Pursuing Injury Settlement After Death of Family Member?
by Jessie (Florida)
This is a question relating to a slip and fall case in the state of Florida...
The person who fell and was injured died 13 months after the accident (not necessarily from the slip and fall, but possibly). What options does the family have if the case still was not settled at the time of death? Can they continue to pursue the case? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Pursuing Injury Settlement After Death of Family Member?":
Once a person passes on, a part of them remains in legal existence. That means when they pass, whatever possessions thay had when they passed, whether it was a pair of socks or millions of dollars, they leave in an "estate". If they passed on with a will they died "testate" and in their will they probably named an executor. That executor is normally the person who has the legal right to institute legal proceedings on behalf of the deceased and her estate.
If the person passed without a will, or "intestate" there isn't any executor. This means whoever wants to pursue legal action in the form of a "wrongful death" case will first have to petition the court in the county where the deceased lived just before he passed. That petition is a request to the court for "Letters Testamentary". In effect those are the powers a Judge will give to the petitioner to pursue legal action on behalf of the deceased's estate.
So depending upon which scenario above applies to the deceased you are referring to, the legal action will have to proceed accordingly.
In Florida the Statute of Limitations, or "time period" in which a legally appointed representative has to either settle the case or file a lawsuit is four (4) years. As you can see, there is plenty of time.
Your best bet would be to consult with several person injury attorneys. Most will not charge any fee for an initial office consultation. See if you can find one who has substantial experience in Wrongful Death cases.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.