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Who can recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit?

by | Sep 2, 2020

Wrongful Death in Florida (1)

Although Florida law states that only the decedent’s personal representative can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit, the estate and other beneficiaries can recover damages based on their familial relationship and dependence on the deceased.

Survivors and Beneficiaries

In addition to the estate of the deceased, Florida’s Wrongful Death Act defines these other beneficiaries as “Survivors”, and they include:

The decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. It includes the child born out of wedlock of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.

Who does and does not qualify to be awarded damages can be complicated and depend on multiple factors.

Different Damages to Different Survivors

The Wrongful Death statute also explains how damages are to be allotted to the various beneficiaries. This division of damages and parties can further complicate matters, so it’s always best to speak to a qualified wrongful death lawyer.

The Estate of the Decedent (i.e. person that died)

  • Medical or funeral expenses
  • Loss of earnings
  • Loss of net accumulations to the estate

Surviving Spouses

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost support and services (plus interest)
  • Loss of companionship and protection
  • Mental pain and suffering from date of the injury

Surviving Minor Children (includes all children if no surviving spouse)

  • Lost support and services (plus interest)
  • Loss of parental guidance, companionship, and instruction
  • Mental pain and suffering from date of the injury

Parents of Minor Child (or adult child if no other survivors)

  • Mental pain and suffering from date of the injury
  • Medical costs
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Get Help and Start to Recover

If a loved one or family member has been killed in an accident, we can help! The lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center can review your case and explain your legal options so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Call us today at (561)372-3800 to schedule a free case evaluation or fill out the confidential form below.

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Other FAQs!

Don’t miss these other FAQs from the lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center, your go-to resource for information about personal injury cases in Boca Raton. 

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