January 3, 2017
Damages in a medical malpractice or medical negligence wrongful death suit arise when a patient dies and the cause of death is more likely than not related to medical negligence (also called medical malpractice) which are actions by the health care provider (doctor, nurse, medical technician, etc.) falling below or deviating from the accepted standard of care in treatment of the patient which, more likely than not, have caused the death of the patient.
For example, the actual statute known as the Florida Wrongful Death Act can be found at §§768.16-768.26 of Florida Statutes. A careful reading of the statute demonstrates that the individuals (called “survivors”) who can make certain of the claims are different in medical malpractice actions than in any other type of wrongful death action brought under this statute. The differences revolve primarily around the limitations on who may claim mental anguish for the loss of a loved one who is over the age of 25; or who is a survivor of a deceased loved one when the survivor is older than the age of 25 at the date of death.
The following list provided by a medical malpractice lawyer Miami FL trusts might be helpful in understanding who can make the claims for non-economic losses (principally mental anguish over the death of the decedent):
- Decedent under the age of 25 at death- Claimants for non-economic damage are the biological parents or legally adoptive parents as well as surviving spouse and any biological or adopted children of the decedent. The number of years that can be claimed for mental anguish is the entirety of the joint life expectancy of the survivor and the decedent.
- Decedent over the age of 25 at death- Claimants for non-economic damage are any surviving legally married spouse and any biological or adopted children who are under the age of 25 on the date of death. The number of years that can be claimed for mental anguish is the entirety of the joint life expectancy of the survivor and the decedent.
- Economic losses:
- Decedent over the age of 25 at death- An estate claim for loss of net accumulations can be brought.
- Decedent under the age of 25 at death- Unless there is a surviving spouse or legal descendent estate claims for lost net accumulations cannot be brought. The only other economic claim would be final medical and funeral expenses, and lost support and services of the minor through the age of majority.
- Blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services can make a claim for their loss of economic support.
All claims for damages belonging to the survivors or Estate are collectively brought by the individual or corporate entity appointed as Personal Representative by the Probate Division of Circuit Court.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into medical malpractice death suits.