Firm News

What Is a Wrongful Death?

According to Florida statute 768.19, when a person’s death is caused by a wrongful act of negligence, it is considered a wrongful death. Thankfully, surviving family members have the ability to file a wrongful death claim—which can provide resources to help lessen their financial burden. 

“Wrongful death claims are some of the most difficult cases we encounter,” says Marvin Ross Friedman, a leading attorney at Friedman & Friedman. “We make it a top priority to meet with these clients in person to listen to their problems, provide any comfort we can, and help them decide their best course of legal action.”

Before you file a wrongful death claim, it’s important to understand all of the aspects that go into one—including who can file a claim and what type of damages may be recovered. Speaking to a seasoned wrongful death attorney is the best way to gain insight into your specific case. But to help you get started, here’s an overview of how wrongful death cases work.

What Is Considered a Wrongful Death?

If a victim who might otherwise have a personal injury claim is killed as a result of negligence or an intentional harmful act, this could be considered a wrongful death. Here are a few examples of what wrongful deaths can look like: 

  • When a victim is intentionally killed.  
  • If a victim dies due to medical malpractice.
  • If a victim dies in a car accident. 

A wrongful death can occur after just about any personal injury situation. But in order to successfully sue for wrongful death, there are a few elements that you need to be able to prove. First off, you’ll need to demonstrate that the defendant was negligent in their actions—and that the death of the victim caused the damages that are trying to be recovered. That’s why it’s imperative that you speak with your attorney about the details of your loved one’s death in order to adequately prove your claim. 

Who Can File a Claim, Who Can Recover Damages, and How Much Time Do You Have?

In the state of Florida, only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate is able to file a claim. This person is either named on the will of the victim or appointed by the court. The personal representative is typically filing the claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate and surviving family members. 

In Florida, those who are able to recover damages from a wrongful death suit include spouse, children, and parents—as well as any blood relatives or adoptive siblings who are partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services. Anyone who has an interest in the case must be listed by the representative of the deceased’s estate. 

Family members may be entitled to receive the following types of damages according to Florida statute 768.21:

  • Medical and funeral expenses that have already been paid for.
  • The value of support and services the deceased may have provided for family members.
  • The loss of companionship and protection from the deceased. 
  • Mental and emotional pain and suffering. 
  • Loss of income from the deceased. 

How quickly do you need to act with a wrongful death claim? In the state of Florida, the time limit (also known as the statute of limitations) for filing a wrongful death claim is two years with limited exceptions. Connecting with an experienced team of personal injury lawyers like ours is the best way to determine how much time you have to bring your claim to court and pursue justice. 

Friedman & Friedman Will Fight For You

At Friedman & Friedman, we’ve helped several families seek legal compensation for the wrongful death of loved ones. Our seasoned attorneys have a winning track record in wrongful death cases, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients. Together, we can achieve justice for your loved one—and the financial compensation your family deserves. 

If you’re ready to learn more about wrongful death lawsuits and how our team can assist with your case, then don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at Friedman & Friedman. We’re always here for you. 


Tue Jul 30, 9:00am