CAR ACCIDENTS AND FLORIDA’S WRONGFUL DEATH LAW
Oct. 14, 2014
This February a fiery Florida car crash claimed the life of four University of South Florida students. The accident, caused by a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction on I-275, also claimed the life of the wrong-way driver. The families of all four students, as well as the USF fraternity of which they were members, are all grieving. It is unknown if the any of families are considering filing wrongful death actions against the estate of the wrong way driver, but, given the circumstances of collision, the filing of such claims would not be frivolous.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act Allows Recovery of Compensation for The Wrongful Loss of A Loved One
To address the issue of the sudden loss of financial and emotional support facing families in the aftermath of the loss of a loved one to another person’s wrongful conduct, Florida created the Florida Wrongful Death Act. First, the act defines what constitutes a wrongful death. Under the law, a wrongful death occurs when an individual dies as a result of the negligence or other misconduct of another person. In terms of the catch-all category of other misconduct, recklessness, carelessness, and intentional acts are all included. For wrongful deaths stemming from negligence, a plaintiff must prove that wrongfully acting individual failed to act as a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances. In less abstract terms, the individual’s failure is considered a breach of one of the many duties human beings living in society owe each other. Even more specifically, in the case of the deaths of the four University of South Florida students, a wrongful death action brought by the families would seek to prove a breach by the wrong-way driver of the duty to drive safely in accordance with state driving rules and regulations.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act also specifies which family members can bring a wrongful death action to seek compensation for lost financial and emotional support. These family members, referred to as “survivors,” include spouses, children, parents, and financially or emotionally dependent other relatives or adoptive siblings.
Depending on the relationship of a survivor to the deceased, damages may include the value of lost support from the date of injury or death, medical or funeral expenses, loss of companionship and protection, and mental pain and suffering.
What to Do if Your Loved One Has Been the Victim of A Wrongful Death Accident in Florida
Vehicle accidents, construction accidents, and medical malpractice are all sources of wrongful deaths. If your loved one has passed as a result of the wrongful conduct of another person, you may be able to recover compensation for loss of financial and emotional support. To understand the legal options available, contact the respectful and knowledgeable Florida wrongful death lawyers at Mike Walker Law. We will use their experience to aggressively represent your interests, and work to recover the maximum amount of compensation for the loss of your loved one.