In the state of Florida, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate is responsible for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit. If your loved one recently passed away as the result of another person’s negligence, call one of our wrongful death lawyers as soon as possible. We can help you prove that the other party neglected their duty to the decedent to exercise reasonable care.
If you have any questions regarding wrongful death’s in Florida, please feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.
Q: Who Can File for Wrongful Death in Florida?
A: The Personal Representative or Court-Appointed Family Member
A personal representative is someone the decedent appointed in their will to settle his or her estate. If you’ve been appointed as a personal representative, we recommend contacting a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to help you through the process of bringing a lawsuit.
Court-Appointed Family Member
If the decedent didn’t leave behind a will (a condition called intestate) or appoint a personal representative, the probate court will choose an appropriate person. Typically, this person is the surviving spouse. However, the court will work through a list of descending kin until a surviving family member can be appointed. Family members may also volunteer for the role of personal representative.
What Constitutes Wrongful Death?
You’ll need to prove that the other party’s negligence caused the decedent’s death. Fortunately, our wrongful death attorneys can help you gather the evidence needed to win compensation. To show negligence, you need to prove that the defendant owed a duty to the decedent to exercise reasonable care. Check out the other elements of a wrongful death lawsuit below.
You must show the following to prove wrongful death:
- Defendant owed a duty to the decedent to exercise reasonable care
- Defendant breached duty
- Defendant’s breach of duty caused death
- Defendant could have foreseen harm
- Defendant’s breach of duty caused actual damages
How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Florida law gives you 2 years from the date of death to bring forward a wrongful death lawsuit. While 2 years may seem like a long time, it’s important to remember that it takes awhile for the legal system to get moving. Fortunately, a wrongful death attorney can make sure that you beat any deadlines so surviving family members get the compensation they deserve.
Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
As the personal representative, it’ll be your responsibility to list every surviving family member eligible to recover damages. These family members of the deceased may include their spouse, children, and parents. Siblings may also be eligible to recover damages if they depended on the decedent for services or support. Our wrongful death attorney can help you make sure you don’t miss anyone and prepare you for the next steps.
Damages for wrongful death can include:
- Decedent’s pain and suffering before death
- Medical bills incurred before death
- Funeral expenses
- Lost earnings
- Lost inheritance
- Services decedent would have provided
- Loss of consortium (love, comfort, companionship, etc.)
Request a Legal Consultation
Our wrongful death lawyers can help you win compensation for lost earnings, loss of consortium, and other damages. To request a consultation with one of our Florida wrongful death lawyers, call Lusk, Drasites, & Tolisano PA at (800) 283-7442.
This blog post has been updated.