There are no words to describe the pain a parent feels when a child passes away. It is often difficult for parents to think about their legal rights following a child’s death. The state of Florida allows parents to file a wrongful death claim against the person or entity who caused the fatality. Claims can be brought against manufacturers, professionals and other negligent parties. To win a wrongful death lawsuit involving a child, the plaintiff must show that the death was most likely caused by the defendant’s actions.
The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to compensate the survivors who depended on the deceased’s financial or emotional support. A wrongful death claim can include a negligent or careless act, such as careless driving, a reckless act or an intentional act, such as murder. Most states have laws allowing the relatives of the person who died to bring a lawsuit against the negligent party. The Florida Wrongful Death Act governs wrongful death claims in Florida and gives survivors the chance to recover monetary damages.
In wrongful death cases involving a deceased parent or spouse, it is simple to determine the amount of financial loss of the dependants. When an adult dies, the court will examine the deceased’s earning potential to help calculate the monetary compensation that will be awarded to the dependents. Survivors may be able to recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the death and future loss of support and services. However, in a wrongful death case involving a child it is harder to determine the amount of damages.
Generally, the jury will consider what the child would have contributed to the parents’ support, but the amount is just speculation. Financial loss for a child’s death is determined by the age, expected life span, health and habits of the child. The child’s earning potential and work expectancy are also considered when determining financial loss. Medical or funeral expenses that resulted from the child’s injury or death may also be recovered by the surviving family member who paid these costs.
The mental anguish and sorrow are almost too much to bear for a parent who has lost a child. Under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, a parent of a deceased minor child may recover damages for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. The amount of compensation depends on the details of the case.
Representation for Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If you have lost a loved one and believe the death was caused by negligence or a wrongful act, contact David M. Benenfeld, an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney.