When a loved one is involved in an accident or falls ill and passes away from their injuries, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. When someone’s death is caused prematurely because of the negligent or intentional actions of someone else, the death is said to be “wrongful” which means you could be entitled to compensation for your losses. The time immediately following a loved one’s death can be overwhelming, and dealing with a legal issue is probably the last thing you want to do when grieving over your loss. However, if you think the death may have been wrongful or due to someone else’s negligent actions, it’s important that you let a Martin County injury lawyer review your situation and advise you on the best course of action as soon as possible.
Who Can File?
Wrongful death suits are immensely complex due to a number of varying laws and codes governing these cases. For starters, Florida law only allows a limited group of people to file wrongful death suits to prevent unscrupulous individuals from trying to capitalize on the death of a distant relation. Therefore, only the following people can file for a wrongful death suit when a loved one passes away:
- The surviving spouse
- The children of the decedent
- The parents of the decedent
- Any close relatives who relied on the decent for financial support, such as siblings, grandparents, or grandchildren
Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit
If the death in question is indeed wrongful, then you will have sustained damages as a result of the loss. Most often these losses are financial, but emotional and non-physical damages could also entitle you to financial compensation. Loss of income is arguably the largest damage, particularly when the one who passed away is a higher-earner or is heavily depended-upon for their financial contribution to their family or household.
Spouses who lose their significant other could be entitled to claim damage for loss of consortium or companionship. Children could claim pain and suffering for the anguish of losing a parental figure as well as their financial support, so long as they’re under the age of 25.
Distribution of Damages
When a wrongful death suit is either settled or adjudicated, the damages are not necessarily granted to each individual, but to the estate as a whole. From there, a personal representative of the estate who has been entrusted with fiduciary duty must distribute the damages in a fair and equitable manner. The fiduciary in this instance may not make any profit off this transaction or they risk being involved in a conflict of interests.
If you have a loved one who passed away unexpectedly through the negligent actions of another, Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC can provide you with exceptional representation and qualified counsel through every step of the case. Attorney Goldstein and her experienced staff have handled numerous cases and can help you seek the fair solution your case deserves. We don’t stop until we’ve obtained the best possible solution on your behalf, and we’re not afraid to stand up and defend your rights against any insurance company or other obstacle which might stand in your way.Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC today by dialing 866-675-4427 and request a free case evaluation!