Who can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida?

Florida law allows certain family members to sue for wrongful death. Learn who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Florida

It is always sad to lose someone close to your heart. If they died due to the negligence of another party, you may be wondering whether you can file a lawsuit.

According to Florida law, only certain individuals can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased person. Understanding who can file this suit during such a difficult period is also important. This article focuses on whether spouses, children, parents, and other relatives are entitled to file for wrongful death in Florida and emphasizes the need to obtain an attorney.

Read More: Did You Lose a Loved One in a Car Accident? You May Have a Wrongful Death Case

The Personal Representative

Specifically, in Florida, only the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate can institute a wrongful death claim. This person is responsible for administering and distributing the deceased’s properties as per will or Florida law. The personal representative can be nominated in the will or appointed by the court in case of no will.

This process can be chaotic, particularly for families in mourning due to the loss of their loved one. Speaking to an attorney experienced in probate law will assist you in determining the procedure for appointing a personal representative and managing the estate.


A surviving spouse also can file a wrongful death claim if his or her spouse died from another party’s negligence. This lawsuit can seek to recover damages from loss of companionship, financial support, and emotional suffering. A spouse lost support in the form of income for paying bills, rearing children, or planning for the future. That financial support and the loss of it can severely impact the family. In the same regard, one has to contend with the mental agony that comes with being a survivor of a spouse. A wrongful death lawsuit can assist in providing for such losses.


Legal or natural children of the decedent can also be entitled to damages in a wrongful death action. They can even be paid for without financial support, direction, or parental attention. Depending on the circumstances of the loss, children who lose a parent through a wrongful death may end up being financially challenged.

The primary or supplementary breadwinner in the family was the deceased parent. This loss of financial support can make it challenging for an individual to feed, house, or even educate themselves. The children also lose parental care, affection, support, and emotional attachment that comes with having a parent. It can be so heartbreaking, especially for young kids who depend mostly on their parents for comfort and safety.

Parents of the Deceased

Sometimes, the next of kin or the parents of the person who died may also bring a wrongful death claim. This is usually the case when the deceased child was economically relying on them or when the deceased had minor children. Parents might have helped their adult offspring financially if the child remained dependent due to disability or was studying in college.

This might mean that the grandparents are now left with the duty of raising the minor children of the deceased child. This can place a great deal of strain upon the grandparents, financially speaking. A wrongful death lawsuit can assist parents in seeking compensation for various losses incurred by the death of their child.

Read More: How to File a Wrongful Death Claim After a Car Accident in 2024

Dependent Blood Relatives

Florida law permits dependent blood relatives, including the siblings and grandchild, to sue for wrongful death when they depended on the decedent financially. The level of dependence will define the wages they can be paid.

For example, individuals who lost their parents and dependent on them for financial support will be compensated more than someone who was occasionally related to the deceased. Another survivor in a wrongful death suit may be a dependent grandchild who lost a grandparent who took care of him or her or contributed financially towards his/her upbringing.

Nonmarital Births

An illegitimate child can sue for the wrongful death of his biological father if the father entered an acknowledgment of paternity before his death and supported the child financially.

The child’s mother can also open the case on behalf of the child. Consequently, Florida law affirms the parenthood and rights of children born out of wedlock. If the father was the one who was supposed to look after the child, then the child can sue for loss of support and companionship from the father.

Determining Beneficiaries

The personal representative in the lawsuit shall then identify all possible beneficiaries as provided by Florida law. These beneficiaries will split any damages recovered in the lawsuit. The process can entail scrutinizing records like tax returns or bank statements to discover the degree of each beneficiary’s financial reliance on the deceased. A lawyer can assist the personal representative in handling this matter and ensure all relevant beneficiaries have been incorporated into the litigation.


Wrongful death lawsuits can be difficult. An experienced Boca Raton wrongful death lawyer can help you understand your rights, face the legal process, and determine the best action. They can also advise who should be named beneficiaries in the lawsuit. An attorney specializing in wrongful death can provide valuable guidance during this difficult time. They can help you understand the legal process, gather evidence, and negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company.