If you believe a loved one has suffered a death due to the actions of another person, you may be entitled to file a claim in Florida. Here are five facts you should know.
First, what is wrongful death? It is specifically defied as that in which someone’s death "is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract," whether it is a person or organization.
Second, there is a specific period of time in which any claim must be brought. The period varies from state to state. In Florida, it is four years from the date of the death.
Third, claimants are entitled to claim damages concerning the loss the loved one’s death caused surviving family members. These might include any loss of companionship, guidance, and protection and the loss of support. If the deceased was a child, damages may also cover emotional and mental suffering. Finally, if surviving family members bore the cost for medical or burial expenses, these are also potentially recoverable as damages.
Fourth, people who survive the deceased may also file damages for monetary and financial losses they may have suffered as a result of the death. These may include lost wages and benefits that can be reasonably expected the deceased would have made and any losses of "prospective net accumulations" of the estate. Finally, if the estate paid for the deceased medical and funeral expenses, the estate may file to recover these.
Fifth, under Florida law, only a personal representative of an estate can file a claim of wrongful death. However, those damages may be claimed on behalf of loved ones of the deceased, including a spouse, children, and parents, and any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is "partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services."