Car Accidents Can Lead to Wrongful Death Claims
A tragic accident in Volusia County reminds us that car accidents can lead to more than broken bones or whiplash—instead, they can lead to death. As reported in the Orlando Sentinel, an 81-year-old woman and her dog were killed when their vehicle ran off Interstate 95 and crashed into a tree. The 77-year-old driver was taken to the hospital, while his passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. Both had been wearing seatbelts.
Accidents like these can leave family members emotionally devastated and, when the deceased was a family breadwinner, worried about their financial futures. If you lost a loved one in an accident, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately to identify what financial compensation might be available.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
When a person is injured because of someone else’s negligence, they can sue to receive financial compensation for their injuries. But when someone dies, who can bring a lawsuit? And what kinds of compensation can they receive?
Florida’s wrongful death statute answers these questions. According to the law, the personal representative of your loved one’s estate will file the lawsuit. This person should be named in the will or, if there is no will, then a judge will appoint someone.
Although the personal representative files the wrongful death lawsuit, they file it on behalf of the surviving family members and the estate. The following people might receive compensation:
- A blood relative or adopted sibling who relied on the deceased for support or services
The law also identifies what financial compensation you can receive. Although no amount of money can ever replace a loved one, money damages can defray the cost of the loss and replace the income you were expecting. Our clients have received the following:
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Medical expenses for the treatment your loved one received
- Loss of services
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of expected income
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress and grief
If the other driver intentionally or recklessly killed your loved one, then you might qualify for punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant. You can receive punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages listed above. Because each case is unique, consult with a Daytona Beach wrongful death lawyer to identify what compensation is available in your case.
According to the state’s wrongful death statute, you are given a limited amount of time to bring a lawsuit. In particular, you only have two years from the date of death to file your suit. For example, if your loved one passed away on January 12, 2017, then you have only until January 12, 2019 to file your lawsuit. If you wait too long, then a judge will dismiss the case, leaving you without any financial compensation.
Speak with a Daytona Beach Wrongful Death Lawyer Today
In your time of grief, the last thing you want to think about is bringing a lawsuit. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our team of wrongful death attorneys can immediately protect your rights by filing a lawsuit in the appropriate court and begin building a case for compensation. Start the process today by contacting us for a free consultation.