Losing a loved one is always exceptionally difficult. However, the pain and frustration associated with a loved one’s passing are magnified when their death was due to a preventable accident. In Florida, those who have lost a loved one in any kind of accident can pursue a claim for compensation against the responsible parties through a Florida wrongful death lawsuit.
Florida’s wrongful death statute is contained in Florida Statute section 768.16, and is known as the “Wrongful Death Act.” The concept behind the Wrongful Death Act is to “shift the losses resulting when wrongful death occurs from the survivors of the decedent to the wrongdoer.” The statute allows for a personal representative of the deceased to bring a lawsuit against any responsible parties for the benefit of any “survivors.”
The first step in a Florida wrongful death lawsuit is to establish who is a “survivor.” Florida law defines a survivor as spouses, children, and parents of the deceased. In addition, any blood relative or adoptive sibling can be considered a survivor if they are at least partially financially dependent on the deceased for support.