We often get the question, what happens if a loved one passes away or is killed by the wrongful act of another? In this situation, in the state of Florida, this is called a wrongful death and wrongful death actions are actually governed by statute, specifically, Florida Statute 768.16 through 768.26 are considered Florida’s wrongful death act. And it’s governed by statute because you have to be very careful on who can actually recover for the wrongful death of a loved one. And so from the outset, what ends up happening is a personal representative has to be appointed on behalf of the past, the decedent and the decedent’s estate and the personal representative is the proper party to actually bring and prosecute the wrongful death action. Now, the personal representative prosecutes that action on behalf of the decedent’s estate and the survivors. Now, survivors are defined within the Florida statute and survivors generally include the decedent’s children, seedings spouse, decedents parents, and in some situations where the decedent, uh, provides for his brothers or sisters or blood relatives, um, or adoptive brothers or sisters.
Uh, they can also be considered survivors. And so remember, the personal representative is the one actually prosecuting the wrongful death action. And so what ends up happening is once the estate gets established on behalf of the decedent, at that point in time, it is ripe to begin the process of prosecuting a wrongful death action. Now, it should be noted that, uh, if someone has died as a result of the negligence of another and it’s proper for a wrongful death act, a lot of our clients ask, well, what happened about the bodily injury before the death? So for example, if someone was in a car accident and this particular individual was in a coma for three months, and that coma is a bodily injury, well upon the decedent’s passing, the claim for that bodily injury also dies with a decedent. However, you can still prosecute the wrongful death action under the wrongful death statute. It just simply has to be prosecuted in a different way. If anyone, you know, has been a victim of wrongful death, please contact contact us at St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas immediately.
*The above has been transcribed by a third party service and has not been checked for accuracy.
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