The Wrongful Death Act provides that the "next of kin" of the decedent may recover damages for the death of a loved one. "Next of kin" may include the widow, surviving children, parents or siblings of the decedent.
The next of kin of the decedent may recover damages for their "pecuniary injuries". "Pecuniary injuries" include money, goods and services received by the next of kin of the deceased. Where there are surviving children, it also includes the instruction, moral training and education that they would have received from the deceased parent. "Pecuniary injuries" also include the loss of the spousal relationship.
The law in Florida presumes that when the decedent leaves a spouse, children or parents, they have suffered some substantial loss by reason of the death. This presumption applies even where the decedent was an adult and the next of kin are also adults. It is also possible to recover for the wrongful death of an unborn child if the fetus was viable at the time of the negligent act. The presumption of the parents' loss and injury extends to a stillborn child.
At the Law Offices of William E. Johnson, P.A., we have represented people who have lost a loved one due to another's negligence. If you need further information or would like to discuss the circumstances surrounding your loved one's death, please contact our office for a free consultation.