After an unexpected death, a family can be thrown into turmoil. They must deal with the emotional trauma of losing someone they loved and relied upon. When the person who died was of working age, the family is suddenly left without that person’s income, which can lead them quickly into serious financial trouble. When their loss comes as the result of the negligence of another party, these grieving families can seek compensation for some of their damages through a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to other personal injury lawsuits in most ways, with some important differences. For one, the party filing the lawsuit is different. For another, the types of damages recoverable are different.
Who files the lawsuit?
Under Florida law, a wrongful death lawsuit is filed by a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate, on behalf of the person’s immediate family members, and certain specified relatives who were financially dependent on the person.
The damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit are, for the most part, purely economic. While a personal injury lawsuit seeks to compensate an injured party for their own damages, ia wrongful death lawsuit is oriented toward compensating the deceased person’s family for their losses. They typically cannot recover compensation for their loved one’s pain and suffering, or other non-economic damages.
It’s important to note that Florida law has some further limitations on recovery in wrongful death lawsuits. This is particularly true in cases involving medical malpractice.
Many grieving families feel uncomfortable with the idea of a wrongful death lawsuit. These cases can be emotionally difficult and technically complicated. However, they can also be an important way of holding other parties accountable for their negligence, and they can be crucial in helping family members cope with the painful aftermath of a terrible loss.