Skip to content

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Suit in Florida?

When your loved one dies as a result of another party’s negligence or misconduct, you may struggle to cope with grief and a sense of injustice. When you experience additional financial concerns, such as lost wages, medical bills, and funeral expenses, it often adds anxiety to the loss of your loved one. 

Although a wrongful death suit cannot change an accidental death, it can help secure your family’s financial future while holding the at-fault parties accountable for their role. However, not everyone can file a wrongful death claim. If you believe that your loved one’s death occurred due to negligent or preventable circumstances, contact a wrongful death lawyer at Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers to determine if a Florida wrongful death case is the best option. Call us today for a free consultation.

wrongful death claim concept, someone putting flowers on a grave

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida?

In Florida, there are specific individuals who are entitled to file a wrongful death suit. 

Immediate Family Members 

These typically include the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased. Their relationship with the deceased places them in a primary position to seek damages, as they are most likely to be directly affected by the loss. 

Dependents and Beneficiaries 

Aside from immediate family members, other individuals may have depended on the deceased for financial support. This can include domestic partners or anyone who is financially reliant on the deceased. If they can demonstrate this reliance, they may also be eligible to file a wrongful death suit.

Personal Representatives of the Deceased Person’s Estate 

The personal representative is often named in the deceased’s will or estate plan. They are responsible for managing the affairs of the estate after the deceased’s passing. This includes the right to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate and any beneficiaries.

It’s important to remember that these categories can be complex, and it’s recommended to consult with a qualified wrongful death attorney in Florida to better understand your eligibility to file a claim.

Criteria and Conditions for Filing a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida

While knowing who can file a wrongful death suit is essential, it’s equally vital to understand the necessary criteria and conditions that validate such a claim in Florida. 

Causation: The decedent’s death must have been caused by another party’s negligence, wrongful act, breach of contract, or default. This means that there should be a direct link between the defendant’s actions (or lack thereof) and the death of your loved one. The plaintiff has the burden of proving this causation.

Damages: The surviving family members or dependents must have suffered measurable damages due to the loss of their loved ones. Such damages might include loss of income, emotional distress, loss of companionship and support, and funeral and burial expenses.

Please note proving these conditions can be challenging and requires expertise in law and thorough investigation. It’s highly recommended to seek legal counsel experienced in wrongful death cases in Florida to ensure your claim has the best chance of success.

Florida’s Wrongful Death Laws

Understanding Florida’s wrongful death laws is crucial for successfully navigating the legal process. These laws outline who is eligible to file a claim, the stipulations for proving a wrongful death case, the statute of limitations, and the types of damages that can be recovered. Having a comprehensive understanding of these laws can help claimants prepare their cases effectively and maximize their chances of securing adequate compensation. 

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in Florida?

In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim is typically two years from the date of death. This means that any wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within this time frame to be considered valid. However, in some instances, this period can be tolled or extended due to specific circumstances, such as fraud or concealment. Navigating these specifics often requires the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney.

Recoverable Damages under the Florida Wrongful Death Act

Florida’s Wrongful Death Act allows surviving family members and dependents to recover damages for both economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages include medical and funeral expenses, as well as lost wages and loss of future earnings. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, may include compensation for mental pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of protection and guidance. The specific damages available vary based on the relationship of the survivor to the decedent. It’s advisable to consult a wrongful death attorney for a thorough evaluation of potential recoverable damages in your specific case. 

Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida

There are several types of damages that may be considered in a Florida wrongful death claim. These include:

Economic Damages

These are tangible financial losses resulting from the death of a loved one. They typically include:

  • Medical expenses incurred before death.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Lost wages and benefits the deceased person would have earned if they had lived.
  • The value of services the deceased person provided, such as childcare or household chores.

Non-Economic Damages

These are intangible losses that don’t have a direct economic impact but still represent a significant loss. Examples include:

  • Pain and suffering, particularly the mental anguish suffered by surviving family members.
  • Loss of companionship, love, and moral support.
  • Loss of guidance and nurturing for surviving children.

Punitive Damages

In rare cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or reckless, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future. 

Each wrongful death case is unique, and the specific damages available will depend on the circumstances of the case. If you have questions about wrongful death claims, contact our experienced attorneys today for a free consultation. We can help you understand your rights, determine the best course of action, and fight for the justice and compensation your loved one deserves.

Factors Affecting the Amount of Damages Awarded

Several factors can influence the amount of damages awarded in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit. 

The Nature and Duration of the Decedent’s Suffering: If the decedent experienced significant pain or suffering before their death, it might lead to higher damages. The period of suffering also matters, as prolonged pain and suffering can result in a larger award.

The Decedent’s Age, Health, and Life Expectancy: These factors can affect the calculation of economic damages. A younger, healthier individual with a longer life expectancy would have likely earned more income over their lifetime, resulting in higher damages for lost income.

The Decedent’s Income and Earning Capacity: The amount of lost income and loss of future earnings is directly related to the decedent’s income at the time of death and their potential future earnings.

The Decedent’s Role in the Family: The role that the deceased person played within the family unit can affect non-economic damages. If the decedent was a primary caregiver or a significant source of emotional support, the family may be awarded higher damages for loss of companionship or parental guidance.

The Defendant’s Conduct: In cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious or reckless, the court may award punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future. 

Each case is unique, and these factors are considered in conjunction with one another when determining the total amount of damages to be awarded in wrongful death lawsuits. It’s advisable to work with an experienced wrongful death attorney who can accurately assess these factors and advocate for the maximum compensation possible.

You deserve an Experienced Florida Wrongful Death Attorney.

If you have lost a loved one because of another person’s actions, please contact our experienced wrongful death attorneys at Fran Haasch Law Group Accident & Injury Lawyers. Our team of seasoned attorneys handles a wide range of wrongful death cases, from car accidents to medical malpractice. We are committed to providing the highest standard of legal representation to families who have lost a loved one due to the negligence or misconduct of another party. Our in-depth understanding of Florida’s wrongful death laws enables us to effectively fight for the rights of our clients and seek the justice they deserve. If you or a loved one have been affected by a wrongful death incident, we encourage you to reach out to us for a free consultation. Our compassionate team stands ready to guide you, listen to your story, and discuss the potential paths towards obtaining rightful compensation.

Share the Post:

Related Posts

Contact Us Today

Contact The Fran Haasch Law Group online or by phone to speak to an experienced attorney in Clearwater today.

MM slash DD slash YYYY
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
metricool pixel