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Wrongful Death Claims: Learn Who Can File Such a Claim in Florida


A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit taken to a civil court after another party’s negligence results in another person’s death. Most wrongful deaths happen so fast and catch people unaware. Such deaths can adversely affect the people left behind. If you lost a loved one in an accident that occurred due to someone else’s negligence, you can receive compensation and make the at-fault party take responsibility for their actions.

To receive compensation after losing a loved one and ensure the at-fault party takes responsibility for their negligent action/s, you need to file a wrongful death claim. Before filing such a claim, there are some things you need to know. For instance, who can file a wrongful death claim in Florida? Read on to find out.

Defining the Term “Wrongful Death”

Before finding out who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim in Florida, you must understand the meaning of the term “wrongful death.” Florida law’s definition of wrongful death is any death caused by the negligence, wrongful act, or breach of contract of another individual. Generally, you might have the right to file a wrongful death claim if the event that led to the wrongful death of your loved one would have entitled you to sue the person that caused the accident and recover damages had your loved one not died.

Civil courts usually handle wrongful death claims because the primary purpose of wrongful death claims is to compensate families for their loss and not punish at-fault parties. Indeed, when you file a wrongful death claim, you want the negligent party to take responsibility for their negligent actions. Nonetheless, in civil court, people who negligently cause the death of others take responsibility for their actions by paying court-ordered compensation. Civil courts do not send at-fault parties to jail.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Florida statute 768.20 states that a decedent’s personal representative should be the one to bring forth an action (wrongful death claim). According to the law, a decedent’s personal representative can bring forth an action on behalf of a decedent’s estate or survivors. Usually, the personal representative is named in a decedent’s estate plan. The court can also appoint a decedent’s representative.

The decedent’s personal representative needs to list all the decedent’s surviving family members interested in the case. Survivors often include spouses, children, parents, blood relatives, and adoptive siblings.

As a survivor, you are entitled to receive different types of damages from a wrongful death claim. According to Florida statute 768.21, you can receive compensation for lost support and services. You can also receive compensation for loss of companionship, also known as loss of consortium. On the other hand, the decedent’s estate can receive compensation for damages such as lost earnings and medical or funeral expenses, among others.

Contact Us Today for Legal Help

You need to know more about the many laws that govern wrongful death claims if you just lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence. For example, you need to know the statute of limitations for making a wrongful death claim in Florida. Our Orlando personal injury attorneys at the Pendas Law Firm can help you understand all the laws governing wrongful death claims. We can also help you file a successful wrongful death claim and receive fair compensation. If you believe you have a valid case, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Ocala, Daytona Beach, Tampa, Bradenton, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach areas.



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