When someone dies or is killed as the result of another party’s negligent or intentionally malicious act, their family will suffer the emotional burden of losing a loved one. In addition to each surviving individual’s emotional hardship, they may have to cover unexpected medical bills, funeral expenses, and even become the primary financial provider for their family.
The compensation sought through a wrongful death lawsuit can help to ease some of these financial burdens, loss of companionship, and more that the family of the deceased now faces. In addition to providing monetary assistance to their family, a wrongful death lawsuit is a way to obtain a measure of justice and hold the responsible party accountable for his or her actions.
Every state has a wrongful death statute or section of statutes which defines who is entitled to sue for wrongful death in that state. Many states allow a surviving spouse, child, or next of kin to recover losses for a wrongful death, and some states even allow a separated (former) surviving spouse to seek a wrongful death action if they have not been found guilty of desertion or failure to provide support.
Depending on your state’s legislation, it may be possible for children to sue for the wrongful death of their parents and for parents to sue for the wrongful death of their children. However, some states restrict children who have reached adulthood from pursuing losses for the death of a parent, and similarly prohibit parents who have financially independent or married adult children from recovering losses for the wrongful death of that adult child.
According to the Florida Wrongful Death Act, which makes up sections 768.16-768.26 of the Florida Statutes, only a personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person’s estate and any surviving family members. Surviving family members may include the deceased's spouse, children, parents, and any other blood relative who was dependent on the deceased at the time of their wrongful death.
If you have recently lost a loved one due to the malicious or negligent actions of another and are unsure about your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit, contact an experienced wrongful death attorney at Delgado & Romanik today at 386.222.6677 for a free consultation.