CAN I FILE A LAW SUIT ON BEHALF OF MY EX HUSBAND ?
8 attorney answers
This flowchart breaks down who can sue for wrongful death:
For your personal gain? No. If you are a PR of the estate and choose to, you would have that authority and possibly responsibility.
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Under the Wrongful Death statute, the only way you could sue on your ex-husband's behalf, is if you are appointed by the Court as the Personal Representative of his estate, as the lawsuit has be brought by his estate. Once divorced, you are no longer an heir of his estate. If his actual heirs agree to your appointment, you can be appointed Personal Representative (as you no longer have a right to be appointed because you are no longer related to your ex). If you are seeking to file the lawsuit with the hope of receiving some of the proceeds of the lawsuit, regrettably as you are no longer his spouse, you will not be entitled to any of the proceeds of any Wrongful Death lawsuit that is filed. At best, you can aid his heirs in recovering what they are entitled to.
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If you were legally married to your spouse at the time he died because of a third party's negligent actions then you have standing to sue as a party under Florida's Wrongful Death Act. There is a statute of limitations that applies to your case so discuss your case with counsel here in Florida about that limitations period and the merits of your case.
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Perhaps as the Personal Representative on behalf of the decedent's Estate for the benefit of the beneficiaries, you may.
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Under Section 768.16, Florida Statutes, is the Wrongful Death Act. A wrongful death claim requires that the decedent’s Personal Representative or the individual named in the deceased person’s will, bring the case before the probate court. If there is not a will, then an appropriate Personal Representative will be named by the court. While the wrongful death claim is brought by the Personal Representative, that person is technically acting on behalf of the decedent's estate. Any action that person takes is for the benefit of the decedent and the wrongful death claim must name every interested person in the estate as well. (That means every spouse, blood relative, parent or adoptive relative who was dependent on the decedent for support or services while he or she was alive).
There are 5 types of survivors who can recover wrongful death damages (i.e., pain and suffering):
The surviving spouse, minor children, adult children (when there is no surviving spouse), each parent of a deceased minor child; and the parents of an adult child (when there are no other survivors).
I recommend you contact a skilled injury attorney in Palm Beach County to discuss whether you have any legal claim or recourse whatsoever. Sorry for your loss. Best of luck and success.
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Are you perhaps the Personal Representative of his estate? - you need to see an attorney and have a thorough discussion.
Lawyers often have differing opinions and every case is fact specific. Therefore, you should consult with an attorney and use this information for general informational purposes only.
No way to tell for sure on the limited facts here but it would seem unlikely if your divorce was finalized. See a local attorney.
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