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What Compensation Comes With Wrongful Death?

One of the most painful and traumatic experiences that any group or family can experience is the death of a friend or loved that is both unexpected and easily preventable. And while death by an easily preventable accident does not technically qualify as a crime in the United States, that doesn’t mean that such deaths go unpunished by the law.

When someone dies as a result of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, that is known as “wrongful death.” And it means that even if no jail sentence is forthcoming since the courts don’t consider carelessness a criminal act, it does mean that the survivors can go to court. Instead of suing someone for financial compensation for personal injury, in this case, the decedents of wrongful death are suing for compensation over that death itself. But what kind of financial compensation is possible in such a situation?

The Immediate Consequences

If there were medical costs and then funeral costs associated with the death of a loved one or family member, then a wrongful death claim can include those finances. This is especially true of the cost has already been paid by decedents. In most cases, the length of time for a wrongful death claim to be heard in court and ultimately resolved will run well past the time to conduct a funeral for the deceased, so it’s normal to include these costs.

The Future Finances

Where a wrongful death claim becomes more complex is in the way of calculating the loss to a family. There are “abstract” consequences that finances try to compensate for, such as pain, suffering, and trauma that occurs with the death of a loved one.

However, in addition to these, there may also be the lost wages that come with the death of a loved one if he or she is no longer alive to provide the financial support a family was relying on. In addition to this, there may even be inheritance issues, such as any investments or assets that a person had, where the value of these assets may now be affected by the person’s death.

Depending on the wealth and complexity of investments and assets, a wrongful death claim may be able to add these financial issues to the lawsuit. “Prospective net accumulations” can be complex to calculate, but can play a significant role in arriving at a final number for a wrongful death claim.

Going To The Right People

Any immediate, surviving family member, such as parents, a spouse, or children qualify for filing a wrongful death claim, although any other blood-related relative with financial dependency may also qualify. As long as a family files for a wrongful death claim within two years of the loved one’s death, Florida courts will recognize the validity of the claim.

It’s important, however, to make sure you do this right. If you know that a loved has suffered a wrongful death, don’t attempt to take this to the courts yourself. Talk to a lawyer experienced with wrongful death cases. That way you’ll get the possible chance at a successful resolution.

Michael J. Babboni's wide-ranging legal career is based on the strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and have access to effective legal help. Michael began putting his beliefs in action by helping the people of St. Petersburg Florida get what they are owed in civil trials fighting to protect families by making corporations pay, and honor their obligations.

What Compensation Comes With Wrongful Death?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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