Tallahassee, FL asked in Wrongful Death for Florida

Q: If the state of Florida plans to charge the individual who ran over and killed my wife with a DUI, can I still file a

wrongful death claim or do I have to wait until the criminal matter is resolved?

Related Topics:
6 Lawyer Answers
David Hughes Harris
David Hughes Harris
Answered
  • Venice, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: So sorry to hear about your loss.

Yes, one may proceed with a wrongful death claim while a criminal charge is pending. The person who brings the claim must be appointed as Personal Representative (PR) of the Estate by the probate court. Only the PR is authorized to pursue claims, settle claims, and file lawsuits in connection with a wrongful death.

Charles M. Baron agrees with this answer

Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
Answered
  • Orlando, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: So sorry to hear about your loss. You can file suit despite that the criminal case has not begun. Retain counsel here in Florida on contingency fee. Contingency fee means you don’t pay anything unless the case is resolved successfully. Good luck.

Charles M. Baron agrees with this answer

Daniel Marc Berman
Daniel Marc Berman
Answered

A: Yes, you can move forward with the suit, however you will need a Florida attorney to assist you as these cases are quite complex and full of pitfalls. A personal representative will likely need to be appointed by the courts.

Call a Florida personal injury attorney to schedule a consultation. Most, like our firm offer free consultations.

Charles M. Baron agrees with this answer

Mitchell Feldman
Mitchell Feldman
PREMIUM
Answered
  • TAMPA, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: If your spouse was killed by a driver who was under the influence you should immediately seek out the assistance of an attorney to help investigate the Facts, prepare a case, and see if there are others who may be held responsible and all insurance companies involved where you may look too for a recovery. There’s no necessity or reason to delay further preparing and investigating and seeking the assistance of a council and you should not be personally filing Pro se wrongful death action with out seeking assistance of an attorney. There is no actual recognize civil cause of action called wrongful death it’s all based or premised upon negligence or other torch or other legal theories of liability including some statute

There’s also a difference between presenting a claim of wrongful death to an insurance company versus filing a lawsuit which you would call a wrongful death action.

Charles M.  Baron
Charles M. Baron
Answered
  • Hollywood, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Yes, the appointed personal representative of the estate (which I assume would be you) can file - and a lawsuit must be filed within 2 years of the date of incident, unless first settled with the insurer after presentation of a prelitigation claim. The police investigation may, and probably will, turn up useful evidence to support a civil claim, but their investigation materials won't be available to you until their investigation is closed. The personal representative's attorney will determine the best strategy.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
PREMIUM
Answered

A: you don't have to wait. Contact a member of the Florida Justice Assn--they give free consults.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.