Wrongful Death Cases Involving Dependents

When it comes to wrongful death cases, insurers usually evaluate claims for both special damages and general damages (pain and suffering), depending on the appropriate statute. Florida has certain wrongful death statutes that govern who may make a claim for the wrongful death of another. Consult an Orange Park accident lawyer to determine whether you are entitled to make a wrongful death claim, and what type of damages you can recover.Orange Park accident lawyer

  If a claim is made by someone alleging to be a dependent of the person killed in an accident, the insurance company will evaluate several factors:  
  • Whether the dependent was partially or totally dependent
  • How long the dependency would have lasted
  • The closeness of the relationship between the claimant and the deceased
  • Costs that would have incurred had the deceased lived, such as cost of food, clothing, and transportation
  • The status of the claimant:
    • Children: For surviving adult children, carriers usually make a combined offer to settle all claims. Adult children are usually less dependent on the deceased than minors, and the higher the dependency, the higher the evaluation.  The age of the dependents will also be taken into account, as younger children would have had a much longer projected dependency than adult children. Some carriers will overlook heavy expenses that older teenagers would incur, such as transportation and clothing.
    • Spouse: Surviving spouses often demand indemnity that is equal to what he or she would have needed for support and been accustomed to during the deceased’s lifetime. The spouse may also want to seek compensation for the loss of companionship.
    • Parents: Claims by dependent parents are usually evaluated similarly as claims of other dependents, depending on their status of partial or full dependency. The claim is usually evaluated on the basis of the degree of association of the dependent, i.e., if the deceased child frequently visited the surviving parent, helped out around the house, and demonstrated a close relationship, that will be evaluated more highly than with an ignored parent who did not enjoy much contact with their adult child.
  If you have questions about making a wrongful death claim as a dependent, contact an Orange Park accident lawyer. Call John Fagan at 904-278-1000.

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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