The unexpected death of a family member in an accident can be emotionally devastating. While no amount of money can bring your loved one back, monetary damages are the only way to compensate you for medical and funeral costs, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, mental pain and suffering, and for other expenses and losses associated with the wrongful death of a loved one.
Death Caused by Negligence or Misconduct
A wrongful death claim arises when a person’s death is caused by someone else’s negligence or misconduct. Claims for wrongful death can be based on many different types of accidents: if a person dies because of someone else’s careless operation of a motor vehicle, or from an accident on negligently maintained property, or due to substandard care at a nursing home, family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim in order to obtain damages for the death of their family member. Wrongful death claims can also be based on medical malpractice defectively designed or manufactured products, and other types of negligent activity that causes or contributes to a death.
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Florida law allows 2 years from the date of death to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Thorough investigation takes time; if you believe you may have a potential wrongful death claim, call our Melbourne, Florida injury attorneys for your FREE consultation: 321-951-3400.
The Definition of Survivors
Florida law strictly defines and limits the people who may recover monetary damages in a wrongful death case. Under Florida law, Survivors are the immediate family members of the decedent, including the decedent’s spouse, children, and parents. When other relatives are dependent on the decedent for support or services, they may also be considered Survivors, and may be entitled to make claims for their losses.
The amount a Survivor can recover depends on the Survivor’s relationship to the decedent. Every Survivor may recover for funeral and medical expenses they have paid on behalf of the decedent, and every Survivor may recover for their loss of the decedent’s support and services. The surviving spouse may also recover for his or her loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection, and for mental pain and suffering which most certainly accompanies the loss of a loved one.
Children of the decedent who are under 25 years of age can recover for their loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance, and for mental pain and suffering. If the decedent did not have a surviving spouse, even children over 25 years of age can recover for those losses and for mental pain and suffering.
Parents of a deceased child who was under age 25 at the time of death may also recover for mental pain and suffering. Each parent of an adult child may recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other Survivors of that adult child.
In addition to Survivor’s claims, the Decedent’s estate which will ultimately pass to his or her heirs may be able to recover for the Decedent’s loss of future earnings, and for the value of property the decedent would have accumulated had he or she lived their entire life.
The handling of a wrongful death claim requires a qualified legal counsel. Clay Morgan has been successfully handling wrongful death claims for over twenty years and understands the pain and grief that comes with the death of a close family member. Our firm is dedicated to exploring every avenue, and going the extra mile to insure that every potential recovery is investigated. Make us your first call if you believe that you have a family member that has perished due to someone else’s negligence.
In many cases, it may be hard to tell whether another person’s negligence caused your family member’s death. If you think you have a wrongful death claim, please contact us immediately for a free consultation.