On some tragic occasions, the negligence of others may be so severe as to cause the death of the injured person. When a fatal injury occurs, due to the negligent acts or omissions of a business or other person, it can be extremely difficult for a family or other loved one to grieve, while also taking the proper legal action. The Florida wrongful death lawyers with Klemick and Gampel, P.A., are here to provide compassionate, capable representation.
Of course, there is no monetary amount that can make a person whole for the loss of life of a loved one. However, in these awful circumstances, certain survivors and the decedent’s estate are potentially entitled to financial compensation. See § 768.16, Fla. Stat., et seq. (the “Florida Wrongful Death Act”). In the State of Florida, a jury may award an amount of money that the evidence shows will fairly and adequately compensate the decedent’s estate and the decedent’s survivors for their damages, including any damages that the estate and the survivors are reasonably certain to incur or experience in the future. It is, in fact, the stated public policy of the State of FLorida to shift the losses resulting when wrongful death occurs from the survivors of the decedent to the wrongdoer.
Under Florida law, the action is brought by the decedent’s personal representative, who seeks to recover for the benefit of the decedent’s survivors and estate all available damages, caused by the injury resulting in death. In this respect, the survivors may include the following: 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. See § 768.18(1), Fla. Stat.
In a wrongful death claim, the following kinds of damages may be awarded:
- Survivors may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value. (In this respect, “services” means tasks, usually of a household nature, regularly performed by the decedent that will be a necessary expense to the survivors of the decedent. These services may vary according to the identity of the decedent and survivor and shall be determined under the particular facts of each case.)
- The surviving spouse may also recover for loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
- Minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
- Each parent of a deceased minor child may also recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.
- Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death may be recovered by a survivor who has paid them.
- The decedent’s personal representative may recover for the decedent’s estate the following:
- Loss of earnings of the deceased from the date of injury to the date of death, less lost support of survivors excluding contributions in kind, with interest. Loss of the prospective “net accumulations” of an estate, which might reasonably have been expected but for the wrongful death, reduced to present money value, may also be recovered in certain circumstances. (In this respect, “net accumulations” means: the part of the decedent’s expected net business or salary income, including pension benefits, that the decedent probably would have retained as savings and left as part of her or his estate if the decedent had lived her or his normal life expectancy.)
- Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death that have become a charge against her or his estate or that were paid by or on behalf of decedent, excluding certain otherwise recoverable amounts.
The Miami wrongful death lawyers of Klemick and Gampel, P.A., have a wealth of experience in handling catastrophic injuries that result in the loss of life. When a fatal injury occurs, our Florida wrongful death lawyers will assist with every step of the process, to maximize monetary recovery, while also providing the necessary emotional support to help grieving clients through this especially difficult time.