If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of others you will undoubtedly want to consult with a Sunrise wrongful death lawyer to determine what your rights are. In reviewing Sunrise attorneys make sure you select a firm that specializes in wrongful death. Thanks to the Florida medical community and the Florida insurance lobby, the state’s law regarding wrongful death strongly favors insurance companies rather than the persons injured. You’ll want an expert who knows how to navigate the gray areas and who can pursue a fair and just settlement or verdict.
To demonstrate how murky this law can be we are providing 5 quick frequently asked questions.
Q: Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Sunrise?
A: Generally speaking there are two categories of claimants, a suit filed by the "personal representative" of the decedent representing the estate and a suit filed by the personal representative on behalf of the "survivors" of the decedent. The second category allows for higher financial awards than the first.
Q: Who can be claimed as a "survivor" of the decedent?
A: "Survivors" may also be beneficiaries of the estate but as a survivor they are entitled to recover different types of damages which financially can amount significantly more than a beneficiary is allowed. Survivors include the decedent’s spouse, children (minors under 25 are eligible for larger damages than adult children), parents of the decedent, and blood relatives providing they are at least partially dependent on the deceased for support.
Q: What limitations are there on the decedent’s children right to damages?
A: All children are eligible to receive damages but some children are eligible to receive more than others. If the decedent has a spouse children over the age of 25 may not be able to sue for "lost parental companionship, instruction and guidance, as well as mental pain and suffering" which typically result in larger awards. However, if there is no spouse the adult children are free to pursue damages unless the death was caused by medical negligence. In other words medical malpractice is excluded.
Q: What damages can parents pursue?
A: Parents may not recover for pain and suffering if the deceased child was over the age of 25 when he died, unless there were no other survivors and the death was not caused by medical negligence. In other words if the child was married or had children the parents are excluded. For minor children the parents can sue for the value of lost support and services, future support and services, medical and funeral expenses and mental pain and suffering.
Q: Are there other rules regarding survivors?
A: The short answer is yes, there are a ton of other conditions that apply to legal relationships. This would include common law marriages, children born out of wedlock, step children and step parents, biological fathers and much more. It’s complicated.
Confused? If you are and you have a wrongful death case we encourage you to contact the Sunrise wrongful death attorneys with a proven record of success today. Submit your details for a case review or give us a call.