No one can prepare for the untimely loss of a family member from an accident. Whether you lost your family member from a car accident, workplace injury, or other incident, it’s incredibly difficult to deal with the event. A Florida wrongful death lawyer can show you how to calculate wrongful death damages.
We see families across Florida struggle to grieve while they try to handle the complex proceedings of a wrongful death case.
The team at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath are here to support you through this incredibly challenging time. We help families remember that they have the law on their side and that they are entitled to seek justice. This brings many families a sense of closure that they otherwise couldn’t get.
Although money cannot bring your family member back, it can help keep you from falling into debt without them. We believe that after such a significant loss, you deserve the peace of mind of knowing your finances are under control.
Call us today to find out how much you could win in your wrongful death case.
What are wrongful death damages?
Wrongful death damages are different from the usual personal injury or car accident damages. In those other cases, damages can only be collected by the individual who suffered the loss. However, in a wrongful death case, the victim is no longer living to collect these damages.
However, there are more victims than the deceased. Everyone they leave behind is just as much a victim of the negligence of the at-fault party.
This means that, while you can collect damages on behalf of the deceased, you are also entitled to damages for losses that impacted your life.
Examples of wrongful death damages include:
- Loss of support
- Loss of income
- Funeral bills
- Emotional distress
- Loss of childcare the deceased provided
How To Get Wrongful Death Damages
To get wrongful death damages, you will first need to file a case within the statute of limitations. In Florida, you have two years from the date of the victim’s death to file.
You will need to prove the following:
- The at-fault party had a duty of care. This duty may be to provide helpful medical treatment, drive safely, or create a safe work environment.
- The at-fault party breached this duty of care. Anyone who violates a duty of care by knowingly deviating from this path will be found to have breached their duty.
- Their breach of duty directly caused your loved one’s death. This applies whether the victim died immediately from their negligence, or whether they suffered a prolonged illness.
- The victim is in fact dead. This seems obvious, but it is very important. You will need to prove it with a death certificate.
If this sounds like a lot to prove, remember that you don’t have to do it alone. Our wrongful death lawyers are here to assist you. We have years of experience working with families who have suffered a tragedy like this. Call us so we can protect your rights to compensation today.
Factors That Impact a Settlement Amount
No two wrongful death cases are the same. That means that there is no average settlement amount that we can cite to help you determine what your wrongful death damages will be.
These are the main factors that shape what your wrongful death settlement amount will be. Keep them in mind when calculating wrongful death damages:
Victim’s pain and suffering
If the victim’s suffering was prolonged, then the settlement amount will increase. For example, they survived many painful post-accident surgeries before passing away.
The financial costs of care and funeral expenses
The settlement will need to, at the bare minimum, cover all financial costs for the medical treatment of the victim before their death. It will also include burial and funeral costs.
Economic losses of the plaintiffs
These are financial losses that direct family members accrued due to the victim’s death. You can include lost wages due to time off work for their care, the income they provided the family, and any work they would contribute to the household.
Non-economic losses due to the death
Plaintiffs can seek monetary damages for emotional losses that they have suffered due to the wrongful death. Most commonly, this includes pain and suffering or grief.
How negligent the defendant was
If the defendant was bordering on or actually criminally negligent, there is a high likelihood of getting punitive damages. This increases the compensation for the plaintiff.
How do I calculate wrongful death damages?
To calculate wrongful death damages, you need to consider the factors that determine your settlement amount.
- To determine financial losses: Add up all the bills and receipts that you have relating to the medical care and funeral costs of your loved one. Add on any lost wages by presenting your timesheet or work invoices.
- To determine emotional losses: The best way to determine an amount is to compare your cases to others and ask for similar amounts. Some cases may be extremely similar to yours, making it easier to determine this. If not, you can also multiply your financial losses by two or three times to come up with a non-economic damages amount. This depends on the severity of injuries before the victim’s passing.
To get a more precise calculation, speak to a wrongful death lawyer.
Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
If you’re wondering how to calculate wrongful death damages, the lawyers at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath has a team devoted to assisting families through the struggle of a wrongful death case. We will support you as you grieve and protect your rights to compensation to ensure that you come out of the experience fiscally sound.
If you’ve lost a loved one, call us today. During a free, no-obligation consultation we will help you determine the damages you can collect with our help.