If your loved one already filed a medical malpractice lawsuit before dying, the malpractice case cannot continue. But you can pursue a wrongful death claim against the negligent doctor or another health care professional who caused your loved one’s death.
Under Florida Statutes § 768.20, a personal injury case – such as a medical malpractice case – that exists prior to death and relates to the action that caused the plaintiff’s death does not survive after the plaintiff’s death.
However, loved ones can file a wrongful death claim against the health care professional whose negligence caused the person’s death.
Why the Medical Malpractice Case Does Not Survive the Plaintiff’s Death
If your loved one had previously filed a personal injury action for something unrelated to the medical malpractice that caused his death, and the lawsuit was not yet resolved at the time of his death, that case could continue after his death as a survival action, per Florida Statutes § 46.021.
For example, if your loved one had sustained injuries in a car accident and filed a personal injury lawsuit for his damages, that case could go on after his death because the car accident did not cause his death.
Any cases related to the negligence that caused his death (e.g., medical malpractice in this case) will end. But loved ones can file a wrongful death claim for the negligence that caused his death.
Wrongful Death Damages for Medical Malpractice
Wrongful death damages refer to the economic and non-economic losses the family sustained because of the death.
Wrongful death damages can include:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Loss of the decedent’s income or other financial contribution to the family
- Loss of services the decedent performed for the family
- Loss of companionship
Recoverable damages depend on the circumstances of your case and how the deceased’s death affects surviving family members. A wrongful death lawyer at our firm can help you pursue compensation for the full range of your damages.
Get Help for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice From the Montero Law Center
We are very sorry to hear of the loss of your loved one. If you give us a call, we will answer your questions about filing a wrongful death case for medical malpractice.
We will not charge for the case evaluation, and we do not charge any attorney fees unless you get compensation.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases in Florida is two years from the date of death, per Florida Statutes § 95.11, so act quickly to contact a lawyer at our firm so we can get started on your case.