Fatal Car Accidents
While many people suffer only minor injuries in car crashes, some sustain overwhelming harm and ultimately pass away. Like most collisions, fatal car accidents are usually caused by reckless driving. Losing a loved one due to another person’s careless behavior often causes anger, grief, and frustration, and surviving family members usually want to hold the person responsible for an accident accountable for their losses. If you lost a loved one in an accident, you may be owed substantial damages and should speak to an attorney regarding your rights. The dedicated Boca Raton car accident lawyers at The Grife Law Firm are sensitive to the emotional and financial hardships that the sudden loss of a loved one can cause, and we can create an effective strategy to help you pursue the maximum compensation recoverable.Accidents That Cause Fatalities
Although any car accident can be deadly, some factors are more likely to lead to fatalities than others. For example, collisions that occur at a high rate of speed commonly cause trauma to the brain and other fatal injuries. Impaired drivers often cause fatal crashes as well, since they may lack the ability to drive safely or react to obstacles. Side-impact and head-on crashes also lead to terminal harm in many instances. In some cases, car parts such as brakes or tires will malfunction, leading to a sudden loss of control of the vehicle, which can lead to fatal car accidents.Damages Recoverable After a Fatal Car Accident
According to Florida Statute 768.19, when a person dies due to someone else’s reckless behavior, the personal representative of the estate can pursue damages from the responsible party in a wrongful death lawsuit. First, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident that led to the fatal injuries. This requires evidence that the defendant owed the deceased person a duty, which may have been the duty to act in a reasonably careful manner or the obligation to abide by traffic laws. The plaintiff must then show that the defendant's actions amounted to a breach of the duty owed and that the breach led to the deceased person’s death.
If liability is established, damages may be awarded to both the deceased person’s survivors and the estate. Florida Statute 768.21(1) defines survivors as children and spouses and, if the deceased person was a child, parents. Surviving spouses may recover damages for the loss of the deceased person’s companionship. Minor children of the deceased person, or adult children if there is no surviving spouse, can recover compensation for the loss of parental instruction, guidance, and companionship. Both spouses and children may be awarded damages for mental anguish and suffering from the date of the harm, the value of lost support and services from the date of the injury to the date of the death, and the loss of future support. If a survivor paid medical bills or funeral costs for the deceased person, they are also recoverable.
Florida Statute 768.21(6)(a) explains the damages that may be awarded to the estate. Specifically, it may be granted compensation for the loss of the deceased person’s earnings from the injury until the death, as well as any funeral or medical expenses paid by the estate. In some instances, compensation for the current value of the loss of prospective net accumulations may be awarded as well.Speak to a Capable Boca Raton Attorney
The impact of a fatal car accident can last long after the initial shock has waned, and people struggling with losing a loved one due to a collision should speak to an attorney regarding their rights. If you lost a family member in a crash, the capable car accident attorneys at The Grife Law Firm can help you determine the damages that you may be owed and the evidence that you must produce to prove liability. You can contact us by using our online form or calling 855-998-0770. We frequently represent people who have lost loved ones in wrongful death lawsuits in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale.