When someone is lost to a wrongful or neglectful act, survivors of the decedent may be wondering how they will continue without the love and support of their loved one. Fortunately, Florida law allows surviving loved ones to recover compensation for various damages such as support, services, and lost income in a wrongful death settlement:
Calculating Lost Income in a Wrongful Death Settlement
Calculating lost income is often the easiest of the three to do, because it relies almost exclusively on actual and obvious economic losses. For example, if a deceased person was earning $1,000 per week, and the courts expected him to continue earning $1,000 per week over the next 20 years, it may calculate lost income by multiplying $1,000 x 52 (weeks in the year) by 20 (years) to come to a total of $1,040,000.
In addition, the court may consider any benefits the deceased would have had such as a pension or retirement account he would have contributed to over his remaining years.
Calculating Loss of Support and Services in a Wrongful Death Claim
Loss of support (any assistance the decedent would have given) and services (e.g., household chores) are also economic losses, and the courts will calculate them as such.
For example, if the decedent for groceries and the children’s school tuition, the courts may consider those “lost support.”
If the decedent was also responsible for taking care of the children and the surviving spouse had to pay to put the children in daycare, the courts may require the negligent party compensate the family for those lost services.
The court will consider many factors before deciding on an amount to award for lost services, support, and income:
- The decedent’s age and life expectancy (The courts may award less to an older victim)
- The decedent’s income
- The decedent’s relationship with his surviving family members (If the decedent and his children were estranged, the courts will take this into account)
- The value of the services
- Each surviving family member’s age and life expectancy
It is important to note that surviving family members include the spouse, minor children, and parents. It is also important to note that the parents will likely not be able to recover compensation unless the decedent has a very high income and supported them.
Our Attorneys Can Help
Under Florida Statute § 95.11, a plaintiff must file a wrongful death suit within two years’ time from the date of the decedent’s death. As such, it is imperative that you take action quickly to protect yourself and your family’s right to file a claim.
At the Montero Law Center, our wrongful death attorneys can help you to understand the full extent of your recoverable damages as well as how to prove that you deserve them.
Contact us today at 954-767-6500 for a free case consultation. Because we work on a contingency basis, you do not pay us unless we win your case. This means that you and your loved ones can focus on recovering from your loss rather than worrying about paying attorneys’ fees.