What is the Purpose of the Florida Wrongful Death Act?

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What is the purpose of the Florida Wrongful Death Act? Pursuant to Section 768.17, Florida Statutes – Legislative Intent, the purpose of the Florida Wrongful Death Act is the shift the losses resulting when a wrongful death occurs from the survivors of the family member of the decedent to the wrongdoer. What does the shifting of the loss mean? It means that the surviving family members can pursue a cause of action or a lawsuit against the wrongdoer – the person or entity that caused or significantly contributed to the wrongful death.
Many people do not realize that the damages involved in a wrongful death case typically involve the financial and emotional losses of the surviving family members rather than the losses sustained by the decedent himself / herself. Due to the complexities of Florida’s Wrongful Death Act and related cases, it is advisable to retain the services of a Florida Personal Injury Attorney or a Florida Wrongful Death Lawyer to represent the surviving family members to pursue the case.
As written in Wagner v. Kennedy Law Group, 64 So.3d 1187 (Fla. 2011), the Supreme Court of Florida noted that the Florida Wrongful Death Act “provides that it is the public policy of the State of Florida to shift the losses resulting when wrongful death occurs from the survivors of the decedent to the wrongdoer.” In other words, the purpose of the Florida Wrongful Death Act is an attempt to substitute the financial resources of the wrongdoer for the financial resources of the decedent had the decedent survived or lived. As noted in the Wagner Case, the purpose of the Florida Wrongful Death Act was also to eliminate the multitude of lawsuits that could have been brought by each survivor if the Act was not put in place. While each family member cannot bring forth the lawsuit, each surviving family member can still have legal representation on the case.

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