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Orlando Personal Injury Attorneys / Blog / Wrongful Death / Filing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Florida

Filing A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Florida


Suddenly losing a loved one is most people’s worst nightmare, particularly if their passing happens in an utterly needless way. If you have experienced a sudden loss recently, and you suspect that it happened due to the “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach” of contract or warranty of someone else, you may be able to hold them liable for your loved one’s wrongful death. The right attorney can help to smooth out the process.

Two Different Types

There are two discrete types of lawsuits associated with wrongful death in Florida, and while the terms are often used interchangeably, the lawsuits themselves are quite different. A standard wrongful death lawsuit happens when someone’s negligence or wrongful act allegedly causes the death of another person. A survival action can be mounted when the decedent would have had a claim against another person if they had lived. A bereaved family will most often want to file a wrongful death suit if they intend to seek damages for their own loss.

There are multiple different kinds of situations in which a wrongful death can occur, though some wind up much more convoluted than others. Some of the most common include motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, and criminal acts – someone found not guilty of murder may still be sued in civil court for wrongful death, given the different court systems and lower burden of proof.

Recovering Damages

For a wrongful death lawsuit, the family cannot file on their own; rather, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate must file on their behalf (and on behalf of the estate itself). In addition, state law limits the family members who are entitled to recover if the lawsuit is successful – only surviving spouses, children, parents, and any blood relatives [or] adoptive [siblings] who were “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.” The intent of this kind of lawsuit is to compensate for specific losses, after all.

If the suit is successful, it is also important to keep in mind that the estate and the decedent’s survivors may recover different kinds of damages. Family members can recover money damages for loss of support and services, mental pain and suffering, any expenses they had previously paid, and damages for loss of marital and/or parental companionship, among other causes. The estate, meanwhile, can recover medical and funeral expenses and lost wages belonging to the deceased. Still, the process can be messy, and the right attorney on your side can help.

Contact A Wrongful Death Attorney

If you have lost someone suddenly, no amount of money will heal that wound – but monetary damages can help to keep the rest of life afloat while you and your family process what has happened. An Orlando wrongful death attorney from the Hornsby Law Group can handle the legal side of things while you try to get life back to normal. Contact our office today for a free consultation.



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