There are very specific laws in the state of Florida about filing a wrongful death suit. These laws dictate who can and cannot file suit. The wrongful death Statute in Florida has some intricate rules, which contain numerous exclusions concerning who can file a wrongful death suit. People who have been hurt on a very deep level are sometimes excluded from having the right to sue. It takes the skill of a highly trained attorney, with intimate knowledge of the Florida legal system to know how to help a person maneuver through the system and get the justice they deserve. There are times when a wrongful death attorney can successfully argue and present exceptional cases allowing people in the “gray area” to pursue justice. Let’s look at the standard laws concerning wrongful death in the state of Florida.
The claimants entitled to file a wrongful death suit in Florida is divided into two broad categories.
- The Personal Representative Of The Estate – On Behalf Of Beneficiaries
When we die, we leave an estate. That is the sum of everything we own at the time of our death. The estate is left to their beneficiaries. This is determined by their will. If they did not leave a will, the state of Florida will determine who their beneficiaries are. The personal representative of the estate can sue for wrongful death on behalf of all of the beneficiaries of the estate. The disadvantage is the available damages are very limited. In this case, it is best to seek the advice of a wrongful death attorney.
- The Personal Representative Of The Estate – On Behalf Of Survivors
In this case, the personal representative of the estate will file a wrongful death suit on behalf of the survivors. They may or may not be part of the first group. They are entitled to different types of verdicts and often recover more money.
Who Are The Survivors According Of The State Of Florida?
The state of Florida recognizes the following people as survivors of the estate:
- Spouse of the decedent
- Children of the decedent’s (minor children, under the age of 25 are entitled to higher damages)
- The decedent’s parents
- Blood relatives, and adoptive siblings when they were at least partially dependent on the decedent for support or services.
The limits of recovery by children
A child of any age may recover for loss of support from the date of their parents’ injury to the date of their death. They may also seek damages from future loss of support. Unless there is a surviving spouse. If there is a surviving spouse, children cannot file for loss of parental companionship, instruction, guidance and mental pain and suffering.
Adult children (children over the age of 25) cannot recover damages if the wrongful death was caused by medical negligence.
The Limits of recovery by parents
Parents of a deceased child, under the age of 25 can recover the following:
- Value of lost support and services
- Mental pain and suffering
- Future lost support and services
- Medical and funeral expenses the parents incurred
Parents of an adult child, over the age of 25 can recover all of the above, except they cannot recover mental pain and suffering, unless there were no other survivors. The parents of an adult child cannot recover mental pain and suffering damages of the death was caused by medical malpractice, as opposed to some other negligence such as an accident or car accident,
There are many other twists and turns regarding recovery of a wrongful death case. You need an attorney that is highly trained in this area of the law, to cut through the red tape and get you what you are entitled to.