Florida statutes protect victims of crimes and acts of negligence. A person who gets hurt by someone else can sue that person for property damage or personal injury if there isn’t adequate insurance to protect them from losses. Surviving family members can also bring a wrongful death lawsuit against a business’s or individual’s actions, omissions or if negligence directly contributes to the death of someone they loved.
Wrongful death statutes serve two purposes. First, they help mitigate the financial impact of a death on the surviving members of the deceased person’s family. The loss of a loved one can cost a family hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of many years in the form of lost support and lost income.
Secondly, wrongful death lawsuits also create a financial penalty for those who directly contribute to the death of someone. There are, however, limitations and rules that affect how much compensation people can seek in a wrongful death claim.
The age and earning ability of the deceased influence compensation
Different people provide different kinds and amounts of support to the people they love. For example, a medical professional or corporate executive could very well command a six-figure salary that affords a high standard of living for their family and allows their spouse to stay home without working.
Someone who earns less than wages but provides substantial unpaid work around the household and contributes quite a bit to the support and upkeep of their family and home may have a lower amount of lost wages to claim but higher levels of lost support. Loss of support claims can stem from practical services provided by someone that will cost money if performed by a professional.
Family members can also claim compensation for their lost relationship
Spouses and children can also claim losses related to the death of someone with an important relationship to them. Losing a parent means losing guidance, advice and a future inheritance, while losing a spouse means losing support, love and companionship that you wanted to have last a lifetime.
It’s important for those who lose a spouse and who seek compensation through a wrongful death claim to note that re-marriage prior to the completion of their lawsuit could impact the amount of compensation they receive, as the defendant can present information about their remarriage to the courts as a means of mitigating the implied consequences or losses related to the loss of the marital relationship.
The role your deceased loved one played in your family, their age, their health and many other details about your family will influence exactly how much compensation you can claim in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit.