Losing a loved one in an unanticipated accident can be devastating. It's even more disheartening when the accident results from someone else's negligence or misconduct. In Florida, the law provides for such circumstances through wrongful death claims. The claim aims to provide financial compensation for the deceased's relatives who were dependent on their support. However, not everyone is eligible to file this claim. This blog discusses who can file a wrongful death claim in Florida.
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims
Before knowing who can lodge a claim, it's essential to understand what a wrongful death claim entails. In Florida, a wrongful death claim arises when a person dies due to the legal fault of another person or entity, such as a negligent driver, a careless physician, or a company producing faulty products.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Florida?
Under Florida's Wrongful Death Act, the law restricts the right to file a wrongful death claim to the personal representative of the deceased's estate. This person is often named in the deceased's will or estate plan. If the deceased did not have a will or did not name a personal representative, the court will appoint one.
Beneficiaries of a Wrongful Death Claim
Although the personal representative files the claim, they do so on behalf of the deceased's survivors. In Florida's context, survivors include the deceased's spouse, children, parents, and any blood relatives or adoptive siblings partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services. The damages awarded in a wrongful death claim will then be distributed among these survivors according to the provisions of the Wrongful Death Act.
Losing a loved one is a grievous experience. While a wrongful death claim cannot bring back your loved one, it can alleviate financial burdens caused by their untimely demise. If you believe you're eligible to file a wrongful death claim, seek competent legal advice to guide you through this challenging process.