Wrongful death lawsuits in Florida can sometimes be a very tricky issue when it involves who has the right to sue. Someone can pursue a claim as an estate representative of the decedent, or they can pursue the case as the decedent’s survivor. When survivors make claims, they tend to get better damage award, but it also depends on the situation, this is because there are several kinds of damages a person can assert.
Those that have the right to claim damages as the decedent’s survivors include the decedent’s spouse, children (specifically children under the age of twenty-five), parents, siblings or some other adaptive or blood relatives that were partially or fully dependent on the services or support of the decedent.
Still, it is of utmost importance for those that have the right to pursue the claim to pursue it appropriately and in a timely manner. You need to get a personal injury attorney in Florida to help you file the case as soon as possible. For instance, the spouse of the decedent might have more priority over the parents of the decedent when it comes to wrongful death claims, but except the decedent’s spouse makes a move and files the claim within the statute of limitation of wrongful death (which is usually two years in Florida), they won’t be able to challenge any claim, verdict, or settlement.
Such an event took place recently in Tennessee Supreme Court. According to records of the court, the mother of a young man who is not married died in handcuffs while he was in the custody of a retail store, the man’s mother secured a wrongful death lawsuit in 2010, and she was claiming to the be the decedent’s sole heir. However, twenty months after the dismissal of the case, a lady that claims to give birth to the child of the decedent filled another case to set the previous case aside and replace the mother of the decedent.
The lady insisted that her child was the next of kin of the decedent, based on the admission of paternity he signed recently. The plaintiff further insisted that her child is the lawful and rightful beneficiary, and the child has more priority over the mother of the decedent.
All her claims are true. However, the wrongful death statute of limitation in Tennessee is only one year. The decedent in question died in December 2008, while the settlement for the case was reached in March 2010, and it was in 2011 the mother of child the decedent came up with her claims. Her claims were dismissed by the court because she failed to hire a personal injury attorney in Florida and file her case in a timely manner. So she lost the case.