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Florida Wrongful Death Act: Right to Action & Recovery


Personal Injury

Florida, like most other states, has laws interpreting which surviving family members have the right to recover in an action for wrongful death. In addition, the law provides the types of losses that may be compensated for in a judgment awarding wrongful death damages. The Gainesville Attorneys, of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A., know that you may have several questions during this difficult time, and as such, offer the following discussion regarding the right to action and financial recovery pursuant to Florida’s Wrongful Death Act.

Losing a loved one, whether related or not, can be a trying time. Often times there may be people in our lives that, although not blood-related, are thought of as ‘family.’ Most people having suffered through the unexpected loss of a loved one, caused by the negligence of another, share the same common desire to seek justice on behalf of the deceased. Unfortunately, the law limits the right to recovery to a specific class of survivors of the deceased. Pursuant to Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, as provided in Florida Statute § 768.18(1), “survivors” is defined as:

The decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and, when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters. It includes the child born out of wedlock of a mother, but not the child born out of wedlock of the father unless the father has recognized a responsibility for the child’s support.

By limiting those entitled to bring suit under the Act, financial and emotional compensation can be provided to those most directly affected. However, it is important to note that Florida Statutes specifically provide that remedial measures shall be construed liberally. Because Florida’s Wrongful Death Act provides for liberal interpretation, it is important that you discuss your matter with a legal professional who can explain your rights. A wrongful death attorney can determine if you have the right to file an action, and, when applicable, discuss alternative means of seeking justice for the loss of your loved one.

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Florida’s Wrongful Death Act also defines the types of compensable losses that may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages include recovery for the loss of both current and future financial support for dependents of the deceased. In addition, damages may be awarded for psychological harm such as loss of companionship, loss of protection, emotional distress, as well as pain and suffering.

The experienced Gainesville Wrongful Death Lawyers of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. can evaluate your matter during your free case evaluation and explain the types of damages, as well as sources of financial compensation, that you may be entitled to recover.