A wrongful death claim focuses on the loss a family experiences when a loved one dies because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another person, business or organization. A Florida survival action focuses on damages that the victim would have been entitled to if he or she had survived the accident. For example, if a young mother was seriously injured in a West Palm Beach drunk driving accident and died from her injuries two weeks later, her estate (on behalf of her family) would have the right to seek wrongful death compensation for their pain and suffering, as well as for the loss of income and services that the mother provided to the household. Her estate would have the right to make a survival action claim for her medical expenses, funeral costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In Florida, the surviving beneficiaries must choose between pursuing a wrongful death action or a survival action. However, the choice need not be made blindly. In some circumstances, the family of the deceased may choose the best option for them under the election of remedies doctrine. The election of remedies doctrine allows both a wrongful death lawsuit and a survival action to be filed in a single case. The jury decides each award. Then, after the verdicts and before judgment is entered, the estate can choose which action - wrongful death action or the survival action - is the best for them.
For more information about wrongful death claims in Florida, contact Palm Beach wrongful death attorney David Glatthorn at 866-413-5525.