Losing a family member is never easy. When the circumstances surrounding the death are sudden, unexpected, and due to the negligent behavior of another person, it can be even more jarring. The compassionate and dedicated Florida wrongful death lawyer at Goldman Law, P.A., understands just how difficult cases involving wrongful death can be for everyone involved. When you are reeling after the death of a loved one, you should not have to add on the complexities and complications relating to a lawsuit or insurance claim. Let Goldman Law, P.A. handle the legal side of things so that you can focus on taking care of your family and getting your own life back on track.
At Goldman Law, our goal is to make sure that you and your family get justice for the negligent actions of the individual or other responsible parties who caused your loved one’s death. We will fight to ensure that you are not left without compensation for the financial and emotional toll a wrongful death can take.
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Claim
Only certain parties may file a wrongful death claim in Florida. To seek damages for a wrongful death claim, you must be one of the following: a surviving spouse; a child of the deceased; a parent of the deceased; a representative of the estate of the decedent; or certain other dependent family members. Depending on whether you are a surviving family member or instead representing the estate of the deceased, and depending on your relationship to the decedent, you may have different types of damages available to you.
According to Florida Statutes section 768.21, surviving family members can recover the following types of damages in a wrongful death case:
- All surviving family may recover the value of lost support and services from the deceased, including support lost since the injury, after the death, and future loss of support. The amount of the award should reflect the relationship between the family member and the decedent as well as calculations relating to the probable future income of the deceased.
- The surviving spouse may recover for loss of companionship and protection, as well as mental pain and suffering.
- Surviving minor children may recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance, as well as mental pain and suffering.
- Surviving parents of a minor child may recover for mental pain and suffering. Parents of adult children typically cannot recover these sorts of damages.
- Any survivor may also seek medical or funeral expenses incurred as a result of the incident.
The estate of the deceased can also bring its own claim for damages against a negligent defendant. The decedent’s personal representative can seek damages including:
- Loss of wages, benefits, and other earnings since the injury, as well as the loss of future earnings, depending on who else claims similar loss of future income
- Lost “prospective net accumulations” of the estate, depending on the circumstances
- Medical or funeral expenses
Under certain circumstances involving intentional or particularly malicious or egregious conduct, the surviving family members may be able to seek punitive damages against the party who caused the death. Punitive damages are reserved for cases in which the law wants to punish the wrongdoer beyond only compensating the victims for their loss, in order to deter especially bad conduct. If your family member was killed by a reckless drunk driver, for example, you might be able to claim punitive damages. Additionally, if the case involved medical malpractice, there may be certain limitations on the damages available to survivors.
A dedicated wrongful death attorney can walk you through which damages may be available to you in a wrongful death matter and how you can best position yourself and your family to maximize your recovery against the party responsible for the death.
Contact an Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyer
Wrongful death claims can be long, complex, and emotionally taxing. Let our compassionate and effective personal injury team shoulder that burden so that you can focus on your family. In your time of need, you need someone in your corner whom you can trust. Our priority is to ensure that you get justice and compensation for the damage that has been done to your family. Call the passionate wrongful death attorney at Goldman Law, P.A. for a free consultation.