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 personal representative.
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 act occurred.
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
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
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.