Is Marital Discord or a Potential Divorce a Factor to Be Considered in Compensating a Surviving Spouse in a Florida Wrongful Death Act?

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In Florida, the surviving spouse is entitled to compensation for economic losses and non-economic losses when his or her spouse in a Florida Wrongful Death action. A Florida Wrongful Death attorney can help a surviving spouse and other family members with the complex legal issues that are often times involved in such an action, claim, and / or lawsuit.
As noted in Adkins v. Seaboard, 351 So.2d 1088 (Fla. 2nd D.C.A. 1977). The wrongful death statutes allow for the recovery of economic losses which include loss of support and services. The statute also allows for the recovery of sentimental losses which include loss of decedent’s companionship for the surviving spouse’s mental pain and suffering. If there were problems during the marriage that were leading to a divorce or marital discord, a jury can consider such evidence in determining the award of compensation for the losses of the surviving spouse. As stated by the Court in the Adkins case, the evidence of domestic discord involving the decedent is probative of the extent of the survivor’s mental pain and suffering and their loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection. See also Collins v. Florida Towing, 262 So.2d 459 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 1972).
If the wrongful death did not occur, a jury could consider if the marriage would have lasted and the amount of support / services that the other spouse would have in all likelihood would have provided to the surviving spouse. Just because a marriage had flaws and there was even a discussion or mention of divorce, this should not deter the surviving spouse and / or family members from investigating or pursuing a Florida Wrongful Death case when a family member dies as a result of the fault or negligence of another person, business, or government entity.
Certainly, very few marriages are perfect and during marriages (especially long ones) there will be ups and downs associated with the marriage and relationship. Because a normal or typical marriage has its up and downs, the Florida Wrongful Death act does not require that the quality of the marriage be “perfect” or free from any flaws or stresses.
The wrongful death of a spouse is a very stressful event that causes economic and emotional losses of the surviving spouse. The Florida Wrongful Death act provides a cause of action for surviving spouses and children to pursue for the untimely death of a loved one.

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