The purpose of a wrongful death case is to compensate surviving relatives for the loss of their loved one. The law operates on the simple premise that family members should not bear the financial costs of the death when someone else is to blame.
Many of our clients qualify for a variety of damages, such as the lost income that a person would have earned had he or she lived. Our clients might also qualify for compensation for lost services. This is not well understood, but our Miami wrongful death attorney takes a closer look below.
Identifying Lost Services
People provide all sorts of services for their families. True, this labor is uncompensated. But when they die, survivors might need to hire someone to provide the services that their loved one once performed. Damages for lost services provide compensation for this expense.
Florida law recognizes all sorts of services that warrant compensation:
- Doing laundry
- Washing dishes
- Cleaning the house
- Mending clothes
Florida cases also recognize that some family members provide uncompensated labor to a family business. For example, a wife might do the books for her husband’s accounting firm even if she doesn’t get paid for it. If she dies, then the husband might be entitled for compensation for this loss.
Valuing Lost Services
When we bring a wrongful death case, we work hard to properly value the claim. The primary goal is to make our clients whole so that they do not suffer uncompensated financial losses.
To value lost services, we typically look to the replacement cost for those services on the market. For example, if a wife did the family’s laundry every week, we estimate the value by checking how much it costs to have a laundromat do the laundry. If a husband cooked all his family’s meals, we calculate how much it costs to get takeout or hire someone else to cook.
A key point is that our clients do not actually have to hire someone to do this work to qualify for compensation. As our Supreme Court has noted, it is enough that the client “previously enjoyed” the provision of the services, which has been lost due to the wrongful death.
Want to Learn More?
Calculating damages in a wrongful death lawsuit is a complex task. Our firm has employed economists and accountants to help ensure that our clients receive the maximum amount allowed under Florida law.
Please contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP today, 305-371-2692. Our wrongful death consultations are free.