Florida’s Wrongful Death Act dictates who can be a wrongful death beneficiary. Those who are eligible include certain family members and those named in the decedent’s estate. Any confusion regarding who can recover damages in a wrongful death suit should be addressed by a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer, who can assist family members as they pursue the claim.
Wrongful Death Beneficiaries in Florida
Any party seeking damages in a wrongful death claim must be named in the complaint. It must also indicate what his/her relationship is with the deceased, e.g. spouse, child, parent, etc.
The beneficiaries who are generally entitled to recovery in a wrongful death suit are the spouse, children, parents and the decedent’s estate. There may be limitations or exceptions surrounding beneficiaries that must be considered when filing a lawsuit against the negligent party responsible for the decedent’s death.
For instance, only minor children can recover in a wrongful death claim. A minor child is defined as a child who is younger than 25 years old. In addition to possible exceptions regarding eligibility for damages, there may be limitations of what types of damages can be recovered.
While spouses and minor children often are clearly considered wrongful death beneficiaries, there may be some confusion regarding other survivors and whether they may be a beneficiary in a wrongful death suit. A Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer can address this confusion and whether a particular individual can be considered a beneficiary.
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
Certain survivors may be entitled to certain damages. For instance, wrongful death beneficiaries are generally entitled to pursue damages for mental pain and suffering; parents of adult children can recover these damages only if there aren’t other survivors (such as a spouse or children). Damages for loss of companionship may be recovered by a spouse or minor children.
A minor child may recover damages for loss of instruction and parental guidance in a wrongful death suit; a spouse may recover damages related to loss of protection from the decedent. Further, each survivor may recover damages related to his or her loss of support and services from the deceased.
Whoever has paid or is responsible for the medical bills related to the injury/death could be entitled to those expenses, plus funeral costs. If the decedent paid these expenses or the expenses were charged against the estate, the personal representative may recover them for the deceased’s estate.
Seek Help with a Wrongful Death Suit from a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Lawyer
Due to the complex issues that can surround this type of case, many families benefit from a consultation with a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer. Families can contact 24/7 Injury Law at 888-984-HURT (4878) to set up a consultation with an attorney. Surviving family members can get a better understanding of their rights and the legal options that could be available as a wrongful death beneficiary.