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A pending bill could impact your Florida wrongful death claim

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2022 | Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one because of wrongful death is a tragic experience. Often, the circumstances are complex and devastating, leaving you with overwhelming grief.

While a wrongful death claim cannot bring them back, it can give you support when you no longer have your family member. Currently, a small group of people could lose a loved one to wrongful death but would have no claim against the person responsible. Florida legislators are working to change the current “free kill” laws.

Here’s what you should know about the current “free kill” laws and how lawmakers are working to make a change.

What is the “free kill” law?

Initially, the law came from an attempt to decrease malpractice costs. In practice, however, it can feel like an additional shot at a grieving family since they cannot receive non-economic damages from a wrongful death claim.

Currently, the law states that the parents of an adult over 25 cannot file a wrongful death claim if the death was a result of medical malpractice. In these circumstances, the deceased must be married or have children to be the subject of a wrongful death claim in a medical malpractice situation. Then, their partner or children can make a wrongful death claim.

Additionally, when an adult child (over the age of 25) has a parent who dies due to medical malpractice, they also can not file a wrongful death claim.

What changes will the bill make if it is passed?

This is not the first time Florida legislators have considered repealing the law limiting wrongful death claims. Lawmakers heard the bill last year, but it did not make it past the house.

If passed, the bill would repeal the limits on wrongful death claims, allowing loved ones to request non-economic damages as part of a wrongful death claim resulting from medical malpractice.


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