Firm News

Can You Sue for Emotional Pain and Suffering After Wrongful Death?

The loss of a loved one can take an unimaginable emotional toll on surviving family members. This type of distress can have a significant impact on someone’s life and ability to continue on with their everyday activities—especially when a loved one dies due to the negligence of another person. If a family member, specifically one who might have otherwise had a personal injury claim, is killed as a result of negligence or an intentional harmful act, this could be considered a wrongful death

Wrongful death cases can be extremely complex and emotionally distressing, but you may be able to receive financial compensation for your emotional pain and suffering. The best way to gain insight into your specific case is to connect with an experienced wrongful death attorney. To help you get started with some basic information, here is an overview of emotional pain and suffering in a wrongful death case. 

What Is Emotional Distress?

In general terms, pain and suffering involves the physical pain and emotional distress someone experiences as a result of someone else’s actions. Emotional distress, also referred to as mental anguish, is the suffering of mental harm such as depression, rather than physical pain such as a headache. Emotional distress is often a major component in a personal injury or wrongful death case.

Damages for emotional distress are intended to compensate for the psychological impact an event has inflicted upon a victim’s daily life. The compensation a victim is awarded varies immensely depending on the specific circumstances of each case and the type of emotional trauma experienced. Common examples of emotional distress include loss of sleep, anxiety, depression, fear, humiliation, or anger—but the list goes on.

When seeking damages for emotional pain and suffering, you’ll typically need to be able to show the following: 

  • Your emotional distress is ongoing. 
  • The wrongful death of a loved one was the direct result of your emotional distress.
  • The emotional distress is significant.

Compensation for Emotional Distress in a Wrongful Death Case

In just about any personal injury case, things can take a turn for the worse, ultimately resulting in a wrongful death case. To successfully sue for wrongful death, you must be able to prove several elements—negligence being one of them. Proving the defendant was negligent in their actions, and that the death of the victim directly caused your emotional distress, are both critical to your case. It is also important that you act quickly in order to stay within the two-year statute of limitations for filing your claim. There are some exceptions to the two-year limit, but you should always err on the side of caution and seek legal counsel as quickly as possible.

In a wrongful death case, the spouse and/or children of the deceased are able to recover damages for pain and suffering in most cases. However, these types of damages can be difficult to measure, because each experience is subjective and a universal standard of measurement does not exist. Courts will often instruct the jury to use their best judgment in their decision toward how much to award. A few factors that may be considered include the severity of the death, the potential for ongoing consequences, and the amount of economic loss suffered. 

It is also important to be aware of Florida’s pure comparative fault rule. This rule states that, if both parties are found to be at fault in some way in a case involving negligence claims, the total compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault of the plaintiff. We often see this in the case of car accidents, in which the fault for the crash rests partially on both of the people involved. It’s critical to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your options in a wrongful death case.

Miami Wrongful Death Lawyers

When a loved one dies due to the negligence of another person, the last thing you want is to find yourself tied up in legal affairs. The attorneys at Friedman & Friedman can take over your wrongful death claim, allowing you to concentrate on your family and the grieving process, rather than a major legal battle. 

We understand the emotional toll a death takes on a family, and we’ll work hard to achieve justice for your loved one and get you the financial compensation you deserve. If you’re ready to learn more about how our team can assist with your wrongful death claim, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always here to help. 


Tue Oct 8, 12:11pm