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Florida Personal Injury Lawyers / Blog / Wrongful Death / Wrongful Death Claims in Florida: Who Can Sue?

Wrongful Death Claims in Florida: Who Can Sue?


The loss of a loved one is profoundly painful, especially when due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful act. In Florida, wrongful death claims allow bereaved families to seek compensation and justice, though not everyone is eligible to file such a claim.

A wrongful death claim is a legal action that relatives or legal representatives take against those responsible for a person’s death due to negligent, reckless, or intentional actions. These claims aim to provide financial support to survivors for losses, including the deceased’s lost wages, lost companionship, and funeral expenses.

Florida’s wrongful death statute outlines who is eligible to file a claim, what types of damages can be pursued, and the timeframe within which the lawsuit must be filed, known as the statute of limitations. Under Florida Statute § 95.11(4)(d), this period is generally two years from the date of death, but exceptions can apply depending on the case.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?

Under Florida Statute § 768.21, the following parties are commonly allowed to sue for wrongful death:

  1. Immediate Family Members: Spouses, children, and parents of unmarried children can file wrongful death claims in Florida. These family members often suffer the most significant emotional and financial impact from their loss.
  1. Adoptive Siblings and Other Relatives: Florida law allows adoptive siblings and other dependent relatives to sue if they were partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services. However, they are limited in the damages that are recoverable.
  1. Personal Representatives: The executor or personal representative of the deceased’s estate must file the wrongful death claim on behalf of the estate and any survivors. This individual acts as the plaintiff in the lawsuit, although the damages awarded are for the benefit of the estate and eligible survivors specified under the statute.
  1. In a medical malpractice case only the surviving spouse, a child under the age of 25 or a legal dependent can file a wrongful death medical malpractice claim

Examples of Wrongful Death Cases in Florida

Wrongful death claims in Florida can arise from various circumstances, including medical malpractice, where a healthcare provider’s negligence leads to death; car accidents caused by negligent drivers; workplace accidents due to non-compliance with safety regulations; or even criminal actions like manslaughter. Each case requires demonstrating that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased, breached that duty through their actions, and caused the death that resulted in measurable damages.

Contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather for Wrongful Death Claims

If you suspect that your loved one’s death in Florida resulted from negligence or a wrongful act, it’s crucial to consult a knowledgeable attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in wrongful death claims. At Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather, we understand the emotional weight and complexity of these cases. Our experienced attorneys offer compassionate support and expert guidance to ensure that your rights are protected and that justice is served.

During such a challenging time, you should not have to navigate the legal system alone. Contact Smith, Ball, Báez & Prather to discuss your situation and explore your options for seeking justice and compensation. We are committed to helping you achieve closure and financial security during this difficult period.



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