Losing a loved one is incredibly hard and can forever impact your life. Surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party after their loved one has died. They may also be eligible to file a survival action. These types of lawsuits are different and survivors have differing legal responsibilities and rights. Understanding the difference is key to collecting the money you need to help you and your family after such a devastating loss.
A wrongful death claim allows the estate of the deceased to file a lawsuit that seeks to compensate family members for their losses. Spouses, children and other qualifying family members may be able to collect money to offset the costs and damages associated with losing a loved one. Loss of income, loss of future income, loss of consortium, and loss of guidance are all examples of damages that could be awarded after a wrongful death.
There are strict laws in place that determine who can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s estate and what type of damages are allowed in a wrongful death case. In order to be awarded damages, surviving family members must prove that they have suffered loss of support financially, as well as emotionally. Minor children will receive loss of support through the age of 18 or through college if the deceased’s estate can prove that they would have contributed to their college education. A widow can receive loss of support if they can prove that their spouse supported them financially during their marriage.
In Florida, survival actions are claims that the deceased would’ve been able to file if they were still alive. These claims may be brought by a surviving family member but only specific damages are able to be recovered. Examples of survival action damages include pain and suffering, loss of income until their death, medical expenses, and sometimes punitive damages. In Florida, however, survivors must choose between filing a survival action or a wrongful death claim.
Survivor rights are difficult and often complex. Grieving family members may not always understand the rights they have and what legal action is best. As such, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced and compassionate West Palm Beach survivor rights lawyer immediately. Your lawyer can review the details of your case and help you choose the legal path that is best for you and your family.
Our wrongful death lawyers at Fetterman & Associates understand that grieving families often have more questions than answers during this traumatic time. That’s why we are here to help make sense of the legal decisions you may be facing. As a survivor, you may be eligible to seek a survival action or a wrongful death claim and knowing the difference is key to collecting the money you need.
At Fetterman & Associates, we offer compassionate and aggressive legal representation for all survivors and family members. Our North Palm Beach survivor rights attorneys are here to help. Call us today at (561) 983-4584 for a free initial consultation and review of your case.
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