What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal phrase that means someone has died because of another person's fault. Wrongful death is not a criminal charge; instead it is a lawsuit brought in civil court by the family representative of the person who died.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Florida, only one person can file a wrongful death claim in court and accept the money gained from a settlement or jury verdict. Usually it's a wife or husband who files a wrongful death lawsuit because they've lost someone they depend on for financial support. It also includes young children under 18 years old or adults who are legally dependant on the person who died.
Why Adult Children and Parents of Adults Cannot Claim Wrongful Death Benefits
Adult children and parents of an adult who died in an accident are NOT eligible to file a wrongful death claim. That's because Florida law says they are no longer legally and financially dependent on the victim who died. They ARE allowed to collect money for burial expenses and some hospital bills, but that is about it.
Probate, Estate Law, and Wrongful Death Cases
Estate law and wrongful death claims often go hand in hand after a fatal traffic accident. This is why it's very important to have an attorney act quickly to file the necessary paperwork to establish the correct personal representative, especially if the victim does not have a last will. Without a will, a judge will decide who can be named the personal representative before sending the estate to probate. Only the named personal representative is allowed to file a wrongful death claim in that case.
The attorneys at Buckman and Buckman, P.A. have extensive experience with both estate law and wrongful death claims. They can manage both sides of this legal process and cut down on the complications for the family while they're going through a very difficult time
For a free Wrongful Death case evaluation, contact Buckman and Buckman at (941) 923-7700 or fill out their online form.