A wrongful death lawsuit allows you to collect damages when someone else is responsible for the death of your loved one. As a spouse, you have the most rights when it comes to taking the case to court and receiving any award.
Florida law gives you priority over other relatives to take the lead in a wrongful death case. The rules about the disbursement of damages also are in your favor.
You can ask for a variety of damages when you file the lawsuit. You can seek payment for the loss of financial support. The court will value this based on your spouse’s earnings and age. You have the biggest claim because the loss of earnings will likely impact you and any minor children you have with your spouse the most over any other relatives. In addition, you can seek future earnings. The court will look at all factors concerning what might have happened should your spouse not have died to determine future earnings losses.
As the spouse, you get the ability to also sue due to loss of companionship. You lost your partner, which can cause a lot of emotions and mental struggles. The law allows you to also bring into court the loss of protection and the emotional suffering you have had due to the loss.
If you paid for funeral expenses, you can also recoup those. Anyone who paid can get those covered through the damages awarded, but it is typical for the spouse to handle this.
Keep in mind that wrongful death cases may take time to get through and finalize. If you happen to remarry during the time before the court makes its decision, this is something the judge will consider. Be cautious about that because it will likely reduce your damage award.