Fatal injuries that are caused by the negligence of another individual can result in wrongful death lawsuits in Florida when certain evidence exists. They are legal actions filed in addition to any personal injury claims associated with the death. However, all fatal injuries are not subject to an additional wrongful death claim. The respondent must have exhibited extensive negligence or breach of contract or a reasonable duty of care for the claim to be valid. Additionally, the court must authorize all wrongful death lawsuits before they can move forward in the Florida court system.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit
The state of Florida sets strict rules regarding who has standing to file a wrongful death legal action. They cannot be filed as claims to an insurance company, but must instead be filed as formal litigation in court. This alone necessitates legal representation. The state will assign wrongful death standing to sue is assigned first to a legal spouse or any dependent children. In the absence of either, parents are allowed standing to file as well. The closest blood relative is assigned standing in the absence of parents.
While personal injury claims are focused on the payment of medical bills, lost wages, and general damages for pain and suffering, wrongful death claim elements typically include loss of consortium, loss of future support for children, and mental anguish associated with loss of a parent. Proceeds from a wrongful death legal action are considered property of the family and cannot be included as property of the victim in any probate matters.
Additionally, families may include funeral expenses in addition to the primary claim elements along with any necessary associated costs. The statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years in Florida, but the clock can also be “tolled” in certain instances.