Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida?

time to read: 2 minutes

We know that one of the last things on your mind after suddenly losing someone close to you is, “I need a lawyer.” However, if your loved one passed away due to the negligence of another party, you have the right to hold them accountable and seek compensatory damages for your loss.

A skilled Orlando wrongful death lawyer at DWK Law can help. 

What is considered a “wrongful death”?

In Florida, a wrongful death occurs when the intentional or negligent behavior of another person or entity causes the death of an individual. 

Negligence is a failure to exercise due care with regard to the safety of others. Abandoning that duty of care, whether by action or oversight, means that the party may be legally accountable for any harm that befell the victim and their family. Therefore, they must compensate them for their losses.

Who can file a wrongful death suit in Florida?

The Florida Wrongful Death Act includes specific family members who can file a wrongful death suit which include:

  • Spouse
  • Blood relatives (parents, children, siblings)
  • Adoptive siblings who are at least partially dependent on the deceased for support and services

It’s important to note that only one wrongful death action for a deceased individual can be filed. It may be filed on behalf of a single survivor or multiple qualifying survivors in accordance with the Wrongful Death Act. 

An appointed representative files the legal suit itself, usually the executor of the deceased’s will or the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. That person may or may not be a relative of the deceased.

That individual files the claim on behalf of all qualifying survivors and is known as the plaintiff in the case. The plaintiff must then prove that the death was indeed wrongful and that qualifying survivors suffered financial loss (including emotional trauma and loss of companionship) due to the victim’s death.

Understanding Florida’s wrongful death laws

In addition to understanding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, there are a couple of other pertinent Florida laws that could affect your claim.

The first is the statute of limitations for filing the lawsuit. In Florida, you generally have two years from the date of the individual’s death to file a civil action. There are a couple of exceptions, such as a delay in determining the cause of death or if the deceased was a minor.

An experienced wrongful death attorney can evaluate your situation and advise you and your family of your options during this tragic time.

Another thing to consider is the recoverable damages for the survivors under the Wrongful Death Act. Surviving family members may demand compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses incurred from the accident prior to death
  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Unearned wages or salary of the decedent 
  • Emotional distress of the surviving family
  • Loss of support and services

Have you lost a loved one in an incident that wasn’t their fault? We want to help.

After losing someone you love in an avoidable accident, you naturally want to seek justice, even as you’re grieving. For many families, that justice doesn’t come from a Florida criminal court but rather a civil one – in the form of a wrongful death lawsuit.

DWK Law is here to discuss your options. Contact us online or call (833) 243-9529 for a free consultation with an experienced Florida wrongful death lawyer. 

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Hear more

from our clients

We are ready

to help you!