In Florida, about 37,000 people get into a car accident yearly, and about a hundred victims die every day because of such an incident. Wrongful death statistics in the state is a stark reminder that roadways can be quite dangerous. Apart from being prepared, you should also know what a wrongful death suit entails in the state of Florida.
Wrongful Death Suit Defined
Wrongful death is a legal claim by those survived by a victim. In Florida, laws on wrongful death allow people to sue the other person involved through the victim's estate. A personal representative, usually the spouse or another family member, is permitted by Florida law to act in the interests of the victims’ other surviving relatives.
If a representative is chosen by the victim in their will, that representative will serve as the plaintiff. They then recoup damages that will go to the victim's family and/or their estate.
Finding Who Is At Fault
With the help of a car crash lawyer, one can file a wrongful death suit against the one or those at fault. In addition, wrongful death suits can be filed against a company or a government institution. Claims against more than one person or entity are acceptable as long as they were found to be at fault for the death of the victim.
Wrongful death is essentially accidental, but someone’s or an entity's negligence can be viewed as the cause for the demise of another. Therefore, that person or organization can be made responsible for the entire unfortunate situation.
Filing A Wrongful Death Suit
There are a number of things a wrongful death suit must meet in order to be considered valid. You and your car crash lawyer will have to prove the following four elements:
• The tortious act of the defendant was intentional, negligent, or reckless.
• If the victim had survived, a personal injury case would have been filed against the defendant.
• The representative and the victim's family members have to be identified.
• The defendant was found to have caused injuries, both personal and financial, to the victim's surviving family or the estate.
Wrongful death suits aim to redirect the loss of the victim's family to the one who caused the victim's death. A trial can be avoided if the other party agrees to a settlement. In a settlement, both parties will agree to a sum of money most likely in court. If the settlement amount is accepted, the suit can be dropped.
However, valuing the settlement amount can be tricky if not difficult. In Florida, compensatory damages from a wrongful death claim are usually determined by the following:
• The age of the victim
• The amount of money the victim was earning before they died
• Medical costs before death
• The victim’s potential earnings and lost benefits
• Burial expenses
• Loss of companionship
• Pain and suffering of the victim's family
The estimation for the value of a settlement is based on the actual financial costs (economic damages) incurred before and after the victim passes away as well as the computed value of non-monetary-based losses (non-economic damages).
A car accident can be debilitating to one's family. While losing a loved one is hard to accept, there are other problems that could eventually stem from someone’s wrongful death. With a dedicated car crash lawyer, a family can get through financial and personal hardships more easily.