Losing a loved one due to another person’s irresponsible actions or negligence can be a devastating and incredibly frustrating experience. During this time, you may begin to consider filing a wrongful death claim, pursuing compensation for medical bills, loss of financial support, loss of consortium, funeral costs and various other economic and noneconomic damages.
In Florida, only direct family members, such as spouses, parents or children of the deceased, may file wrongful death claims. Additionally, you may be able to file a claim if you are any blood relative of the decedent who was dependent on the victim for financial support.
Understanding the types of damages available
When moving forward with a wrongful death claim, it’s important to understand that there are two general categories of damages available. The first relates to the expenses and other damages incurred by the deceased individual while he or she was still alive. If your loved one sustained severe injuries in a car accident, but lived for several weeks after the crash before passing away, you may need to cover that person’s medical bills. Lost wages, pain and suffering and burial expenses are all included in this category of damages.
The second category involves all damages to the deceased person’s family members. Claimants may seek compensation to cover loss of financial support, including the wages the deceased likely would have earned if he or she lived. In Florida, it is also possible to seek compensation for loss of consortium and the emotional pain and suffering the death caused.
State law also mandates that you file a wrongful death claim within two years of the victim’s death. Thus, it is important to act quickly to recover the compensation your family needs and deserves. For more information on your options if you wish to file a wrongful death claim, speak with a compassionate Sarasota County attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babbonni & Walsh.