Wrongful Death Based on Car Accidents
When a person dies due to injuries sustained in a car accident, the person’s loved ones often suffer both emotional trauma and financial devastation. Although no amount of money can remedy the damages caused by an untimely death, people who have suffered the loss of a loved one may be able to recover compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit to help repair the financial harm caused by the sudden loss. If you lost a loved one due to a car accident, the skillful Boca Raton wrongful death attorneys at The Grife Law Firm can assist you in pursuing the full amount of damages that you may be owed. Claims of wrongful death based on car accidents can be complex and contested, so it is important to put a knowledgeable attorney on your side.Liability for Fatal Car Accidents
A party seeking damages for a fatal car accident in a wrongful death lawsuit must first establish that the deceased person’s death was caused by the negligence of another party. In Florida, a party alleging negligence must produce evidence establishing a duty, a breach of the duty by the allegedly negligent party, and harm caused by the breach. In claims of wrongful death based on car accidents, the negligent party is usually a driver involved in the accident. In some cases, however, the negligent party may be the entity that designed the road where the accident occurred or a car manufacturer, or multiple parties may be deemed negligent.Damages Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Case
Florida Statutes Section 768.21 sets forth the damages recoverable in a wrongful death case and who may pursue such damages. Specifically, the Act provides that a wrongful death action must be brought by the deceased person’s personal representative within two years of the deceased person’s death. The Act further provides that the personal representative may recover damages on behalf of both the estate (known as a survival action) and the deceased person’s survivors (known as a wrongful death action).
As to the estate, Section 768.21(6)(a) states that damages recoverable include the loss of the deceased person’s earnings from the date of injury to the date of death, subject to certain deductions. The estate may also recover the loss of prospective net accumulations, reduced to the current value, if the deceased person is survived by a spouse or child, or if the deceased person is not a minor child and is survived by a parent, and no lost support or services are recoverable by a spouse or child. In addition, the estate may recover medical and funeral expenses chargeable to the estate that were incurred due to the deceased person’s fatal injury.
The damages recoverable by survivors depend in part on who survives the deceased person. It is important to note that only survivors defined under the Act are permitted to recover damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Specifically, under the Act, survivors include spouses, children, and, if the deceased person was a minor child, the child’s parents. Each survivor may recover damages for the loss of the deceased person’s support and services from the date of injury to the date of death, as well as the future loss of services and support after the date of death, reduced to present value. Determining the value of services and support lost before and after a person’s death often involves complicated calculations. In addition to damages for the economic harm caused by a person’s death, the Act provides for an award of damages to survivors for the emotional harm suffered due to the loss.Speak to a Capable Car Accident Lawyer in Boca Raton
If you lost a loved one in a car accident caused by someone else’s carelessness, it is advisable to contact an attorney regarding your rights. At The Grife Law Firm, our capable Boca Raton lawyers possess the experience and skills needed to help families seek damages in claims of wrongful death based on car accidents, and we will work tirelessly to help you pursue the best outcome available. We regularly assist people in lawsuits in Boca Raton, Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. You can call us at 855-998-0770 or contact us through our online form to set up a meeting to discuss your case.