Can I Sue for Wrongful Death in Florida?

Suing a Nursing Home or Hospital for Wrongful Death in FL

I have to turn away countless families of would-be cases because they do not have the right statutory survivor to bring a wrongful death case in Florida. Most are surprised; even shocked. How can this be fair? The short answer is; it is not fair. Florida has some of the strictest wrongful death laws due to misguided tort reform measures passed in Tallahassee. And the biggest losers with this law are Florida’s seniors.

Wrongful Death Due to Personal Injury or Car Accident

In a standard personal injury case involving a wrongful death, like a car accident injury, slip and fall or negligent security, the statutory survivors are:

  • The surviving spouse.
  • Surviving children (although children can only recover pain and suffering if there is no surviving spouse).

Wrongful Death Due to Nursing Home Abuse of Neglect

In a wrongful death case due to nursing home abuse, the statutory survivors are:

  • The surviving spouse, if alive.
    • If the spouse survives the decedent but then dies before trial, there is no survivor.
  • Surviving children (although children can only recover pain and suffering if there is no surviving spouse).

Wrongful Death Due to Medical Malpractice

In a wrongful death case due to negligence on behalf of a doctor, hospital or nurse, the statutory survivors are:

  • The surviving spouse, if alive.
  • Surviving children, only if they are under the age of 25.
    • If a victim is killed by medical malpractice and has no surviving spouse or kids under the age of 25, the negligent party is able to escape any kind of civil liability. A wrongful death claim cannot be brought.

Wrongful Death Act Unfair to Older Floridians

Wrongful death claims are a cornerstone in the foundation of our civil justice system. Without the ability to bring wrongful death cases, the deterrent factor against bad nursing home and hospital care is removed. By creating rules requiring kids under the age of 25, our Florida lawmakers are discriminating against senior citizens. If you disagree with this unfair rule, contact your Florida representative.

Click here to learn more about Florida’s wrongful death laws.