Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

Posted on June 21, 2022

 

This article will discuss who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida and the steps a family member must take to file a lawsuit.

An extended family can grieve the loss of a loved one, particularly if it was caused by negligence.

Unexpected deaths can cause financial stress and pain for the closest family members.

Although relatives can recover these losses via a wrongful death claim however, only certain family members are allowed to file a lawsuit and receive any damages awarded.

Only one person can file a Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The state of Florida allows only the personal representative of the estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the deceased has no will or estate plan, the personal representative can be named during a person’s lifetime.

The personal representative files the wrongful death suit. However, any damages are paid to the victim's estate in order to benefit their survivors and dependents. The personal representative must identify all survivors who have an interest in the case, so that they can legally claim a portion. Any amount paid in legal damages will be distributed as part of the estate. This ensures that all family members involved are taken care of.

Family members who can collect damages in a wrongful death claim

Beneficiaries are family members who can claim damages in a wrongful-death case. A beneficiary can seek compensation for a variety of personal injuries that were caused by the death of a loved one.

  • Payment of any funeral or burial expenses that are paid out-of-pocket
  • Between the accident and death, expenses for medical treatment such as surgery and hospitalization incurred by a loved one
  • Awarded for the suffering and pain the victim suffered between the accident and the death.

Florida's wrongful-death laws permit beneficiaries to seek compensation for victims' losses as well as their personal losses due to the death of a loved. These damages could include lost future income, loss of benefits, increased costs to become a single parent, as well as other financial consequences directly related to the unexpected death of a loved one.

In a Florida wrongful-death case, only certain relatives can be considered beneficiaries. This includes the victim's family.

  • Spouse. A surviving spouse can claim the loss of companionship and comfort as well as the compensation for emotional trauma caused by the sudden death of a partner.
  • Children. Children below the age of adulthood may be entitled to damages for any lost benefits, including guidance, protection, and emotional support.
  • Parents. Minors can sue parents for damages due to their relationship with the child and loss of future comfort.
  • Family members who are dependent. The state law allows for damages to be collected from any relatives, adoptive brothers and sisters of the victim.
  • Children born to unmarried parents. Florida law allows children of unmarried parents to claim damages for their mother's wrongful deaths. A child cannot recover damages for unmarried father's death if the father has not formally acknowledged the child as his and made an obligation to support him.

Because there is a limited time period to file a lawsuit before family members lose their right to damages, they shouldn't wait too long to must consult with an experienced attorney to help them .

Lost a Loved One in a Wrongful death? Contact A Miami Wrongful Death Lawyer Today!


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