Florida Laws Limit Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Nobody wants to hear that their beloved family member has died due to someone else’s negligence. After all, the death could have been prevented. It’s a true tragedy.
On the bright side, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive financial compensation, right? Well, not always.
Florida’s wrongful death laws are unique in that there are age limits attached to them. What this means is that you could be too old to file a lawsuit if your mother or father is killed due to the negligence of a doctor or some other party.
This is what a Florida woman is dealing with. Her father died due to medical malpractice. After doctors missed a 9-inch blood clot in her father’s leg, the woman wanted to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but was told she was unable to under state law.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act puts age limits in place. Under the act, surviving adult children over the age of 25 years old are not eligible to receive compensation in wrongful death claims involving their parents. Likewise, parents of deceased victims over the age of 25 cannot file a lawsuit.
Rep. Yvonne Hayes Hinson, of Gainesville, is hoping to change this. She recently sponsored a bill that would eliminate the age limitation. There are other bills in the Florida Senate and House that would eliminate the clause for parents of adult children as well.
However, doctors and lobbyists are happy with things the way they are. They want to reduce their liability and by removing the limitation, they are afraid that malpractice insurance costs would rise even more. Florida already has high rates of medical malpractice as well as high premiums.
Hinson doesn’t feel sorry for these doctors. If they don’t like the way things work, they “need to leave the state of Florida.” Without changes, medical malpractice victims will lose their voice. It will allow bad doctors to continue to practice.
In the woman’s case, her father went to Brandon Regional Hospital with a sore knee. Even though he has a medical history of blood clots, medical staff insisted the issue was not a blood clot and the man did not need an ultrasound. The 62-year-old man died three days later.
An autopsy showed that the man had a massive blood clot in his leg. The hospital had no documentation of risk assessment. It violated various rules and received a notice of deficiencies that will need to be fixed.
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When a person dies of medical negligence, survivors should be able to file wrongful death lawsuits, regardless of age. Florida’s laws support the continuing practice of negligent doctors, which is frustrating for those who have needlessly lost loved ones.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, the Florida wrongful death lawyers at Meldon Law can help you understand your legal options. To schedule a consultation with our office, call (800) 373-8000 or fill out the online form. We have three offices to serve you: Gainesville, Ocala, and Fort Lauderdale.