Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

by Nov 17, 2022Article

The statute of limitations to file a wrongful death case varies from state to state. As of 2019 in Florida, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is within two years of the date of death in the majority of cases. Additionally, the Florida Statutes section 95.11 states that actions other than for recovery of real property is required to take place accordingly:

“An action for medical malpractice shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the action occurred or within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered.”

According to Florida’s “Right to Action” legislature under Statutes section 768.19, “When the death of a person is caused by wrongful act, negligence, default,or breach of contract or warranty of any person,” the deceased person’s estate is able to file a civil lawsuit. The estate can seek financial compensation for the wrongful death in question along with any resulting losses. 

Bringing Up A Wrongful Death Claim In Florida

Under Florida statutes, a wrongful death claim must be filed by a personal representative of the deceased’s estate. The personal representative must be listed under the will or estate plan of the deceased party. In the case there is no will or estate plan, a court-appointed representative will be determined. In Florida, a wrongful death claim is filed under the deceased person’s estate along with any family members and the personal representative of the estate. The personal representative is required to present a list of names in the claim who have an interest in the claim from the deceased’s estate. During a wrongful death case in Florida the following family members may recover damages:

  • Blood relatives
  • The spouse, parents, or children
  • Adult children when there isn’t a spouse
  • The parents of minors

What Damages Are Recoverable Under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act?

The Florida Wrongful Death Act establishes that the only figure to bring about the claim or lawsuit must be the personal representative of the decedent. Under Section 768.20, the personal representative can bring a claim for the benefit of the decedent’s estate as well as for the benefit of the decedent’s survivors. Recoverable damages by the deceased’s estate include:

  • Medical bills
  • Funeral expenses
  • Mental pain and anguish (including minors under 25 years old)
  • Lost wages
  • Value of lost support and services

The value of lost earnings that the deceased person was expected to receive can also be recovered by the deceased person’s estate. The prospective net accumulations of the estate (the value of earnings the estate would’ve received if the deceased person had lived) may also be recovered. If the deceased person’s estate and not the government brings a civil claim to court, it is known as a wrongful death case. The liability in a Florida wrongful death case is expressed solely in terms of financial damages. When a wrongful death is at play, criminal cases can also be brought up in court. However, these are different types of cases addressing separate concerns and don’t always result in financial compensation. 

Contact Us Today

If you’ve lost a loved one and you suspect wrongful death, you may need an experienced attorney on your side. Call Terry M. Rosenblum & Associates to schedule an appointment with a Florida personal injury attorney today.