Wrongful-Death Car Accident Settlements
If a loved one has been killed in a car accident caused by another’s negligence, we offer our condolences. There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing someone close to you.
We know this is an exceedingly challenging time, but you should know about filing a wrongful-death lawsuit to receive a settlement from the responsible party. Although a lawsuit or settlement will not bring back your loved one, compensation for their loss can relieve some of the burdens caused by their death.
Our attorneys at Mickey Keenan, P.A., discuss how wrongful-death lawsuits work in Florida.
What is a Wrongful-Death Lawsuit?
In Florida, wrongful-death lawsuits allege that the victim was killed because of another person’s carelessness. The key to remember here is negligence. For a court to consider a person negligent, they must have acted in a manner that a reasonable person would not have behaved under the same circumstances.
To be successful, a negligence lawsuit must establish that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, violated that duty, and thus caused the victim’s injury or death.
Here are common accidents that can lead to personal injury and wrongful death claims.
Wrongful death claims often result from car accidents. Typically, such cases involve a negligent or reckless driver.
Negligent acts include:
- Distracted driving
- Texting and driving
- Failing to look to a blind spot before passing
- Failing to look before backing up
Reckless driving includes:
- Illegally passing
- Drag racing
- Running a red light
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
A wrongful-death lawsuit also can be filed if a defect in the vehicle caused or contributed to the accident. For example, if a brake malfunction led to an accident. In this case, the manufacturer of the vehicle or the defective part may be held liable for your loved one’s death.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, our attorneys at Mickey Keenan Law can file your lawsuit and get the compensation that you deserve. Call today, (813) 871-1300.
Can a Family Member Sue for Wrongful Death?
In Florida, the personal representative of a victim’s estate has the legal right to file a wrongful death claim. This would be the executor or executrix (a spouse, son, daughter) if the victim had created a will before their death. If the victim did not have a will in place, a court-appointed representative can bring a lawsuit to get justice for the victim and their family.
The victim’s surviving family members — including spouses, parents, and children — will be the beneficiaries of a settlement. Adoptive siblings and blood relatives who relied on the victim for support also may be able to recover damages.
What Damages Are Awarded in Wrongful-Death Lawsuits?
Florida law gives the family members of a victim the right to compensation in a wrongful death claim. Damages in a wrongful-death suit differ from those in a personal injury claim. Personal injury cases usually involve medical expenses and lost wages, but in a wrongful death case, the damages are intended to assist the surviving family members.
Compensation in a wrongful-death lawsuit can include:
- Compensation for services or financial support that the victim provided to family members.
- Funeral and burial costs.
- Loss of companionship and support.
- Mental and emotional suffering.
- Lost benefits, wages, and earnings that the victim likely would have earned.
- Lost value and accumulations of wealth.
A Florida judge also may award punitive damages if the defendant behaved in a particularly egregious manner. These damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from committing similar wrongs.
Keep in mind that punitive damages are only awarded if the evidence supports that the defendant acted in an extremely negligent or intentional manner.
Florida Wrongful-Death Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the victim’s death. Typically, a lawsuit cannot be pursued if an individual failed to file a claim before the statute of limitations expired.
Do not delay after the wrongful death of a loved one. Contact a personal injury attorney from Mickey Keenan Law — (813) 871-1300 — as soon as possible to start the claims process. We are on your side, always.
Here for You Like Family
One minute they’re here, and another they are gone. Honestly, nothing can make you whole again. Losing a loved one is overwhelming, especially when it is caused by negligence or recklessness. If someone is at fault for causing your loved one’s death, you have the right to sue them for wrongful death. It’s a step in making things better for your family again.
Before filing a wrongful death lawsuit, consult with our attorneys at Mickey Keenan, P.A. Your family is our family. We will work tirelessly to help you get the settlement you deserve.