What Is a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?

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If you lost a loved one because of the negligence of another, our firm understands the devastation you may be facing. You are not alone and you have options. Reach out to our dedicated St. Petersburg wrongful death attorney to learn about how we can help with your wrongful death claim.

What is wrongful death?

Florida law defines wrongful death as death “caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract” of another party. If you have lost a loved one as a result of the negligence of another party, you may be eligible to obtain financial compensation for the loss you and your family have faced.

Who is eligible to file this claim?

Keep in mind that the personal representative of the estate must be the one to bring a lawsuit to court, in accordance with Florida law. Other states are different and permit anyone deeply affected by the loss can bring a suit, however, that is not an option in Florida. The representative will seek damages for the deceased person’s family on their behalf. If there was not a representative named in the decedent’s will or if there was no will, the court will select a personal representative.

What damages can be recovered for a wrongful death claim?

The personal representative of the estate can obtain several different types of damages on behalf of the grieving family. Florida law demands all wrongful death claims to be filed within two years from the date of death. The only people who are able to recover damages include the spouse, children, parents, or any blood relative or adoptive sibling who was dependent on the deceased party. It is important to recognize that if the representative is filing a claim on behalf of a child of unmarried parents, the child can only recover damages if the parent who passed is the child’s mother, or if the father claimed paternity and was obligated to contribute to the financial support of the child. If you have lost a loved one and have a valid wrongful death claim, you may be authorized to receive the following:

  • Payment for medical bills and health care expenses related to the person’s final moments produced by the estate or surviving family members
  • Wage and other benefits lost by the death
  • Financial support related to the support and services provided by the deceased
  • Funeral costs paid by the estate or surviving family members
  • Pain and suffering endured due to the loss of a child
  • Loss of companionship, guidance, and protection
  • Loss of “prospective net accumulations” of the estate