Nothing can compensate for the death of a loved one, but Florida has laws in place to ensure that the families of wrongful death victims can receive financial compensation for their many losses.
Wrongful death claims arise when a person dies due to the negligence, reckless behavior, or intentional misconduct of another party. The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to provide financial compensation and some measure of justice to help the grieving family move forward. Following are some types of compensation that may be available through a wrongful death claim in Florida:
This type of compensation is meant to cover the deceased person’s medical expenses, as well as funeral and burial expenses. Economic damages are also meant to compensate the family for losing the deceased person’s income contribution to the family. Economic damages may be especially important in cases where the deceased person was the family’s primary breadwinner. Economic damages may include the value of income the deceased party would have provided in the future, had the death not occurred.
This type of compensation is for the pain and suffering that the family endures due to the untimely death of their loved one. While it is impossible to put a monetary value on pain and suffering, non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can help alleviate the grieving family’s burdens so they can move forward honorably in their grief.
In wrongful death cases involving extreme negligence or intentional wrongdoing, the court may award punitive damages to the family as a way of punishing the party responsible for the death. In addition, from a public policy perspective, punitive damages can help deter bad conduct in the future.
For example, if a large company’s careless or negligent actions caused an untimely death and the court awards punitive damages to the family, the company may be less likely to let the same thing happen again.
For more on these matters, please see our overview of wrongful death benefits in Florida.