Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?
The loss of a loved one is a devastating experience. When a negligent party is to blame for the death, it can be even more difficult. Those who lost a loved one due to negligence may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party. But there are rules as to who can file and when they’re allowed to file. Understanding the legalities of wrongful death lawsuits can be complex. In this article, the Tampa, FL wrongful death attorneys at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC will help you understand the concept of standing in a wrongful death lawsuit.
What is a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida?
All states have a wrongful death statute on the books. These statutes govern how wrongful death lawsuits can be filed, the time limit to file a wrongful death lawsuit, and who has the legal standing to file a wrongful death claim. Under Florida law, a wrongful death happens when one person dies due to another person’s negligence, malice or violence, or breach of contract. These are civil lawsuits in which the plaintiffs can recover damages in the form of money. While no amount of money can ever replace your loved one, it does hold the other party accountable for their negligence.
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida?
Florida limits the right to sue to certain individuals based on a hierarchy of legal standing. Under Florida law, those who suffer the most significant losses are at the top of the queue to file a lawsuit. The below-mentioned parties are all eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida:
- The spouse – A living spouse is at the top of the queue to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida. In other words, they have the first right to bring a claim of wrongful death.
- The children – If the deceased individual did not have a spouse, or if the spouse fails to file a claim within a specific time period, the children of the deceased have the right to file a lawsuit.
- The parents – If the deceased was a minor child, then the parents have a right to file a claim against the negligent party. Parents can file a lawsuit against a negligent party when the deceased has no spouse or children. However, they are third in the queue behind the spouse and the deceased individual’s children.
- Dependents and others – In some cases, dependent relatives whom the deceased took care of can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
It is important to understand that the law prioritizes the claims of spouses when it comes to wrongful death lawsuits. You will only have two years from the date of the death to file a claim against a negligent party. You must act fast. The Tampa, FL wrongful death attorneys at Florin Gray Bouzas Owens, LLC, can help you file a claim of wrongful death and recover damages related to your emotional grief. Call today to learn more about how we can help.