Wrongful death lawsuits are a type of civil case brought by close family members of a victim of preventable death. Under Florida law, wrongful death cases can be brought when death is caused by the reckless, intentional, or negligent actions of an individual or responsible party. When a plaintiff’s case is won, the amount of damages owed by the defendant can vary greatly. Many different aspects factor into the final calculation of damages owed.
Figuring out how much and what you can claim is easy when you enlist The Law Place to help you fight your wrongful death case. Rest easy knowing that our team of qualified professionals is working day and night on the individual legal needs of your case. Find out how much you are owed today. Contact us for a free consultation at (941) 444-4444.
What Are the Different Types of Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
There are multiple types of damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death case. Typically, close family members or elected representatives of the decedent’s estate are the ones eligible to these claims. If a spouse or minor child is not present, an adult child of the deceased’s parents can also file suit, except in the case of medical malpractice. A wrongful death lawsuit can be sought if the deceased loved one was killed due to the negligence, default, breach of contract or warranty, or wrongful act of a person or entity.
Florida Statute 768.21 lays out the types of damages that can be claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit. They are as follows:
- Mental pain and suffering.
- Loss of support and services.
- Medical expenses.
- Funeral costs.
- Estate Losses.
These damages cover the types of compensation you may be owed in the tragic death of a loved one. Many claims cover more than one of these types, and some can include all five. For example, death resulting from chronic illness caused by negligence can legitimately claim damages from all of these categories. A spouse or elected representative can sue for their own mental pain and suffering, the loss of support that the deceased provided, the medical bills associated with the illness, funeral expenses, and any reasonable losses the decedent’s estate may have sustained to their death. Family members, however, cannot sue based on the suffering the decedent may have experienced in the time before their death.
If you are experiencing any of these burdens due to the wrongful death of a loved one, you may be eligible for further compensation.
Contact us at The Law Place for a free consultation so we can assess what damages you may be entitled to.
For a free legal consultation, call 941-444-4444
What Is the Average Settlement for Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death cases settle for a range of figures. The average in Florida is around $500,000 to $1 million. Damages can amount to more or less than this average, and the amount able to be paid depends on insurance coverage and the defendant’s individual financial worth. It is important to know the average payouts available in a wrongful death lawsuit and to consult with your attorney on what to expect from your case. Each case is different and requires careful assessment.
The Law Place will help you maximize your potential payout. The different damages available to you will be dependent on the uniqueness of your case. We can guarantee a thorough examination of the legal strengths of your lawsuit and fair evaluation of what to expect.
Is There a Difference Between the Death of an Adult and the Death of a Child?
Despite the morbidity of the topic, courts in Florida do make a considerable difference in the assessment of wrongful death cases involving children or adults. Due to the nature of economic claims such as loss of income and household services, wrongful death cases involving children rarely settle for as much as decedent adults. Although the loss of a child is an unimaginable tragedy, the economic loss of a child in the court’s eyes does not equate to that of an adult. A death settlement involving children almost exclusively relies on the non-economic loss experienced by the survivors. Mental pain and suffering cases rarely equate to those of an economic nature, as more often than not, the court is thinking in terms of dollars and cents.
How Are Wrongful Death Settlements Paid Out?
Once a figure has been determined by the court or settlement, the personal representative of the decedent has a legal obligation to distribute the proceeds in a fair and equitable manner among the survivors. Personal representatives are recommended to seek court approval of all distributions to survivors and the estate. This helps negate the possibility of a legal dispute over said distribution. Our attorneys will try to make a favorable assessment in your favor. The attorney-client privilege means all discussions of this matter stay confidential.
At The Law Place, our fees are deducted from the rewards agreed upon in settlement or ruled in court. If you don’t win, we don’t get paid. Simple as that. All contingency fee structures are monitored by the State Bar Associations, which sets the guidelines for how much lawyers can charge. Our fee system will be explained to you during your consultation, so there will be no surprise bills.
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Who Pays for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death settlements are typically paid out by insurance companies that cover the person or entity deemed responsible for the decedent’s death. Once the value of the damages has been determined, either by the verdict of the court or out-of-court settlement, the insurance company usually pays out the maximum benefit allowed by their individual policy. If damages amount to more than the maximum benefit, the individual or entity is then responsible for paying the rest.
If there is no insurance policy covering the damages claimed, there are limited options available. Most often, it is impossible to recover full damages from an individual unable to pay. However, the court may implement payment plans in favor of the plaintiffs. Our attorneys will offer a fair assessment of what to expect from your case.
What If the Deceased Has Debts?
According to the precedent set by the case of Estate of Barton v. Poole, collectors cannot use damages claimed in a wrongful death case to pay their outstanding debts. If the deceased owes money, the survivors do not have to use their remuneration of economic and non-economic damage to pay off decedent debts. However, when damages are claimed by the estate of the deceased, such as unpaid medical bills or investment gains or losses, creditors can then file with a probate court and make claims. In these circumstances, you need a strong attorney to fight on the estate’s behalf.
Florida Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
Unsure of how long you might have to file your wrongful death case? Are you struggling to cope with the death of your loved one, and need time to recover? According to Florida Statute 713.23, you have up to two years to file your claim. After that, the statute of limitations will have passed, and your rights to trial will be relinquished.
Take the time you need, and call us when you are ready. We will be waiting.
Consult Our Experienced Team of Wrongful Death Attorneys Today
Have you experienced the loss of a loved one? Do you think their death may be the result of the reckless, negligent, or intentional actions of a person or entity?
Contact The Law Place to schedule a free consultation and find out what damages you may be entitled to. Our professional and experienced team of lawyers work together on every case. No stone will be left unturned in our thorough approach to the individual needs of you and your family. File your wrongful death action with us to make certain you have the best available law firm on your side. We guarantee exceptional legal aid during your time of tragedy.
Focus on healing the wounds left by the unexpected departure of your loved one. Let us deal with the rest. Call The Law Place at (941) 444-4444 for your free consultation today.