What are the requisites and damages recoverable in a
wrongful death action?
1. FILING SUIT: The only party who is
qualified to bring a wrongful death action in the
State of Florida is a personal representative of the
estate. The personal representative must meet
certain requirements as established by Florida law.
2. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: The action
for a wrongful death must be brought within two
years from the date of death to comply with the
statute of limitations. However, it may be
suspended in some cases due to the death of the
3. VENUE: Venue usually lies in the
county in which the decedent was domiciled before
his death, or the county in which the decedent was
possessed of property or had creditors. Occasional
proper venue may be established where the negligent
PERSONS ENTITLED TO RECOVER: Those
who may be entitled to recover are qualified
survivors including decedentís spouse, minor
children, parents (if the decedent was a minor) and
other wholly dependent blood relatives. Adopted
brothers and sisters may also qualify.
DAMAGES: Wrongful death damages are
determined by a jury. The following are a few of
the categories available for damages:
Loss of support and services;
Mental pain and suffering;
Loss of companionship;
Medical or funeral expenses;
Loss of employment income.
Damages vary from case to case, depending on
circumstances, age of the deceased, and many other
EXPERT WITNESSES: Normally an
economist will testify as to the value of the
different categories above and how inflationary
trends will affect support in the future.