How to Handle Relationship Damages in Wrongful Death Claims

| Apr 25, 2023 | Firm News

The Florida Wrongful Death Act provides a legal means for certain surviving family members of someone who has died due to the negligent or intentional acts of another to seek compensation for their loss. This compensation can include financial and emotional support that they lost due to the death. The survivors, such as a parent, child, spouse, or another relative or adoptive sibling dependent on the deceased for financial or emotional support, can file a claim for damages to cover their losses.

Wrongful death lawyers provide legal representation to survivors of a deceased individual whose death was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another. They assist the estate’s personal representative with filing a lawsuit to seek compensation for the estate and the survivors.

Recovery Provisions for a Deceased Minor

Parents of a deceased minor child may recover for lost support and services, medical and funeral expenses, and mental pain and suffering. Juries determining the damages for lost support and services consider the child’s age, health, habits, expected life span, potential earnings and work expectancy, and what the child would have contributed to their parents’ support.

Determining the mental pain and suffering endured by the parents of a deceased minor child is a difficult process that can vary greatly depending on the evidence presented and the facts and circumstances of each case.

Recovery Provisions for an Adult Child

When an adult child dies, parents may be able to recover from mental pain and suffer damages in some cases. However, this damage is not recoverable when the adult child dies due to medical malpractice. The strength of the relationship between the adult child and the surviving parents may be considered when determining damages.

Recovery Provisions for a Surviving Adult Child

For those 25 years and up, adult children of the deceased may receive compensation for the loss of support, services, and funeral expenses if they paid for these. In addition, if the decedent had no surviving spouse, the adult children can also receive compensation for the mental anguish and loss of parental companionship, direction, and guidance. However, should the death be due to medical malpractice, none of these damages are recoverable.

Recovery Provisions for a Surviving Minor

The law may compensate minor children for losing parental guidance, education, and companionship due to a wrongful act. If both spouses die within a month of each other due to the same incident, each one is considered to have been predeceased by the other. This may entitle the minor children to financial compensation for mental suffering.

The amount of money a minor child can get for emotional suffering due to the loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance may be affected by how much the parents were involved in the child’s life. If the parents were very active in the child’s life, a jury might award the child more money to compensate for their loss.

Recovery Provisions for a Surviving Spouse

The surviving deceased individual’s surviving spouse may be eligible to receive monetary compensation for the emotional anguish of losing their partner’s presence and the loss of any services, protection, and companionship provided. In addition, any medical or funeral costs incurred may also be recovered.

In Closing

While this article should help you determine the provisions for specific cases, you should always talk to a wrongful death lawyer and refer to the Florida Wrongful Death Act to properly assess what is legally due to you.

Call on Mendes, Reins, & Wilander

Our personal injury law firm specializes in major and catastrophic injuries caused by a wrongful death in nursing homes, assisted living neglect and abuse, medical malpractice, and vehicular accidents. Call us at 888-862-0025 for a meeting with a Florida wrongful death lawyer.