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Wrongful Death Support vs. Services

According to the Florida Wrongful Death Statute, each survivor has the right to seek compensation for the value of lost support and services from the date of injury to death, with interest and future loss of support and services from the date of death.

So what does this difference mean to what you can claim?

According to Florida law, support is defined under the statute as including ‘contributions in kind as well as money’. On the other hand, the statute defines services as ‘tasks, usually of a household nature, regularly performed by the decedent that will be a necessary expense to the survivors of the decedent. These services may vary according to the identity of the decedent and survivor, and shall be determined under the facts of each case’.

In other words, compensation for loss of support typically means a specified amount of money to make up for such things as loss of income, etc. These are typically referred to as economic damages, which provide compensation for the financial contributions the victim would have made to the survivors had they lived. Common forms of economic damages in wrongful death actions include: medical and funeral expenses, loss of the victim’s expected earnings, loss of benefits (i.e., pensions), loss of inheritance, and the value of the goods and services that the victim could have provided had they lived.

Compensation for loss of services, however, is a specified amount based on the amount of loss of services rendered. These can be defined as non-economic damages meant to cover the less tangible losses such as pain and suffering, loss of love and companionship, loss of consortium and loss of the care, advice and nurturing from the deceased. However, these types of damages can also include economic damages, such as the monetary value of services provided inside the home by a homemaker parent, including compensation for child care, cooking, cleaning, maintenance, shopping, transportation and even education.

The key to recovering for both support and services is to be able to prove that the deceased person would have provided these to you. This typically requires the opinion of an expert witness, such as an economist. To ensure you present the evidence needed to recover for damages for both loss of support and services, seek the advice of an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney. For more information on actions under the Florida Wrongful Death Act, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.

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    We interviewed 3 different lawyers before we chose Mr. Cunningham. We are glad we did. I felt besides helping us with the needed funeral expenses for my father, he was honest, upfront, and of the highest ethics.

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