When a person dies as a result of the fault or negligence of another person or a business in Florida, the Florida Wrongful Death Act controls the issues of damages, proper parties, time limits and other matters.
There are two types of damages to consider when evaluating and handling a wrongful death case: 1. Economic Damages and 2. Non-Economic Damages.
Economic Damages. Economic damages refer to damages or money that can be calculated or determined with some certainty or probability. As applied to a Wrongful Death case, the following economic damages may apply: Medical Bills, Lost Wages, and Loss of Support and Services, and Loss of Net Accumulations.
Medical Bills are those that relate to the hospital and medical expenses associated with the accident related injuries that ultimately caused the death of the family member.
Lost Wages are those that relate to the wages that were lost between the time of the injury and the time of death.
Loss of Support and Services relates to the contribution of the family member to chores around the house and assistance to other family members in general. A monetary figure can be calculated for the costs to secure the services of a housekeeper, gardner, handyman, and / or caregiver.
Loss of Net Accumulations refers to the amount of money over the deceased relative’s lifetime that was projected to be saved over the amount that being spent. The calculation of loss of net accumulations will depend on prior income figures, prior savings per year, and prospective income of the decedent. Often times, it is difficult to prove or calculate the loss of net accumulations and these damages are not pursued if there is a lack of proof or substance to these damages.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act has some exceptions as to recoverable damages and proper survivors when there is a medical malpractice case pursued.
As for Non-Economic damages that are recoverable pursuant to the Florida Wrongful Death Act, see Florida Wrongful Death – How Does Florida Law Work? What Are My Rights as a Survivor of a Relative Who Died as a Result of the Negligence or Fault of Another Person or a Business? Part 2.