You need to contact an attorney more familiar with Florida state law. Apparently, the answer to your question is in the Florida Wrongful Death Act, which states that the personal representative of the decedent brings the case on behalf of the all the survivors, all of whom should be identified in the complaint.
This response is for general informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing specific legal advice. The provision of this response does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice for your particular issue or problem.
Under Florida law, a wrongful death case is required to be brought by the Personal Representative of the Estate. If your parent died without a will, the law will dictate who the personal representative will be, subject to certain conditions. The Personal Representative is then the "client" and is required to bring the wrongful death claim on behalf of all statutory survivors. Statutory survivors in a case includes a surviving spouse and any children under 25 at the time of death. There are other exceptions, depending upon the circumstances, that would need to be considered and explained to you. I hope that assists you. You should consult an attorney for further information.
You really need to have an attorney in your area explain this to you and help you with this situation. Wrongful death cases and survivorship claims are complex . My advice get a lawyer and try to get that lawyer to represent all parties if possible.
The answer to your question is a bit complicated, and can't be answered completely without having more information. Assuming the death occurred in Florida, the Florida Wrongful Death Act will control which family members' claims can be presented, and how those claims can be presented. For example, if there is a surviving parent, only children of a certain age will have claims for the pain and suffering associated with the loss of the deceased parent.
A Personal Representative will also need to be appointed to be the "point person" for purposes of bringing the claim, and signing any paperwork that needs to be signed. The Personal Representative officially brings the claim on behalf of all survivors and claimants. The Personal Representative is responsible for making sure that all claims that are supported by the evidence are asserted on behalf of all qualified survivors and other family members. Each family member has the option of retaining his or her own lawyer, but will likely be responsible for paying that lawyer out of his or her own share of the proceeds of the claim. Anyone who seeks to recover money in a wrongful death claim will need to be disclosed to the Defendant, and to the Court.
As you can imagine, this is a fairly complicated process that is full of potential pitfalls. Whichever family member is going to take the responsibility of asserting this claim should hire an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer.
I am licensed to practice in law in Florida, only. Any information or insight that I provide for scenarios outside of Florida, is provided for general information purposes, only. Nothing that I post on this forum should in any way be construed as legal advice.
In a wrongful death case, only the personal representative of the estate can pursue the lawsuit on behalf of ALL the survivors. Whos is a survivor that may recover damages is defined by the Wrongful Death Statute, Fla. Stat. Section 768.21. Also note that in medical malpractice claims, wrongful death claims for surviving adult children are further limited. You should speak with the sibling that filed the wrongful death claim to determine who was listed as a survivor in the lawsuit.
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The action should be brought, and name, the court appointed Administrator, likely to be the surviving spouse or a child of the deceased - but could be someone else(or Executor/Executrix if named in a Will) as the plaintiff "in behalf of the Estate of...". The other siblings do not have to be named as actual parties, but could be "beneficiaries" of the Estate, and share in the proceeds or compensation that the estate may obtain if the lawsuit is successful.
If they are under 25 they will possibly have their own claim as a survivor and should speak to an attorney. They should also make contact with the attorney who represents the PR for the estate to obtain copies of any relevant material.
This response is intended as only general legal information and not specific legal advice for your case. You should consult with an attorney for legal advice. You may contact our statewide offices for a consultation, toll free at 1-866-318-4878. Main office Gainesville.
Various claims exist when a loved one passes away. Wrongful death and personal injury are the most common.
How family members of the deceased individually recover for these claims is dependant on not only the wrongful death act, but probate and estate laws as well. It's best to have an experienced attorney represent the representative of the estate, and maybe terai your own attorney to help you determine your rights to recover from the estate or the person who caused your loved one's death.
Answers to questions does not create an attorney/client relationship. I only am your attorney if I have entered into a written contract, signed by me, wherein I expressly assent to be your attorney. Nothing I post should be construed as legal advice to be acted upon, it is merely a legal opinion.
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