Who Is Eligible for Compensation Following a Florida Wrongful Death Suit?
When there is a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, the decedent’s estate can recover damages under what is called loss of net accumulations. This estimates how much the decedent would have accumulated in their life had they lived.
To make these calculations, a jury must understand what kind of lifestyle the deceased lived, so they can estimate projected losses as well as their life expectancy.
The estate can also recover damages for lost earnings and medical expenses prior to the death, in addition to funeral and burial expenses. Now, let’s take a closer look at who is eligible for compensation following a Florida wrongful death suit.
Who Can Claim Loss of Net Accumulations?
When dealing with the loss of net accumulations, it is only available if the victim has a surviving spouse or lineal descendants or if the descendant is 25 years old and survived by a parent and there is no loss of support or services they can recover under the Wrongful Death Act.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In the state of Florida, only a decedent's personal representative can file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative should have been chosen during the victim’s lifetime and named in their will or estate plan. A personal representative can be appointed if there is no will or estate plan.
The compensation from the wrongful death claim is to be paid directly to the decedent’s estate and will go to the survivors and dependents. The personal representative is responsible for listing each person who can claim these damages. The compensation received will then be distributed according to Florida inheritance laws.
What Kind of Damages Are Collected?
Family members of the decedent can collect damages from this claim. They are also known as beneficiaries. They may receive payment for funeral and burial expenses they had to pay out of pocket, expenses for medical treatment, surgeries, hospitalization, and compensation for pain and suffering.
According to Florida’s wrongful death laws, beneficiaries collect compensation for their own losses, including the loss of future income the decedent would have provided for care and support, benefits, loss of household services, and other financial consequences.
Who Can Collect Compensation?
Only certain family members can collect compensation for the damages in a Florida wrongful death case. Per Florida statute 768.21, surviving family members can recover compensation for lost support and services following a wrongful death. If a family member previously relied on the decedent for emotional and financial support, they may be awarded financial coverage.
• Spouse: The decedent’s surviving spouse can claim the loss of companionship and emotional trauma caused by their loved one’s passing.
• Children: Children under the age of maturity can receive compensation for lost benefits, including lost guidance, protection, and emotional support.
• Parents: If the decedent was a minor, the parents could recover damages for the lost relationship, loss of future care and comfort, as well as emotional trauma.
• Dependents: If there are any dependent family members, including blood relatives and adopted relatives, they can collect full or partial damages depending on how much they depended on the decedent for financial support.
Statute of Limitations on Florida Wrongful Death Cases
In Florida, you must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the date of death. This applies in most cases. Once a wrongful death claim is settled, each party is to pay out their portion of the damages that correspond to their percentage of fault in the accident.
If you are unsure of how to proceed with a wrongful death case in Florida, consult with an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the process and ensure you and your family receive the compensation you deserve.