768.16 Information about the Wrongful Death Act Sections 768.16-768.26. that is mentioned below has been adopted by the state of Florida:
768.17 Legislative intent; is the public policy of the state and is defined as the individual in charge of the wrongful death act having the damages placed on them by the surviving members of the victim and victim of the wrongful deal. The interpretation of sections 768.16-768.26 shall be liberal and are remedial.
768.18- As mentioned in ss.768.16-768.26, the following terms are defined as:
(1) The deceased person’s children, parents, spouse, blood relatives, or adoptive sisters and brothers, when dependent upon the deceased person either partly or entirely for services or support refers to the term “survivors”. This includes the child that is born outside of the marriage of the mother, but not outside of the marriage of the father unless child support is being paid by the father for that child.
(2) Regardless of the age of majority, any child under the age of 25 years old, refers to the term “minor children”.
(3) Contributions in money as well as in kind refer to the term “support”.
(4) Tasks that were regularly performed by the deceased person that result in an expense to the survivors or the deceased and is usually of household nature, refers to “services”. The determination of the services that were provided will be determined based upon the identity of the deceased victim and their survivors and the facts of the case.
(5) The term “net accumulations” is defined as salary income or net business that is expected of the victim who died. This includes any pension benefits that the deceased victim would have acquired and saved had they lived their normal expected life length and would have left to their estate. The deceased person gross income after taxes refers to the term “salary income or net business”. This excludes money coming from investments that remain after the deduction of the deceased person support of survivors and personal expenses, continuing beyond death.
Right of action (768.19)- Any person, including those on navigable waters who commit a negligent act, breach of contract, default, or wrongful act that results in the death of a person, and the act committed would have entitled the victim to be compensated for damages had they not died to form such act, liability shall fall on the aquatic vessel or person for the damages mentioned in this act, regardless of the death occurring under circumstances constituting a felony.
Parties 768.20- The deceased’s personal representative is the person who shall bring on the lawsuit for the injury which resulted in their death, and will recover for damages on behalf of the estate and survivors of the victim, as mentioned in this act. If a lawsuit for personal injury has been brought by the victim who eventually died from their injuries, the lawsuit for personal injury will be removed. The personal representative of the wrongdoer will be the defendant in the case that the victim dies before or pending a lawsuit. The recovery of any survivor shall not be affected by any defense that may reduce or bar the survivor’s recovery that can be asserted against the survivor.
Damages 768.21- The complaint shall contain information on every potential beneficiary and the relationship between every beneficiary and the deceased victim that can recover for damages in the wrongful death. The granting of the following damages:
(1) Counting from the day that the victim passed away, any surviving member that used to receive support and services from the deceased victim will be awarded those damages with interest, any for any future services and support that could have been provided had the victim not died but reduced to a current value. The following should be taken into account when deciding upon the loss of services and support of the victim: the value that it will cost to replace the services, the relationship that the survivor has with the deceased, and net income that the deceased had available to the survivor. The combined life expectancy of the deceased and survivor when be considered in determining the duration of future losses, including the period of minority for healthy minor children.
(2) The spouse of the deceased person can recover damages from the moment of their death, including loss of protection, loss of companionship, and emotional pain and suffering.
(3) Eligibility for damage recovery applies to any minor child or any children of the deceased victim if the victim does not have any surviving spouse from the day that the incident took place which caused their death. Eligible damages include a lack of guidance, a lack of instruction, a lack of parent companionship, and mental suffering and pain. If because of the same incident, both spouses died from within one month of each other, for the reason of this section, predeceased is considered by each spouse.
(4)From the date that a child who is minor died, his or her parents can be compensated for mental pain and suffering. If there are no survivors of an adult child, the parents can be awarded for mental anguish and suffering.
(5)Any expense in relation to the death of the victim such as medical fees before they died or funeral costs that were paid by any surviving member of the victim, may be reimbursed to them.
(6) The following may be recovered for the victim’s estate by the deceased person’s personal representative:
(a) The surviving member may be compensated, with interest, for damages for loss of earnings and loss of support acquired due to the victim’s death. In addition, net income that could have been produced by the victim can be obtained by the estate, but reduced to current value:
1.If the survivors of the deceased person include a lineal descendant or surviving spouse; or
2. As defined in s.768.18(2), the recovery of loss of support and services cannot be recovered under this section if there is a parent who is alive or if the deceased person is not a minor child.
(b) Due to the victim’s injury or death, any expenses that derived from that occurrence and were paid on their behalf that has amounted as a financial struggle for the estate, not counting the recoverable sum in (5) section.
(c ) Evidence of remarriage can be provided.
(7) The estate of the victim who passed away will receive the awards that are subjected to the probate law of claims by the claims creditor.
(8) Adult children shall not recover damages mentioned in subsection (3) and parents of an adult child shall not recover damages mentioned in subsection (4), with respect to medical negligence claims as mentioned in s.766.106(1).
A form of the verdict- 768.22 The verdict shall state the amount awarded to the estate and every survivor separately.
Protection of incompetents and minors- 768.23 The court will protect any amount that is awarded on the basis of the Florida Guardianship Law to any minor or incompetent child.
The death of a survivor before judgment- 768.24 From the date of a survivor’s death before the final judgment, the survivors recover for loss services and support shall be limited. The representative who forms a personal relationship with the victim will be required to pay for the recoverable amount that is entitled to be paid to the personal representative.
Court approval of settlements- 768.25 Unless approved by the court, no apportionment or settlement amount among the beneficiaries that affects any survivor who is incompetent or minor or objected to by any survivor shall be effective, while a lawsuit is pending.
Litigation expenses- 768.26 Expenses and costs and fees of attorney will be deducted from a number of compensatory damages that is provided to the surviving member, and the personal representative must pay that amount in proportion, but the awarded damages shall pay for any expenses acquired.