It is well-established throughout the nation that when a loved one dies prematurely because of the careless or negligent actions of another person, a wrongful death action may be brought on behalf of the deceased person to recover compensation for certain losses. These cases are usually difficult not just because it must be established that the careless acts of another actually caused or contributed to the person’s death, but also because family members and loved ones must relive the circumstances of the deceased’s death.
What Can Be Accomplished Through a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death cases may also be difficult because of misconceptions that people often have about what can – and what cannot – be accomplished through these types of cases. For instance:
- The decedent’s medical expenses and funeral costs can be recouped. Even though the decedent is no longer alive, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought on his or her behalf to recover damages for those expenses he or she incurred. For example, if the decedent was transported by EMS personnel and admitted to a hospital for several days before he or she perished, these expenses can be pursued through a wrongful death lawsuit, as can the cost for providing a funeral and burying, cremating, or otherwise caring for the decedent’s body.
- Nearly any adult over the age of 18 can bring a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a decedent, although the decedent’s family and/or close friends are usually the ones who file a wrongful death lawsuit. In filing such a suit and seeking damages on behalf of the deceased, the person who files the suit is acting on behalf of the decedent.
- Only certain close family members can pursue damages for their own injuries like loss of the decedent’s companionship and the family member’s own pain and suffering. The limitations on who can bring an action seeking compensation for their own losses after a wrongful death are set out in statute. Most confusingly, certain noneconomic damages are impacted depending on if a child is over or under the age of 25. For example, a child who is over 25 years old cannot recover any damages for lost parental companionship if his or her parent dies as a result of someone else’s negligence. Parents of a child over the age of 25 can recover damages for their own pain and suffering but only if no one else survives the child but the parents.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act can be intimidating and confusing. At Fasig & Brooks in Tallahassee, we commit ourselves to helping grieving family members and friends protect their legal rights and recover much-needed compensation following a wrongful death accident. During your free initial case evaluation, we will review the facts and circumstances of your loved one’s death and can inform you of your legal rights. We will then aggressively pursue compensation on behalf of your loved one and family. Learn how we can help following a wrongful death accident by calling our office at (850) 222-3232 today.