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Who Is Authorized to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

| Jan 4, 2019 | Personal Injury


No one is ever prepared for the unexpected death of a loved one, especially if their death was due to the negligence of someone else. A wrongful death lawyer in Vero Beach can’t erase the pain, but can help families receive the compensation they deserve.

A victim who sustains injuries and other damages as the result of the negligence of another party has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. But if that negligence results in someone’s death, the victim’s family needs to file a wrongful death claim to secure monetary awards. These awards may cover loss of income, funeral related expenses, and other costs.

No sum of money will replace a loved one. But the financial disbursement from a successful wrongful death case or settlement may help the family as they rebuild their lives.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida? 

The Florida Wrongful Death Act states when an individual’s death is the result of negligence, breach of contract, or a wrongful act due to the behavior of another person or entity, the estate of the deceased may file a lawsuit in Florida’s courts to seek a legal remedy for that death and related losses.

The person filing the wrongful death claim is the personal representative chosen by the estate or the will of the deceased individual. If there is no estate plan or will, that representative will be chosen by the court. Though filed by a representative, the claim is on behalf of the estate of the deceased and any surviving family members. The claim must itemize every surviving family member who has an interest in the case.

In Florida, family members eligible for damages in a wrongful death case are:

  • The spouse, parents, and children of the deceased
  • Any relatives connected by blood
  • Any adopted siblings who are entirely or partly dependent on the deceased for support

Interestingly, if unmarried parents have a child, the child may recover damages if the mother dies. But if the father dies, the child is only eligible for damages if the father had formally recognized that child as his own and was legally obligated to the support of that child.

In most cases, a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida must be filed within two years of the date of death of the deceased.

Hire a Double Board-Certified Wrongful Death Attorney Today 

A civil claim, wrongful death cases need the involvement of an experienced attorney. Being a civil claim means the deceased’s estate brings the matter to court, not the government.

The Vero Beach attorneys at Vocelle & Berg, LLP will pursue compensation for the beneficiaries left behind while seeking retribution and justice against the entity responsible. Contact us today for help.




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