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Fiercely Compassionate Counsel for Floridians

Wrongful Death Attorney in Miami, Florida

Having your loved one wrongfully and unexpectedly killed because of a person's or company's recklessness is by far one of the worst experiences you'll ever endure. Often, you don't even get to say goodbye to your loved one before they are taken from you.

In a wrongful death lawsuit against the one responsible for taking your loved one, there are never any "winners." Even with a large financial settlement or jury verdict, no amount of money will ever compensate for your loss and pain caused by having your family member taken before their time.

More than any other type of lawsuit, wrongful death lawsuits are about holding the wrongdoer accountable and ensuring it never happens again to someone else. Unfortunately, Florida restricts the categories of family members that can claim damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. It's a bad law that needs to be updated, but many family members discover this the hard way.

To make matters worse, the way Florida's Wrongful Death Act (Fla. Stat. 786.16-768.26) statute is somewhat confusing when as to which family members have the right to claim damages. I've prepared this chart to provide the information clearly.

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Spouse Dies – Surviving Spouse but No Surviving Children

Spouse's Damages:

  • Loss of Decedent's Companionship and Protection

  • Mental Pain and Suffering from date of injury

  • Loss of Support and Services from date of injury to date of death (w/ interest)

  • Future Loss of Support and Services from date of death (at present value)

  • Medical and Funeral Expenses due to decedent's injury/death if paid by survivor

Spouse Dies with Surviving Children and Surviving Spouse

Spouse's Damages:

  • Loss of Decedent's Companionship and Protection

  • Mental Pain and Suffering from date of injury

  • Loss of Support and Services from date of injury to date of death (w/ interest)

  • Future Loss of Support and Services from date of death (at present value)

  • Medical and Funeral Expenses due to decedent's injury/death if paid by survivor

Children's Damages:

  • Loss of Support and Services from date of injury to date of death (w/ interest)

  • Future Loss of Support and Services from date of death (at present value)

  • Minor children only (under the age of 25 – Section 768.18(2)Florida Statutes), or all children if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidanceandmental pain and suffering from date of the injury

Parent Dies with Surviving Children but No Surviving Spouse

Surviving Children:

  • Loss of Support and Services from date of injury to date of death (w/interest)

  • Future Loss of Support and Services from date of death (at present value)

  • All children may recover for loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from date of the injury

Child Dies with Surviving Parents but No Surviving Spouse or Children

Parents' Damages for Loss of Minor Child:

  • Mental pain and suffering from date of injury

  • Medical and funeral expenses due to decedent's injury/death if paid by survivor

Parents' Damages for Loss of Adult Child:

  • Mental pain and suffering from date of of injury (so long as there are no other survivors)

  • Loss of Support and Services from date of injury to date of death (w/ interest)

  • Future Loss of Support and Services from date of death (at present value)

  • Medical and funeral expenses due to decedent's injury/death if paid by survivor

Personal Representative's Damages for All Cases

  • Loss of earnings of the decedent from the date of injury to the date of death, less lost support of the survivors excluding contributions in kind, with interest

  • Loss of prospective net accumulations of an estate, which might reasonably have been expected but for the wrongful death, reduced to present money value, may also be recovered if (a) the decedent's survivors include a surviving spouse or children; or (b) if decedent is not a minor child (under age 25), there are no lost support and services recoverable, and there is a surviving parent

  • Medical or funeral expenses due to decedent's injury or death that have become a charge against decedent's estate or that were paid by or on behalf of decedent, excluding amounts recoverable by a survivor who has paid those expenses

Important Exceptions

  • Adult children cannot recover lost parental companionship in medical malpractice claims

  • Parents of a deceased adult child cannot recover mental pain and suffering in medical malpractice claims