The Role of Survivors in a Fort Lauderdale Wrongful Death Claim


Known for its beautiful beaches, Fort Lauderdale has tons of things to do and see. The Museum of Discovery & Science and Butterfly World are great spots for family fun, while the Broward Center For The Performing Arts is an ideal location for entertainment. Places like this and more make Fort Lauderdale a go-to spot for Americans of all ages, throughout the year.

But being a tourist hub has its risks. With more people comes an increased probability of accidents. Even the most careful person has a small chance of being involved in an accident. The unlucky ones lose their lives. A wrongful death occurs when an individual loses their life due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or malicious thoughts.

So, what do you do if you lose a loved one or know someone who did? That’s where Fort Lauderdale’s wrongful death lawyers step in. They possess the knowledge and experience to ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.

Who are Survivors?

The individual eligible to file a wrongful death claim is called a survivor or a surviving family member. Survivors can be a single individual or a group of individuals. Survivors who had close relationships with the decedent are given first preference.

The decedent’s parents will be termed survivors if the decedent has no surviving spouse or children. In some cases, the decedent’s siblings can be considered survivors. If the decedent doesn’t have surviving parents or siblings, then the following family members can file a wrongful death claim.

  • Grandparents
  • Aunts
  • Uncles
  • Nieces
  • Nephews

Family members aside, some states allow unmarried domestic partners of the decedent to seek a wrongful death case. There are also states that permit those who were financially dependent on the decedent to file a case.

The Role of Survivors

Like in any other case, survivors have to prove that the negligence, carelessness, or malicious thoughts of the defendant caused the death of their loved one. They will have to submit relevant evidence that validates the role of the defendant in the wrongful death of their loved one.

The survivors also have the responsibility of proving that the defendant’s actions caused damage to them and their loved ones. Damages in a wrongful death claim are of three types. They are:

1. Economic Damages

The costs the plaintiff incurs to treat the decedent’s injuries come under economic damages. Economic damages also include,

  • Funeral expenses
  • Cost of assistive equipment and professional services
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of potential inheritance

The plaintiff will find it difficult to calculate losses like lost earnings. The best course of action here is to contact an expert attorney. They will use their contacts to consult an economist who will make accurate calculations with the data in hand.

The plaintiff has to submit medical receipts, proof of hospital visits, records that prove the decedent’s income, and other relevant information as evidence to claim economic damages.

2. Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are the non-tangible damages the plaintiff has to suffer. They normally include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

The law recognizes journals that record pain and suffering and testimonials from healthcare professionals as evidence to prove non-economic damages. A valid marriage certificate and proof of the decedent’s relationship with the survivor are considered evidence to prove loss of consortium.

3. Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded by the court as punishment for the defendant’s actions that were either intentional or done in gross negligence. The amount the plaintiff receives as punitive damages is calculated by the court.


Death caused by someone else’s negligence can leave a permanent scar on a person’s life. Reach out to an attorney today to find out how you can bring the liable parties to justice. Monetary compensation will not bring back the lost life, but it may contribute to reducing the financial strain caused by the defendant.

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