Rights of Spouses – Florida’s Wrongful Death Law
As compared to other states, the statues that surround a wrongful death case in the state of Florida are rather limiting in regard to who can file such a claim, and recover damages from said claim. In our statue, however, spouses of the deceased are not excluded. Spouses are granted rights when it comes to filing a lawsuit against the party who was responsible for the death of their spouse.
Our Miami personal injury attorney understands the heartache and hardships that arise when dealing with the passing of a spouse; especially when the person’s death was the result of someone else’s negligence. However, before you proceed with filing a claim, there is some important information that our wrongful death lawyer in Miami wants to make sure that you are aware of.
The Difference Between Wrongful Death and Survival Action
One of the most important things that our Miami wrongful death attorney wants to make sure you understand is this: there are two different kinds of wrongful death actions that spouses can file under Florida law.
- Survival action. This refers to an action that is meant to preserve the rights of the deceased. Essentially, this means the things that a person are suing for are those things that the deceased loved one would have sued for if he or she had survived. For instance, survival actions can seek damages for injuries such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, etc. If the lawsuit is favorable for the person who is pursuing survival action, the moneys awarded would be paid to the estate of the deceased.
- Wrongful death. This type of case is filed to seek compensation for the damages that the loved ones of the deceased have sustained as a result of the individual’s untimely and sudden passing. Parties can sue for loss of consortium, mental suffering, and the loss of the deceased’s future earnings. In the event the case is successful, the moneys awarded become the property of the family of the deceased, not the deceased’s estate. The damages will then be awarded as per rules that have been established.
The State of the Marriage is Important
In Florida, a peculiar feature of wrongful death law exists. This feature concerns the state of the marriage, or how healthy the marriage was. Recovery of damages can be limited or completely barred for the surviving spouse if documented issues that pertained to the marriage exist. If evidence illustrates the marriage was on bad terms, the surviving spouse’s ability to recover damages can be hurt.
Why does this matter? Because in Florida, in order for a surviving spouse to recover damages in a wrongful death case, the couple must be legally married at the time the death occurred. If any documentation exists that illustrates the marriage was on bad terms, that one spouse had intentions of ending the marriage, or the marriage was ended, the credibility of the marriage is considered questionable. While this may seem unfair, it is the law, so it is important to be honest with your Miami wrongful death attorney and share any discord that may have existed.
How a Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help
If your loved one has perished as the result of somebody else’s negligence, it is in your best interest to contact a Miami personal injury lawyer. An attorney that has experience in wrongful death cases can be your biggest advocate during this extremely difficult time and can offer tremendous help.
Some of the ways in which an attorney can help in a wrongful death case include the following:
- A personal injury attorney has extensive knowledge of the laws that govern wrongful death cases. A lawyer can help you determine the best course of action to take for your specific case so that you can receive the fairest outcome possible.
- A wrongful death lawyer has vast experience in handling wrongful death cases. As mentioned, the laws that surround wrongful death cases can be difficult to navigate on your own. An attorney has the experience that is necessary to make handling the case as easy as possible.
- A lawyer provides great peace of mind. There is no doubt that handling the unexpected death of a spouse is difficult. An attorney that specializes in wrongful death law will be able to put your mind at ease by handling the intricacies of the law so that you can focus on what matters most: grieving and rebuilding your life.
For assistance with a wrongful death case, please contact our Miami personal injury lawyer today.
We handle a variety of cases, so call us now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Miami Wrongful Death Lawyer.