Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Orlando
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The personal representative of the decedent’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. In this type of lawsuit, the personal representative of an estate is seeking damages for the benefit of the deceased person’s survivors and their estate.

Wrongful death lawsuits are complex, and you may choose to have an attorney from our firm lead the legal process for you. This decision will free you to process your loved one’s passing, be with loved ones, and focus on your well being after a tragic loss.

Persons Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida

Florida Statutes § 768.20 states that the personal representative of the estate of the deceased person is the one who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Orlando. In some cases, the deceased has named a person or persons to represent his estate through the estate planning process. In other cases, the probate court will appoint a personal representative of the deceased person’s estate.

The personal representative must list all survivors when filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Under Florida Statutes § 768.18, the survivors of a deceased person include their:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents

Children born out of wedlock are survivors of their deceased mothers. However, children are only survivors of their deceased fathers if their fathers had recognized a responsibility to support the children. Furthermore, if they depended on the deceased person for support or services, survivors may also include any blood relatives and adoptive brothers or sisters.

To consult with an experienced wrongful death lawyer today, call 855-780-9986

When You Have the Right to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida

Florida Statutes § 768.19 grants individuals the right to file a lawsuit and seek damages after the death of a loved one, as long as they would have had the right to bring a claim for damages had they survived their injuries. In other words, if the decedent would have had grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, you may have grounds for a wrongful death case.

Wrongful death lawsuits are acceptable when a person dies due to negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty, including when accidents occur on navigable waters.

Matters related to wrongful death lawsuits are complicated and may be difficult for you to grasp amidst the grief and chaos you may be experiencing. Our wrongful death attorneys will answer your questions in simple terms, and we will lead your case from start to finish.

Damages in Florida Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Survivors can request different damages in a wrongful death case, and each lawsuit involves unique damages. Common economic damages in wrongful death cases include:

  • Expenses for any medical care the decedent received before their passing
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of the decedent’s income, benefits, and household contributions
  • Any property damages related to a fatal event, such as damage to a vehicle in a car accident case
  • The cost of treating grief and other types of pain and suffering caused by the wrongful death

Some types of compensation depend on the relationship between the surviving relative and the deceased. For example, if parents lose their minor child due to the negligence of others, they can claim compensation for the emotional suffering resulting from the loss of a child. Spouses can claim similar damages for the loss of their partner, and children can make a similar claim for the loss of a parent.

Damages Spouses May be Eligible to Collect

Individuals who lose their spouses may be able to collect compensation for their loss of companionship, protection, support, and services, as well as damages for emotional suffering.

Damages Children May Qualify to Collect

Children who lose a parent may be eligible for compensation for the loss of financial and educational support. Minor children, or those under the age of 25, may also collect compensation for loss of parental guidance, instruction, and companionship, as well as for mental suffering.

Minor children generally receive more compensation than adult children, as they are more likely to depend on their parents for various forms of support.

Compensation for the Estate of the Deceased

The deceased’s estate may also have an independent claim against those responsible for the death. Florida Statutes § 768.21(6) allows the personal representative of the estate to recover compensation for: 

  • Lost earnings between the date of injury and the date of death
  • Loss of the net accumulations of the estate that were reasonably expected if survivors include a spouse or lineal descendants, or if the decedent is an adult over 25 with no recoverable loss of support or services and a parent survives the decedent
  • Medical or funeral expenses that become a charge against the estate

Florida Statutes § 768.18 defines the “net accumulations of the estate” as the part of the expected income that the decedents likely would have saved had they lived out their normal life expectancy. In other words, this sum is the probable gross income after payment of taxes, personal expenses, and support of survivors.

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How Long You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida

Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d) generally allows a personal representative to file a wrongful death lawsuit in court two years from the date of death. Meeting this filing deadline or statute of limitations is crucial.

If your attorney does not file a wrongful death lawsuit before the filing deadline, the personal representative risks losing the opportunity to hold the negligent party accountable for the wrongful death.

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I’ve Lost a Loved One Under Wrongful Circumstances. What Should I Do Now?

Those who lose a loved one under wrongful circumstances find their plate full. You may find it difficult to lead your wrongful death case as you endure emotional and psychological hardship, funeral arrangements, estate-related considerations, and responsibilities in your own life.

Hiring an attorney should be a priority. When you retain a lawyer from our firm to hold the responsible party accountable, you:

  • Receive our total financial support, as we require no upfront fee and will pay the cost of completing your case
  • Receive the guidance and services of a legal team that has successfully resolved many wrongful death cases in Florida
  • Can focus on your psychological and emotional recovery as our team pursues justice in the form of a financial recovery

Bogin, Munns & Munns has represented wrongful death victims in Florida since 1979. This level of experience is difficult to match and affords us valuable insight into the process of completing a wrongful death case.

Call Bogin, Munns & Munns Today for a Free Consultation About a Wrongful Death Case in Florida

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of others, you may have a wrongful death case. Understanding who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida is just the start. Our firm knows how to lead a wrongful death case from start to finish, and we are prepared to resolve your case.

Call Bogin, Munns & Munns today for a free consultation about your Florida wrongful death case. A wrongful death lawyer from our team will make your case their mission, as we employ more than 40 attorneys who we pair thoughtfully with each client.

Call or text 855-780-9986 or submit our Consultation Request form today



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