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Florida Law Allows Child Support Garnishment of Wrongful Death Damages

Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be even more difficult when the death is unexpected. It can be difficult to know what to do after such a loss, but you don’t have to face the process alone. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, you need to reach out to a skilled Miami wrongful death attorney who can help. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand how to move through these claims to help our clients get the maximum appropriate compensation in their case. Time is of the essence in these cases, so it is vital to act quickly.

In Florida, F.S. 409.25656 allows for the garnishment of any personal injury or wrongful death damages for certain financial obligations, including child support. The Tennessee Supreme Court recently addressed this issue in a wrongful death case in which the court held that an individual who owes child support is not able to receive monetary damages from a wrongful death claim.

In a recent case, a married couple had a son named Uriah who was born in 2009. A month later, the husband abandoned his wife, although they never divorced. He never provided any financial support to his wife for the child. In 2010, when Uriah was 18 months old, the wife died unexpectedly in a car crash involving a teenage driver. After the wreck, the court handed custody of the child to his maternal grandmother.

The husband and father then filed a wrongful death claim against the teenage driver and her parents. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that may be filed when the negligence or wrongful act of one party causes the death of another person. The lawsuit asserted that negligence caused the untimely death of the wife and requested that the court grant money damages to the husband for the benefit of the son. The grandmother with custody asked the court for permission to become a party to the lawsuit. In the interim, the wife’s brother officially adopted Uriah, which terminated the husband’s parental rights due to abandonment, and asked the court to intervene in the case.

Ultimately, the defendant’s insurer agreed to pay a $100,000 settlement, to which all parties agreed. The husband conceded he owed $72,000 in child support payments to his son. The case went all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court, which held that spouses who commit abandonment are prohibited from pursuing wrongful death damages.

This Tennessee case illustrates how complex wrongful death cases can be. If someone close to you has died in an unexpected accident, you need to reach out to our skilled Miami wrongful death attorneys as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are committed to helping you pursue the compensation you deserve for your harm. We know that no amount of money can undo the pain of losing someone, but the money can help with bills that pile up after such an accident. For more information, call 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online today.

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