Recovering Damages In a Wrongful Death Case In Florida: Rules and Limitations
Have you lost a family member as a result of someone else’s negligence? Contact the Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, P.A. to schedule a free consultation, receive evaluation of the recoverable damages available in your wrongful death case, and get legal help on how to recover damages in your particular case.
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Recovering
Damages In a Wrongful Death Case In Florida: Rules and Limitations

Recovering Damages
In a Wrongful Death Case In Florida: Rules and Limitations

By: Neufeld Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA
Posted in: Miami, Wrongful Death Lawyers

If you are grief-stricken over the death of your loved one, recovering damages is probably the last thing on your mind right now. But no matter how difficult it is, you and the rest of your family need to start thinking about a legal strategy to obtain compensation for the loss of support, companionship and protection, and recover reimbursement for burial and funeral expenses, among other damages.

In fact, recovering damages in a wrongful death case in Miami or elsewhere in Florida is not as easy as you may think. That is because the Florida Wrongful Death Act has a plethora of rules and limitations that may seem confusing at first sight.

But fear not – we brought our Miami wrongful death attorney from the Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, P.A. to outline everything you need to know about Florida’s wrongful death laws.

Who is eligible to receive wrongful death compensation?

In order to be eligible to recover damages in a wrongful death claim, you need to be recognized as a “survivor” of the deceased under the Act. Survivors are (in this particular order): surviving spouse, children, and parents. In rare exceptions to the general rule, other relatives or adoptive siblings that can prove that they were dependent on the deceased for support or services can also be classified as “eligible survivors” under the Act.

What about children born outside of marriage?

If the deceased has children born outside of marriage, the child born to an unmarried parents can recover damages in a wrongful death case if the deceased is his/her mother. If the father dies, the child can recover damages only as long as the father had recognized a legal responsibility for the child and provided financial support.

Who are ‘minor children’ under the Act?

Our Miami wrongful death lawyer explains that the Act recognizes children under 25 as “minor children.” Minor children are eligible to recover damages for loss of parental companionship, support, and guidance, in addition mental pain and suffering, but only if there is no surviving spouse.

What about medical malpractice wrongful death?

The Act has a different set of rules and limitations for wrongful death cases caused by medical malpractice. While adult children (25 years old and greater) are normally eligible to recover damages of loss of parental companionship or pain and suffering if there is no surviving spouse, it is not the case in medical malpractice cases.

Another limitation in medical malpractice cases is that parents of an adult child cannot recover damages for mental pain and suffering. In all other cases, meanwhile, each parent of a deceased adult child can recover damages for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors (spouse and their child’s own kids).

What types of damages are recoverable?

If you have recently lost a family member as a result of someone else’s negligence, wrongful act, or breach of contract, you are probably wondering what types of damages are recoverable under the Act.

Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, you and the rest of the surviving family members may be entitled to the following types of damages:

  • The value of support and services the decedent would have provided you and the rest of the family if it was not for the deadly accident;
  • The value of loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased;
  • The value of mental and emotional pain and suffering (there are exceptions: some family members may not be entitled); and
  • The amount of funeral, burial and medical expenses the estate or surviving family members have paid.

With the help of a skilled Miami wrongful death attorney, the deceased person’s estate may also be entitled to the following types of recoverable damages:

  • Lost wages, benefits, bonuses, and other earnings the deceased could reasonably have been expected to earn in his/her lifetime if he/she was alive;
  • Lost “net accumulations” of the estate, which is the expected net income of the deceased and the value of earnings the deceased would have saved (and the estate could reasonably have been expected to collect) if he or she had lived.

“But how are all these damages calculated and how do they translate into dollar value?” you may wonder. Well, this is what attorneys are for. Contact the Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, P.A. to schedule a free consultation, receive evaluation of the recoverable damages available in your wrongful death case, and get legal help on how to recover damages in your particular case.

Call our offices at 305-931-6666, or 954-523-8292, or complete this contact form for a free case evaluation.