What Damages Might Be Recoverable After a Wrongful Death?
Tampa Wrongful Death Lawyer
If your loved one died because someone failed to act with reasonable care—or intentionally set out to harm him or her—your family may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. While taking action won’t bring back the deceased, it could at least yield the funds needed to maintain your financial security in the wake of such an unexpected loss. Holding the liable party accountable could also provide a sense of closure.
In the state of Florida, the damages you may seek by filing a wrongful death claim depend on the circumstances and your relationship to the deceased. For example, if you lost your spouse, you may pursue compensation for:
- Mental anguish and sorrow;
- Loss of solace;
- Loss of companionship and protection;
- Loss of support and services;
- Lost income and benefits;
- Funeral and burial expenses; and
- Medical bills that the victim accrued prior to passing.
If you happen to have children, you may pursue all of the above while they seek additional compensation for loss of support and services. If your children are under 25, they may also pursue funds for loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance, as well as for mental anguish and sorrow.
If a single parent is the victim of wrongful death—in other words, he or she has no surviving spouse—all the children are entitled to loss of parental companionship, regardless of their age.
When a child dies, the recoverable damages depend on his or her contributions to the household. If the victim was a minor, for example, the surviving parents may pursue compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, and mental pain and suffering. If the victim was an adult child, however, recoverable damages may also include loss of support and services and lost income and benefits.
Are Punitive Damages Recoverable in Wrongful Death Claims?
In addition to the compensatory damages listed above, there are scenarios in which plaintiffs are entitled to punitive damages. Your family may be able to seek a punitive award if the liable party’s conduct constituted intentional misconduct or gross negligence—as long as you’re not taking action against a government entity.
Florida generally caps punitive damages at $500,000 or three times the total compensatory damages, whichever is greater. If the defendant’s conduct was motivated by financial gain, however, the cap is $2 million or four times the total compensatory damages. And if the liable party intentionally set out to harm the victim, there is no cap.
Speak with a Tampa Wrongful Death Attorney
If you intend to take action following the death of a loved one, turn to Capaz Law Firm, P.A. for strategic guidance at every stage of the proceedings. Our compassionate team knows just how devastating an unanticipated loss can be emotionally and financially.
By letting us handle the logistics of your claim, your family can focus on putting your lives back together. Call 813-440-2700 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a wrongful death lawyer in Tampa.