of lost support and services, which requires an assessment of each survivor’s relationship to the decedent, the amount of the victim’s probable net income, and the replacement value of the decedent’s services;
- The value of the loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection suffered by a surviving spouse;
- Mental pain and suffering from the date of the injury;
- Lost parental companionship, guidance, and instruction experienced by any surviving children;
- Medical or funeral expenses related to the decedent’s injury or death; and
- The loss of the decedent’s earnings, which could have been expected but for the wrongful death.
The surviving family members of accident victims will only be eligible to receive these damages if they file a claim with the court before the expiration of the statute of limitations. In Florida, the time limit for a wrongful death claim starts at the point of death and extends for up to two years.
Legal Help with a Florida Wrongful Death Claim
For help holding the person who caused your own loved one’s untimely death accountable for his or her actions, please contact a member of the dedicated Fort Lauderdale wrongful death legal team at Boone & Davis by calling 954-566-9919 or by completing one of our brief contact forms. Initial case evaluations are offered free of charge, so please don’t hesitate to call or contact us online today.