A wrongful death action is brought by Daytona Beach Attorneys in the name of the estate of the person who died as a result of another person’s negligence. The estate itself has two claims. The first claim is for the benefit of the estate. The elements of damages which the estate is entitled to recover is medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses and lost wages until the time of death.
The second claim brought by the estate is on behalf of all “survivors” of the decedent. The term “survivors” as defined by Florida law typically includes the decedent’s spouse, children, parents and blood relatives or adopted brothers and sisters who are wholly or partly dependent upon the decedent for support or services. We can inform you whether you qualify. Each survivor has the right to recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to the date of his or her death as well as the future loss of support and services from the date of death. A surviving spouse may recover for the loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.
When a child dies, each parent may also recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. When an adult child dies as a result of the negligence of another, each parent may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors. However, if your loved one dies as a result of medical negligence, the rules of recovery are different, which we can explain to you. When a person dies as a result of medical negligence leaving only adult children, the adult children have no right to claim damages for loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance for mental pain and suffering from the date of the injury. Similarly, if an adult child dies as a result of medical malpractice, the adult child’s parents are not allowed to recover their damages for mental pain and suffering.
A study commissioned by Harvard University states that tens of thousands of cases of medical malpractice go unreported each year. Many of these cases result in death or serious impairment or injury to the patient. Florida, like most states, has placed very strict limits on lawsuits against medical doctors and we know these limits. In the State of Florida, before you can sue a physician, you must first hire another physician to investigate the incident. The physician that you hire must then draft an affidavit setting forth the negligence of the treating physician. That affidavit must then be mailed to the treating physician who has 90 days to investigate the claim himself. At the end of the 90-day pre-suit screening period, the doctor can demand arbitration, otherwise the case can proceed to court. In any event, it is a very expensive and time-consuming process.