In most states, a “wrongful death” occurs when someone dies due to the negligence of another person or company. However, since the law does not allow a deceased person (called a “decedent” in legalese) to file a lawsuit for damages, another person must usually bring the legal action in civil court for their damages due to your death.
A wrongful death lawsuit seeks a civil remedy (in the form of monetary damages) against an individual or company who played a role in the death of the decedent.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Who is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit is dependent on the laws of the state in which you live.
- In Florida generally, a wrongful death claim to be filed by immediate family members
- Typically, if the decedent was married, a surviving spouse brings the lawsuit
- If the decedent was an adult, Florida allows an adult child to bring the lawsuit if your parent did not die as a result of medical malpractice
- If the decedent is a minor child, a parent usually brings the lawsuit
- If the parent of an adult child is killed due to the negligence of another person, other than due to medical malpractice, the adult child can bring a wrongful death case
Courts typically allow only a single wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a decedent. If two or more are filed, the court will probably consolidate them into a single lawsuit.
Typically in Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of death. If you have questions or concerns, we’re here to help. Contact me at GloriaLaw.com or at 772-287-1220 to schedule your free consultation.