Can You Sue for Wrongful Death After a Car Accident in Florida?
If you lost a loved one in a car accident, you deserve answers about how and why the crash occurred. If the crash was caused by a reckless or careless driver, such as someone who was speeding, driving under the influence, or asleep at the wheel, you could have the right to file what is known as a “wrongful death” lawsuit. By suing for wrongful death in Florida, you may be able to hold the careless driver responsible. A lawsuit can also provide you and your loved ones with compensation, which can help to pay for funeral costs and other expenses, giving your family greater financial stability during a tumultuous time. If a family member was killed in a car accident in Florida, turn to Miami wrongful death attorney Prosper Shaked for compassionate, experienced guidance on your legal options as the spouse or relative of a fatal crash victim.
Compensation for Wrongful Death in FL
According to crash statistics provided by Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System (FIRES), over 117,000 car accidents have already taken place in Florida so far this year. Sadly, 818 of these crashes were fatal, resulting in the deaths of 869 people, including 42 cyclists and 207 pedestrians.
Though few crashes result in death – about 0.7% of all accidents reported so far this year – the consequences are absolutely devastating when a fatal accident does occur. Not only are the distraught survivors left to cope with intense grief and anguish, but in addition, the unexpected death of a loved one can also have dire financial repercussions for those who are left behind. If the car accident or truck accident victim was supporting a family or contributing to its income, his or her death may place an entire household in jeopardy of bankruptcy, foreclosure, eviction, vehicle repossession, or other disastrous outcomes. To make matters even more difficult, the family will also need to think about funeral and burial services, which can cost thousands of dollars.
No one should have to worry about going into debt, or wonder how they will make financial ends meet, while they are mourning the death of a spouse or a family member. Unfortunately, this is the reality for millions of people each year. However, it does not have to be this way. By filing a wrongful death claim, it may be possible to recover compensation, easing the financial burden on the victim’s survivors. Perhaps more importantly, a wrongful death lawsuit may also enable the survivors to get the sense of closure they need in order to truly begin the healing process.
Wrongful Death Damages in FL
In wrongful death cases, financial compensation is also called “damages.” Damages may be awarded by a jury, though in many cases, claims are settled outside of court after a period of negotiation.
Each state follows different laws when it comes to damages in wrongful death actions. In Florida, these laws are set forth under Section 768.21 of the Florida Statutes. The statute is divided into eight subsections describing who may recover what types of compensation in a wrongful death car accident case. These damages may include the following:
- Section 768.21(1) – Survivors can be compensated for “the value of lost support and services,” including interest and future losses.
- Section 768.21(2) – If there is a surviving spouse, he or she may be compensated for “companionship and protection,” as well as emotional pain and suffering.
- Section 768.21(3) – If there are minor children, they may be compensated for pain and suffering, in addition to “lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance.”
- Section 768.21(4) – If the victim was a minor, his or her parents can be compensated for pain and suffering.
- Section 768.21(5) – A survivor who has paid for funeral costs or medical bills can be compensated for both.
- Section 768.21(6) – This subsection, which is divided into several parts, authorizes the accident victim’s personal representative to recover income, wages, and earnings lost due to the death, with a few rules and exceptions.
- Section 768.21(7) – This subsection allows creditors, meaning people or entities that are owed debts, to make claims under certain circumstances.
- Section 768.21(8) – This section notes that Section 768.21(3) does not apply to adult children, and sets forth additional rules.
Miami Wrongful Death Lawyer Prosper Shaked Can Help
Because Florida’s legal rules surrounding wrongful death claims are so complex, it is crucial for survivors to be represented by a skilled and experienced attorney who understands how to maximize your recovery while providing you with a supportive shoulder. Handling wrongful death cases throughout the Miami area, Miami car accident lawyer Prosper Shaked is here to help you through this difficult time. To learn more about your legal options in a free, completely confidential legal consultation, contact our Miami injury law firm online, or call (305) 690-0244. Someone is here to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.