WHAT DAMAGES MAY I RECOVER IN A WRONGFUL DEATH ACTION?
The damages recoverable in a wrongful death action governed by Florida law are specified in Florida’s Wrongful Death Act. There are three general classes of damages.
First, the surviving widow or widower and any minor children (defined to be under the age of 25) may recover damages for mental pain and suffering and loss of companionship and instruction and guidance
The parents of a minor child (defined to be a child under the age of 25) may recover for their mental pain and suffering.
If there are no minor children and spouse surviving, then adult children may recover, (except in malpractice cases, in which they are barred by statute from this recovery) the same types of damages as a minor child.
Any close blood relative who was wholly or partly dependent upon the decedent for support or services can recover the economic value of those services or support.
The estate can recover for the future loss of net accumulations to the estate caused by the decedent’s premature death.
The estate or any particular survivor who paid funeral and medical expenses can recover those.
The wrongful death action must be brought in the name of the personal representative who brings one action for the benefit of the estate and all survivors. In general, the personal representative has the right to retain the attorneys and controls the litigation. However, any settlement in which there is a dispute as to how the proceeds should be allocated or in which a minor is involved, required court approval.