A loss of a loved one due to negligence can devastate your life, and although you may never feel whole again, you may wish to seek damages from the negligent party. If you have a close relation to the deceased, the law should allow you to file a wrongful death suit. However, the law does not allow everyone to seek damages for the death of a relative.
According to Florida law, a personal representative of the estate of the decedent may file a suit on behalf of individuals who have suffered loss because of a wrongful death case. The law describes specific people who may try to gain compensation for the loss of a relative.
If you are the spouse of a deceased person, you may seek wrongful death damages for loss of income, companionship, support, as well as pain and suffering. Children of a decedent may also seek compensation for pain and suffering, as well as damages relating to the loss of support and guidance from the loss of the parent. If you lost a child, you as a parent can also seek damages.
The state’s wrongful death law does not describe relatives beyond the closest kin of a deceased person as eligible to seek damages, so it is unlikely for a court to award damages to aunts, uncles or cousins. However, this might change if an extended relative was dependent upon the decedent, as the loss could greatly impact the life of the dependent.
State law specifies that a blood relative or an adoptive sibling who depends partially or completely upon the decedent may seek compensation. This means that if you lived with a brother or another blood relative and you depended on your relative for your livelihood, the law would likely grant you the ability to go to court and seek damages from the negligent party that resulted in the death of your relative.