A "wrongful death" occurs when a person is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company or entity. Wrongful death can be caused by a car, motorcycle, pedestrian, aviation, boating accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, work related accidents and inadequate security.
An action for wrongful death is brought by the Personal Representative of the Estate of the decedent. The Personal Representative brings the action on behalf of the “Estate” of the decedent and the “Survivors” of the decedent. The most common survivors are spouses, children and sometimes parents.
Florida’s wrongful death laws are governed by Florida Statute §768.16 entitled the Wrongful Death Act. The Florida legislature says:
“It is the public policy of the state to shift the losses resulting when wrongful death occurs from the survivors of the decedent to the wrongdoer.”
Florida Statute §768.18 defines Survivors as: the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, and when partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services, any blood relatives and adoptive brothers and sisters.
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