The Effect of Age and Marital Status on Florida Wrongful Death Claims

Every experienced Florida personal injury attorney knows that the value of a wrongful death claim is in part determined by the age and marital status of the deceased. The reason age factors so heavily into wrongful death claims is because the deceased’s life expectancy is used to calculate how much income his family lost over his expected lifetime because of his death. Therefore, in cases where the deceased was relatively young, the deceased’s family lost more in potential wages. This determination can be complicated when the deceased had yet to establish a career at the time of his death. It is much easier to predict the wages of people who have established careers and thus an established earnings history. Because of the long life expectancy of younger accident victims, carriers typically try to make a conservative prediction regarding the deceased’s earning potential than do the plaintiffs. The deceased’s marital status is also relevant to the wrongful death claim. In most cases, only a legally married survivor can make a spousal claim for wrongful death. There are a few exceptions to this: some jurisdictions recognize common law spouses and a few even recognize same sex couples for the purposes of wrongful death recovery. If you have lost a loved one and another party is liable, you should be entitled to compensation for your economic and emotional losses. Call today for a free initial consultation with experienced First Coast personal injury attorney John Fagan.

About John Fagan

John is a Jacksonville native who grew up on the First Coast. He graduated from Bishop Kenny High School in 1975 and went to college at Florida State University where he completed a 4-year program in 3 years. John graduated from the Florida State University College of Business in 1978 and went straight into Florida State University College of Law. While in law school, John earned a position on the prestigious Law Review Board serving as its Business Editor. As a law student, John studied in the Oxford program. He also interned with the Florida Legislature working in the Florida House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee. John was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1981. John began his legal career as a law school intern in the State Attorney's Office in Jacksonville in 1981. After his internship, legendary State Attorney Ed Austin hired John as a full-time Assistant State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit (Clay, Duval, and Nassau Counties). As a prosecutor, John tried jury and non-jury trial on charges ranging from DUI to Murder. In 1983, John moved from the State Attorney's Office to begin his career in private practice. He has practiced law for 30 years on the First Coast. For the last 20 years, John and his family have made Clay County their home. John limits his practice to personal injury and disability cases. While there are many fine attorneys in Clay County, John is one of only a few Clay County attorneys who limit their practice to personal injury and disability cases. John takes pride in helping clients resolve injury claims in ways that avoid the stress, uncertainty, and the expense of unnecessary litigation. Professional Activities John is the past President of the Clay County Bar Association and has served on the Board of the Clay County Bar Association from 2009-2013. He is an active member of the Florida Bar, and the Federal Bar of the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the American Association of Justice, the Florida Association of Justice, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Service to the Community John is involved in the Clay County Community serving as a member and Director of the Rotary Club of Orange Park, of the Clay County Bar Association, and the Putnam County Bar Association.
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