Home Wrongful Death Surviving Child’s Right to Sue

Surviving Child’s Right to Sue

Wrongful death is defined as the death of an individual caused by the willful or negligent action of another. According to Florida law, when a wrongful death occurs, the decedent’s heirs and/or beneficiaries have the right to seek damages by filing a wrongful death action. Thus, a child who loses a parent as a result of a wrongful death has, in general, the right to sue for loss of parental companionship, instruction, guidance and pain and suffering.

Although Florida law clearly allows for a surviving child of a deceased parent to sue for damages, the Florida Wrongful Death Act places strict restrictions on this right to sue. For example, any surviving child, regardless of age, has the right to recover for lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to the date of their death. Thus, if the parent dies instantly, then the surviving child will not be able to recover anything for lost support and services. But if the parent lives for an extended period of time (within the statute of limitations) following the injury, then the surviving child’s right to recover for lost support and services can be substantial.

The age of the surviving child also plays a large role in determining what is recoverable. When one parent dies but there remains a surviving spouse (not necessarily the surviving child’s biological parent), then children over the age of 25 are barred from recovering financial, known as economic damages. If, however, there is no surviving spouse, then the surviving child – regardless of age – may recover non-economic damages for lost parental companionship, instruction and guidance, along with damages for pain and suffering. It is important to note that a surviving child’s age is determined at the time of the parent’s death, not the time of the incident that caused his or her death.

As if things weren’t already complicated enough, Florida law also states that adult children (i.e., age 25 or older) cannot recover for such non-economic damages as lost parental companionship, instruction, guidance and mental pain and suffering when the wrongful death was caused by medical negligence.

If you are a surviving child it is important that you seek the advice of an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney, who will be able to evaluate your case and determine what damages are available to you. 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.

Do I Have A Case?

https 100% Secure and Confidential

Martindale Hubbell | Highest Ethical standing
  • I would most definitely recommend James Cunningham for a Personal Injury Attorney

    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.

    - Jay, a Wrongful Death client

Client Testimonials

5 StarsGreat Service (auto accident)
After totalling my vehicle my father recommended I retain Mr. Cunningham. A little online research lead us to Mr. Cunningham who made this case an easy process and educational. I recommend Jim Cunningham. He is doing a great service. Tyrone, an Auto Accident Client

5 StarsOutstanding Attorney
I was in an automobile accident and didn't know where to turn. My son-in-law recommended James Cunningham and I am so happy I took his advice. James and his staff were very professional and compassionate in guiding me through a difficult time. I highly recommend him. Hilda, an Auto Accident Client

5 StarsExcellent Service
Mr Cunninghan was a consientious, competant attorney and very professional. His service was excellent and we would recommend him highly. Barbara his assistance was also excellent in her services to us both. Lawrence, a Car Accident client

Read Reviews
Law Offices ofJames O. Cunningham, P.A.

Proudly serving our clients
from our main office in
Orlando, FL
and 14 satellite offices across Central Florida.

room 236 South Lucerne Circle East
Orlando, FL 32801
call Phone: 407-425-2000 phonelink Fax: 407-843-8274

COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open and offering
free consultations.

Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., located in Orlando, Florida, represents injured people throughout Central Florida, including the cities of Pine Hills, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs, Winter Springs, Kissimmee, Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville, Merritt Island, Minneola, Lakeland, Lake Wales, Deltona, Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Ocala, Ormond Beach, Oviedo, Sanford, St Cloud, Maitland, The Villages, and throughout Orange, Marion, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake, Polk, and Volusia Counties.

Florida Wrongful Death Attorney Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. James O. Cunningham is not actively practicing law in Wisconsin.

Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Orlando Personal Injury Blog