What you should know about wrongful death
The Florida Wrongful Death Act provides that certain survivors (such as a spouse, child or parent) may recover funeral expenses, medical expenses associated with the decedent’s fatal accident and other damages pertaining to the loss of support and services of the decedent.
- In some cases, certain survivors may be able to seek additional damages.
The amount of compensation to which a family may be entitled varies considerably, depending upon issues such as the age and earning capacity of the decedent, the age of any children the decedent left behind, whether the surviving spouse chose to remarry, whether a male decedent recognized any children born out of wedlock prior to marriage and numerous other factors.
In addition to compensation for survivors, the estate of a person killed in a fatal car wreck may also recover lost earnings or lost prospective net accumulations in some cases.
- The calculation of “net accumulations” can be complex and takes into consideration the decedent’s expected net income, taxes that the decedent would have paid, personal expenses and money that the decedent would have directed to the support of his or her survivors but for the accident.
After a loved one’s untimely death, a family is particularly vulnerable.
- Sometimes, a negligent driver’s insurance company attempts to take advantage of such a situation by playing nice and insinuating that a settlement will be forthcoming.
- In reality, the insurance company is busy investigating the case in an attempt to minimize any recovery that it ultimately has to pay out.
Once the investigation is complete and the insurance company has an idea of how much the case will cost, the nice guy routine quickly fades away.
- As the game transitions to a wait-and-see proposition as to whether the decedent’s family will file suit, phone calls are no longer accepted, letters are no longer sent and a general wall of resistance to the claim is built.