Wrongful death claims are some of the hardest lawsuits to navigate, largely due to the immense emotional trauma that comes with losing a loved one. Did you know that not just anyone can file a wrongful death suit? The laws surrounding wrongful death differ from state to state, and Florida has their own specifications regarding who can sue for wrongful death.
Wrongful death is when a death occurs due to the actions or negligence of another person or entity. This can include medical malpractice and even car accidents, as long as it can be proven that the person would not have died without the direct action or negligence of the other person. When a loved one dies of wrongful death, the wrongful death suit exists to compensate for expenses and anguish that resulted from the wrongful death. A wrongful death suit is different from murder or manslaughter as those are filed in criminal court and wrongful death lawsuits are filed in civil court.
The state of Florida has specific regulations in place regarding wrongful death suits and who can receive compensation from them. Specifically, the surviving family members of a person who has died a wrongful death can file a lawsuit in the event of a wrongful act, breach or default of the contract, or negligence. There is also a statute of limitations on when a person can file a wrongful death suit. The wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years from the time of death.
Florida law requires that the “personal representative” be the one that files the wrongful death lawsuit. A personal representative can be a family member but does not have to be. Typically this person is the executor of the deceased’s estate and has been named as such in their will. The personal representative must file the lawsuit and include all names that wish to be compensated for the wrongful death.
Compensation for wrongful death varies but can include a variety of expenses that were incurred as a result of the death. This compensation is referred to as “damages” and can include:
If you’re unsure whether or not a loved one died wrongfully, an attorney can assess the situation for you and advise on whether or not you have a case. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.