Wrongful death lawsuits can be particularly stressful and frustrating for those that have just recently lost a loved one, as legal proceedings are the last thing you want to think about. However, if a loved one loses their life due to the fault of another person or entity’s negligence or actions, then it is important that you know your rights and be correctly compensated for expenses that should never have been needed in the first place. But, when a wrongful death occurs, who gets the money in a wrongful death suit in Florida?
Florida law specifically states that “a wrongful death occurs when a person or entity causes another person’s death by a wrongful act, negligence, default or breach of contract or warranty.” This means that a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in Florida when a person dies due to the direct result of the fault of another party. This includes an accident that occurs out of negligence such as a car accident, medical malpractice, a defective product, or an intentional act such as murder.
The amount of compensation owed in a wrongful death suit is determined by looking at the various expenses that were incurred by the deceased’s loved ones. These expenses can include medical expenses, travel expenses, funeral or cremation expenses, as well as the legal expenses to fight the lawsuit itself. Florida law requires that the “personal representative” or sometimes referred to as the “executor” of the deceased person’s estate. The personal representative is required to provide a list of all beneficiaries that should receive compensation once the lawsuit is done.
There are various Florida laws surrounding what constitutes a wrongful death as well as how a wrongful death lawsuit is litigated in court. First, there is a statute of limitations in the state of Florida that a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the person’s death. Additionally, Florida has a Wrongful Death Act, often referred to as “Florida’s Free Kill Law”. This law states that if you are not a spouse or a child under the age of 25, you cannot file a medical malpractice claim of a loved one’s death. While there are other causes that can bring wrongful death charges, this law is important to know if your wrongful death suit involves medical malpractice.
If you or someone you know has experienced what you believe to be a wrongful death in the state of Florida, contact us today to discuss options. A wrongful death lawsuit may need to be filed, and those that have had to incur expenses unfairly should be compensated.