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Wrongful Death Series Part 3: What Is The Difference Between A Wrongful Death Case And A Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Case In Florida?

medical malpractice wrongful deathThere is a big difference between a Florida Wrongful Death case premised on a car accident or a boat collision versus a medical malpractice event. Florida’s Wrongful Death Act is set up to give rights to the family of a deceased person when the death is brought on by the negligence or carelessness of a third party or entity. 

Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, however, has been amended by the Florida Medical Malpractice Act. Those changes have a significant effect on all medical malpractice cases and even more on medical malpractice wrongful death cases in Florida.

Statute Of Limitations And The Presuit Process

So, as we have discussed in other blogs related to the statute of limitations in Florida wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations for a Florida wrongful death case is 2 years. However, unlike non-medical malpractice wrongful death cases, those involving allegations of medical malpractice must go through the Florida Medical Malpractice Presuit process BEFORE you can file a lawsuit.

Florida Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Case 

This means that, in essence, you have less than two years to get everything accomplished since you do not want to file these cases at the last minute and you do not want to have to rely on short extensions allowed for the Presuit rules. For this reason, if you have a medical malpractice case that results in the death of a family member, you should seek out legal advice immediately.

What If No Surviving Spouse or Minor Child?

The Florida Medical Malpractice Act also amended Florida’s Wrongful Death Act by removing the ability for some to sue for wrongful death. The Medical Malpractice Act prohibits certain individuals from recovering damages if they are the victims of medical malpractice and die from it. If you are an individual that dies from medical malpractice in Florida and you do not have a surviving spouse or minor children (under 25), then your survivors cannot bring a case for anything other than the expenses associated with your death and amounts owed to others.

There is no claim for mental pain and suffering since the Florida Medical Malpractice Act has eliminated those cases. I realize that you may think “how can the legislature do that” or “that makes no sense” or “isn’t that age discrimination?” All of those sentiments have been tested in Florida courts, and they have all failed to have the law declared unconstitutional. So, we have to live with this law that basically gives hospitals the right to kill patients if those patients happen to die without surviving spouses or minor children.

If your family is dealing with a Florida wrongful death case that arises from a medical malpractice event, it is imperative that you reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. For a free consultation with our firm, find us on the web at or call us at 855HireJoe.


Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you or a loved one is in need of a FREE legal consultation in regards to your wrongful death case, speak with Zarzaur Law’s Florida Wrongful Death Act experts. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit