The death of a loved one is an extremely painful experience, and can be especially devastating if the death was preventable. Too often people die as a result of the negligence of others, whether from car accidents, recreational activities or workplace hazards.
Unlike in situations where a person is injured, a person killed as a result of the negligence of another does not have the luxury of bringing suit against the offender. However, this does not mean the person does not have to answer for his or her negligence. By filing a wrongful death claim, you as someone close to the decedent can seek compensation for their loss and assert your legal rights. In essence, this type of claim allows the family of the deceased to bring a civil claim for monetary damages against those whose negligence played a significant role in the death of the family member.
Under Florida law, the immediate family members as well as those who were dependent upon the deceased are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim. However, most courts will only allow one lawsuit to be brought on behalf of the decedent. If family members try to bring more than one, courts will typically consolidate these claims into a single lawsuit in order to avoid duplicating adjudication.
Determining who has the right to bring a wrongful death suit can depend heavily on whether the decedent left a will. While immediate family members generally reserve the right to bring such a claim, in the event that the deceased had a will, this right and responsibility would fall to the executor or personal representative.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, contact the Bradenton lawyers at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh to talk about the process for filing a wrongful death claim.