What Damages Are Available in a Florida Wrongful Death Case?

November 8, 2022 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
What Damages Are Available in a Florida Wrongful Death Case?

After a wrongful death, it can be confusing trying to tally up all the possible damages you will have to face. On top of this, mourning families may also lack the legal knowledge or resources to pursue a claim against the negligent party and their insurance carrier. When you are in the midst of grieving, the last thing you need is the additional stress that comes with filing a wrongful death lawsuit. 

The wrongful death lawyers of Dolman Law Group can assist you with sorting out the various aspects of a wrongful death lawsuit and provide legal clarity in this difficult time. Our firm understands the sensitivity of these cases and will work with you to ensure you receive the best legal assistance to suit the needs of your case. Dolman Law Group provides free consultations to those that are considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Do not hesitate to contact our wrongful death attorneys about your case and inquire as to what our firm can do for you.

Seeking Compensation for Damages in a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In a wrongful death lawsuit, there are two types of damages to consider. First, there are the costs that the deceased incurred due to the negligent act. This can look like medical bills from a fatal injury or wages lost while they received treatment. Beneficiaries can also pursue compensation for losses they experienced, both financial and emotional. 

Wrongful death claims are intended to reimburse the estate of the deceased, and therefore its’ beneficiaries, for past and future expenses or losses. Compensatory damages may be economic or non-economic in nature. Economic damages are more easily measured in terms of dollars. A receipt or bill can typically validate them. Non-economic damages are evaluated subjectively and seek to reimburse emotional value. In rare cases, an estate may recover punitive damages if the negligence was egregious and the judge wants to send a message to the defendant to deter their behavior.

Economic Damages Accumulate Quickly for Wrongful Death Beneficiaries

Monetary losses are often a large part of any Florida wrongful death lawsuit. For example, if the deceased missed work to receive treatment for their illness or injuries, the negligent party who caused the accident may be liable for their lost wages. Let’s say that a motorcyclist sustains a spinal cord injury that ultimately proves fatal, but first, they undergo a complex surgery. As a result, they accumulate hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and forfeit a paycheck. Additionally, the beneficiaries of the estate could potentially recover the value of the deceased’s future earnings.

Beneficiaries Can Claim Loss of Services and Support

In addition to the costs accumulated by the deceased, their family may also suffer economic consequences as a result of their death. In a wrongful death claim, beneficiaries can recover compensation for the loss of services and loss of support from their deceased loved one. This is done by placing a value on their unpaid labor contributions to the household as well as financial contributions. 

For example, let’s say that a man is killed in a car accident involving a distracted driver. His elderly parents relied on him to mow their lawn, transport them to doctors’ appointments, and assist them with tasks like grocery shopping. He also regularly paid for their utilities. The parents of the deceased would likely have a strong case for claiming loss of services, as well as loss of support. 

Funeral and Burial Expenses Place a Heavy Burden on Families

Conservative estimates place the cost of a funeral and service in the thousands of dollars. In many wrongful death cases, the accident was unexpected, which can make it difficult for families to quickly come up with the funds needed to pay for funeral and burial expenses. If the negligent party is determined to be liable for the accident that killed your loved one, you could receive compensation for things like:

  • Casket
  • Embalming
  • Cost of conducting a funeral service
  • Use of funeral home facilities
  • Burial plot
  • Hearse
  • Printed materials

Understanding Non-Economic Damages After a Wrongful Death 

In addition to the monetary losses that come with losing a family member, there is also the devastating emotional impact to contend with. As wrongful death attorneys, we often face difficult questions about this topic, such as What is my child’s life worth? or What is the value of my parent’s protection? While non-economic losses like these do not have set price tags, they are still deserving of compensation and are recognized as damages under Florida law.

Loss of Relationships Have Value Under Florida Law

Non-economic damages acknowledge the true value of what has been lost. Imagine never being able to turn to your partner for support again, losing a sexual relationship, and being expected to continue to care for and provide for your family. In a Florida wrongful death lawsuit, spouses can claim damages for the loss of their emotional and intimate relationship with their partner. 

Additionally, surviving children can potentially seek compensation for the loss of parental guidance, instruction, and companionship. Surviving spouses and children are also entitled to mental pain and suffering damages, which are evaluated in the context of the relationship. 

Pain and Suffering Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Pain and suffering damages are not limited to the anguish of the survivors. Fatal injuries and illnesses can often be painful to treat, as well as experience. For example, if a medical provider failed to diagnose a patient with cancer in time for the treatment to be effective, the patient may spend their last days in agony only to succumb to the disease. If a loved one endured pain and suffering as a result of someone else’s negligence, their estate can be compensated for the value. 

Who Can Recover Damages in a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful death lawsuits are filed on behalf of the deceased estate. If a claim is filed, a personal representative, typically the executor of the will, is selected to speak on behalf of the beneficiaries. Essentially, the estate collects whatever it is owed from the liable party, and then the assets are divided amongst the beneficiaries.

Potential Beneficiaries in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit:

  • Surviving spouses
  • Children, biological and adopted
  • Parents
  • Siblings, adopted and biological

There are restrictions on which potential beneficiaries can recover certain types of damages. Generally speaking, whoever paid for expenses like medical bills or funeral costs would receive the appropriate compensation with interest. Most potential beneficiaries are entitled to recover compensation for mental pain and suffering. Florida law outlines the specifics surrounding damages in wrongful death claims.

Why Should I Hire Dolman Law Group for my Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The wrongful death lawyers of Dolman Law Group are skilled advocates who will go above and beyond to ensure that you receive a fair settlement. We have a track record of securing maximum compensation for our clients and their families. For example, we have negotiated the following settlements:

Dolman Law Group has multiple award-winning trial attorneys who are prepared to take on stubborn insurance companies. In many wrongful death lawsuits, the stakes are high, as there is often a significant sum being negotiated. If you have a personal injury lawyer who is not daunted by the prospect of a trial, that can be a significant asset. 

Insurance companies often want to avoid trials because they can bring negative publicity. Additionally, they want to avoid setting a standard for paying out large claims, as that cuts into their profits. The wrongful death attorneys of Dolman Law Group will be by your side every step of the way as we seek maximum compensation for your financial and emotional losses.

Contact Dolman Law Group For Help With Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit

As experienced wrongful death attorneys, we believe that no family should have to suffer the financial repercussions of losing a loved one to someone else’s negligence. Our team will dedicate the time and effort needed to negotiate a fair settlement for you and your family. 

If we need to take your wrongful death lawsuit to court to obtain a reasonable settlement, then we will not hesitate. We encourage you to reach out to our team as soon as possible, as there is a 2-year statute of limitations in place for wrongful death claims. 

Our team of personal injury lawyers provides free consultations for families seeking answers about what damages they can claim in a wrongful death lawsuit. We will focus on securing the maximum compensation for your family while you begin rebuilding your life.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More