Who Gets The Money In A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Title: “Distribution of Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida” Introduction: In the state of Florida, the distribution of compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit is determined by specific laws, primarily benefiting surviving family members. This article outlines who may be eligible to receive compensation, the legal standards for wrongful death compensation, and the priority order for beneficiaries.
Recipients of Compensation:
Compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida is generally awarded to one or more surviving family members, which may include:
- Other family members
However, eligibility for compensation is not always straightforward, and consulting with a lawyer is essential to determine whether you should receive compensation.
Legal Standard for Compensation:
According to Florida § 768.21, surviving family members may recover compensation for “lost support and services” following a wrongful death. This encompasses various forms of support, including financial, emotional, instructional, or other types of support that the deceased provided.
In some cases, even non-traditional family members, such as estranged children or unrelated legal dependents, may be eligible for wrongful death benefits, albeit with a lower priority in the beneficiary order.
Priority Order for Beneficiaries:
The priority order for wrongful death benefits typically places spouses and children at the forefront. However, wrongful death cases can be complex, and consulting an attorney can help determine:
- Primary beneficiaries in your specific wrongful death case.
- Whether you qualify for compensation.
- The potential compensation amount for each party.
These considerations play a crucial role in determining who ultimately receives compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Establishing Liability for Compensation:
To seek compensation for a wrongful death in Florida, you must demonstrate that someone else’s wrongful act or negligence caused the death. This involves proving:
- The defendant owed the deceased a duty of care.
- The defendant breached their duty of care.
- The breach of duty of care directly led to the death.
- Explaining the damages resulting from the loss.
The standards for establishing liability may vary depending on the specifics of each case.
Types of Benefits for Beneficiaries:
The benefits available depend on several factors, including your relationship to the deceased and the level of financial support you received from them. Other determinants include whether you have children with the deceased and the priority of other surviving family members. Recoverable damages for spouses and children generally include:
- Lost spousal companionship
- Lost parental guidance and instruction
- Lost financial protection
- Pain and suffering
In addition to these damages, medical expenses, funeral expenses, and other related costs may also be recoverable. The extent of recoverable damages may be influenced by the deceased’s circumstances before their passing, such as their employment status.
Determining the compensation amount in a wrongful death case is unique to each situation. Lawyers often use various factors to calculate economic damages, including:
- Estimating the lost future income of the deceased.
- Evaluating employment-related benefits like bonuses and retirement contributions.
- Assessing the value of the deceased’s “services,” such as contributions to household chores and repairs.
Calculating non-economic losses, like pain and suffering, is a complex process and may require in-depth investigation and calculations.
Why You Should Consider Hiring Our Firm:
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is emotionally challenging, and pursuing a wrongful death case demands significant time and focus. Hiring our experienced legal team offers several advantages:
- Expertise in wrongful death case law.
- A track record of successfully recovering awards for clients.
- In-depth knowledge of Florida-specific statutes.
- Access to in-house and third-party resources.
Importantly, our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only receive a fee if we win your case, reducing financial risks for you.
Understanding the distribution of compensation in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit is crucial for families dealing with such tragic circumstances. If you believe you have a valid claim, do not hesitate to contact our firm. Time is of the essence, as there are deadlines for filing such cases. Call Bogin, Munns & Munns at 407-305-7727 to discuss your case and benefit from our decades of experience in fighting for justice.