When a person loses a loved one, it can be a difficult experience. When a loved one dies simply due to old age, their survivors will grieve tremendously, but will understand that this is at least a natural cause of death. However, when a loved one's death is due to the negligence of another, such as in a car crash, the victim's survivors are left with a whole other type of grief highlighted by anger and pain. In such situations, the victim's survivors may want to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Under section 768.21 of Florida law, what damages a victim's survivors can seek in a wrongful death lawsuit depends on the relationship the survivor had to the victim. For example, every survivor can pursue damages for lost support and services spanning from when the victim was injured until the victim died. They can also pursue damages for future loss of support and services, to a certain extent.
There are certain damages the victim's spouse could pursue. If the victim was married, his or her spouse may pursue damages for loss of companionship and protection. The victim's spouse may also pursue damages for mental pain and suffering.
There are also instances in which the victim's children may pursue compensation. If the victim had minor children, or if the victim had children of any age and no surviving spouse, they may pursue damages for loss of guidance, instruction and parental companionship. They may also pursue damages for mental pain and suffering.
The parents of the victim may also pursue damages in some instances. If the victim was a minor child, his or her parents may pursue damages for mental pain or suffering. If the victim was an adult child and had no other survivors, then his or her parents may pursue damages for mental pain and suffering. Whoever paid for the victim's medical and funeral bills may pursue compensation for these costs.
It is understood that no amount of money could truly compensate for the loss of a loved one. Still, a successful wrongful death lawsuit could provide the victim's survivors with the financial resources they need during a difficult time.