If a person dies as a result of someone’s actions or failure to act, the victim’s survivors and estate may bring a lawsuit for wrongful death. Survivors are usually the decedent’s spouse, children or, in certain circumstances, their parents. The survivors may have a right to recover for the loss of the decedent’s support, services, companionship, protection and, in certain cases, pain and suffering.
Please contact the Garvin Law Firm or visit the appropriate web page for more information.What Is Wrongful Death?
Florida Statutes Section 768.16-768.26 sets forth what is known as the Wrongful Death Act
According to this act, a personal representative of the decedent has the ability to recover damages that would be owed to the decedent if he or she were living. The personal representative can recover when the death is caused by a wrongful act, negligence, default or breach of contract or warranty of any person, including those occurring of navigable waters.
The personal representative is able to recover for the benefit of the decedent’s survivors and estate all damages caused by the injury resulting in death.
According to the statute the personal representative is able to recover damages for the following reasons:
(1) Each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value. In evaluating loss of support and services, the survivor’s relationship to the decedent, the amount of the decedent’s probable net income available for distribution to the particular survivor, and the replacement value of the decedent’s services to the survivor may be considered. In computing the duration of future losses, the joint life expectancies of the survivor and the decedent and the period of minority, in the case of healthy minor children, may be considered.
(2) The surviving spouse may also recover for loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
(3) Minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. For the purposes of this subsection, if both spouses die within 30 days of one another as a result of the same wrongful act or series of acts arising out of the same incident, each spouse is considered to have been predeceased by the other.
(4) Each parent of a deceased minor child may also recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.
(5) Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death may be recovered by a survivor who has paid them.
(6) The decedent’s personal representative may recover for the decedent’s estate the following:
(a) Loss of earnings of the deceased from the date of injury to the date of death, less lost support of survivors excluding contributions in kind, with interest. Loss of the prospective net accumulations of an estate, which might reasonably have been expected but for the wrongful death, reduced to present money value, may also be recovered:
If the decedent’s survivors include a surviving spouse or lineal descendants; or
If the decedent is not a minor child as defined in s. 768.18 (2), there are no lost support and services recoverable under subsection (1), and there is a surviving parent.
(b) Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death that have become a charge against her or his estate or that were paid by or on behalf of decedent, excluding amounts recoverable under subsection (5).
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