How do I file a wrongful death suit?
These cases are extremely complex and begin with the designation of a personal representative for the estate. This person must identify all surviving heirs as well as all costs associated with the decedent’s care leading up to his/her demise.
Only certain parties are eligible to bring the claim:
In the case of children born out of wedlock, children of the deceased mother are automatically considered survivors. If the father is the decedent, the children are considered survivors only if the father acknowledged them as his children and was responsible for their support.
Wrongful death suits must be filed within the statute of limitations. In Florida, that time frame is four years from the death of the victim. Filing outside of the statute could mean loss of the ability to file at all as the court can refuse to accept the suit.
To qualify to file, a burden of proof must be met in that the claimant must prove that the defendant did not use due care to protect the victim from harm and eventual death, and that lack of care directly resulted in the death of the victim. Additionally, it must be proven that the death caused the damages the claimant is seeking to recover.
To file the case, the claimant must seek legal representation.