Losing a loved family member is always painful, but when an unexpected loss is due to the actions or negligence of another person or a company, it can devastate a family. The loss can be overwhelming both emotionally and financially. Perhaps the best word to describe such a loss is “wrong”. It is wrong that the death happened, and it is wrong that a family should have to deal with such a loss.
Wrongful death is the legal term for a death that results from a wrongful act or from the negligence of another person or a company. As any lawyer will tell you, a wrongful death lawsuit is a lawsuit that claims the victim’s death was caused by a wrongful act or by negligence of another person or company, and that the family of the victim is entitled to monetary damages as a result of that loss.
Florida has very specific rules about the damages that may be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit.
- A living spouse may recover the value of lost support based on the deceased future earnings and the value of lost services (usually household services previously performed by the deceased).
- A living spouse may be eligible for compensation for intangible losses such as loss of companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering.
- Any blood relative who is wholly or partly dependent on the deceased for support or services may recover the value of the lost support or services. Dependents may include children, adopted children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren and other blood relatives who were wholly or partly supported by the deceased person.
- Children under age 25 may also recover intangible damages such as the loss of parental companionship, loss of instruction and guidance, and mental pain and suffering.
- Parents of a child may recover damages for mental pain and suffering.
- The estate or family may recover funeral and medical expenses depending on who paid them.
- If the deceased was employed, his estate may recover the assets he would have accumulated over his future work-life expectancy.
In Florida, a wrongful death case must be filed within two years of the death.
There are many possible causes of wrongful death. They may include
- Traffic accidents
- Negligent security at a business
- An accident at a store, restaurant or amusement park that is caused by negligence, inadequate supervision, or improper maintenance of equipment or property
- Negligent supervision of a child
A wrongful death is any death caused by the negligence, carelessness, recklessness or intentional misconduct of another person or a company.
If you have lost a loved one due to wrongful death, we are, most of all, sorry for your loss. And, we’d like to help. Contact the Cullen & Hemphill, PLC at 407-644-4444 to discuss your case.