A wrongful death claim is a civil cause of action or a civil case that a personal representative brings on behalf of all of the survivors and the estate itself. So a wrongful death lawsuit has to be filed by a personal representative that’s appointed to look out for the estate and all the survivors. This personal representative has a fiduciary duty to the survivors and the estate to bring the claim, and the reason why the law requires the personal representative to bring the lawsuit is it prevents all of the survivors from bringing separate lawsuits and maybe rushing to the courthouse and depleting any available funds so that other people get left without.
In Florida, there is a two-year statute of limitation from the date of death and that’s a very short period of time when it comes to investigating accidents. The two years, though, sounds simple but it’s not because there are all types of exceptions that are built in Florida law. There are several things that need to be looked at and examined right after the accident to protect those statute of limitations because it can change depending upon circumstances.
Wrongful death is a civil cause of action and the standard is preponderance of the evidence, which means that the scale needs to be tipped to 51 percent for us to win. The civil standard for wrongful death is much lower that we need to show more likely than not, and it can be brought because of misconduct or negligence.