Nothing can ease the grief caused by the senseless death of a spouse, parent or child in an accident. Often there are a number of financial losses associated with an untimely death in addition to the substantial emotional losses. Although the financial losses and economic consequences don't compare to the weight of grief, they can cause stress and anxiety in surviving family members. A wrongful death claim can help you recover those financial losses and allow you to hold those responsible for the loss accountable. The experienced Ocala wrongful death attorneys of Dean Law Firm offer our condolences. We also may be able to help you achieve justice.What is Wrongful Death in Florida?
In Florida, surviving family members may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit where a family member is killed because of somebody else's negligent conduct. Florida Statute 768.20 permits a decedent's personal representative to bring a lawsuit to recover all damages caused by a fatal injury on behalf of the decedent's survivors and estate. "Survivors" usually include a spouse and any blood relatives that depended on the decedent for financial or other support.
Usually the representative must show negligence or other conduct falling below the standard of care on the part of the defendant. He or she must prove these elements for an action based in negligence: (1) defendant's duty, (2) breach of that duty, (3) actual or proximate causation, and (4) damages. An experienced wrongful death lawyer investigates and evaluates the events leading up to the death, sometimes making use of accident reconstruction specialists, physicians, economists, and other experts.Recovery in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Florida law permits family members to obtain compensation for medical and funeral expenses, the deceased's lost earnings, lost support and services, and more. The amount and nature of compensation depends on evidence related to many factors including the relationship between the survivor and the deceased, the decedent's life expectancy, the amount of the decedent's income available to the survivor, and the replacement value of the deceased's service.
In addition to compensation for the deceased's lost wages, a surviving spouse may recover for loss of companionship and mental pain and suffering from the date that the decedent was injured. Minor children can seek compensation for lost parental companionship, instruction, mental pain and suffering. The parents of a deceased minor child can recover for mental pain and suffering. Parents of a deceased adult child can also recover for mental pain and suffering if the deceased left behind no other survivors. The person who has paid for medical and funeral expenses can recover those losses.
There are instances in which a defendant's intentional reckless or grossly negligent conduct resulting in death may be subject to punitive damages. Unlike the compensatory damages listed above, punitive damages are intended to punish the person who caused the death for particularly egregious conduct and discourage others from acting the same way.Retain the Experienced Ocala Wrongful Death Attorneys
We offer free consultations for personal injury and wrongful death cases. If you have lost a loved one, let our experienced Crystal Rivers wrongful death attorneys evaluate your case and fight for your rights to compensation. We serve clients in Marion, Sumter, Lake, Citrus and Levy Counties. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form.