The FIU Bridge Collapse was tragic and caused six untimely deaths. How will their loved ones be compensated?

Attorney Jason MacriAuthor: Attorney Jason Macri

A terrible tragedy unfolded when a pedestrian bridge intended to connect the City of Sweetwater to the nearby FIU campus collapsed, killing six and injuring others. Many of the deceased had families who they supported and cared for. What will happen to the families that have lost a husband, son or a daughter? The Florida legislature has established laws, such as the Wrongful Death statute, which indicate exactly who can be compensated for the wrongful death of a loved one.

Unfortunately, not every relative of the deceased has the ability to receive compensation for their loss. Under Florida law, “each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death and future loss of support and services from the date of death reduced to present value.” In order to evaluate loss of support and services, the law considers “the survivor’s relationship to the decedent, the amount of the decedent’s probable net income available for distribution to the particular survivor, and the replacement value of the decedent’s services to the particular survivor.”

The surviving spouse may also recover for “loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.” Minor children of the decedent may recover for “lost parental companionship, instruction and guidance and for mental pain and suffering.” If the decedent had no surviving spouse, then children of the decedent who are no longer considered minors may recover for the same damages as a minor child would.

A parent of a deceased minor child may also recover for mental pain and suffering and, a parent of an adult child can recover the same damages if the adult child has no other survivors. Any survivor who has paid medical or funeral expenses has the ability to recover those expenses.

As you can see, the law is very clear about who may and who may not be compensated for the loss of a loved one. Unfortunately, the law is not necessarily easy to understand for the average person and can be very confusing. If you or a loved one have questions about who will qualify for compensation under the law, call us. Our attorneys will analyze the law for you and let you know whether you can be compensated and how to go about receiving compensation. We will analyze all of the facts to ensure that you get every form of compensation you deserve.

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