Fatal Car Accidents
When someone dies in a vehicle collision, grieving relatives shoulder the burden of recovering emotionally from their loss. Often a financial burden can increase stress and hardship for family members mourning their loved one. If a relative of yours died because of another person’s wrongdoing, you can seek compensation for many of the costs associated with your loss. Nothing can return your loved one to you, but you should not have to struggle to pay medical bills and related expenses in addition to everything you are dealing with. If you are in this situation, you should consult the Miami car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon. Capable and compassionate, we have pursued compensation for numerous clients coping with painful personal losses.Lethal Car Crashes Happen Frequently in Florida
As scenic as they often are, Florida roads can be very dangerous. In 2012, for example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 2,424 traffic deaths had occurred in the state. Alcohol intake played a role in nearly 700 of these fatalities. While about 20 percent of those who died on Florida roads in 2012 were pedestrians, vehicle drivers or passengers comprised over half of the deaths. Front-end collisions were especially lethal, accounting for 58 percent of all accidents resulting in death.Pursuing Compensation After a Fatal Car Accident
Family members of a person who dies in a collision caused by another person’s negligence can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages. Close relatives can seek compensation under the Florida Wrongful Death Act because their lost loved one would have been able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit if he or she had survived. Wrongful death claims require relatives of the accident victim to prove that the defendant, usually another driver, acted negligently in causing the crash.
Generally speaking, a negligence action unfolds in three steps. First, the victim’s relatives must show that the defendant owed the victim a duty of reasonable care. This is usually straightforward in car accident cases because all Florida drivers have a duty to drive carefully and obey the rules of the road. Next, the relatives must show that the defendant breached the duty of care with some negligent action that an ordinary person would not have taken under the same circumstances. This can be as simple as running a red light or failing to yield at an intersection. Finally, the relatives must show that the defendant’s breach caused the victim’s death. If the victim would have died even if the defendant had driven carefully, the relatives cannot hold the defendant liable.
You should be aware that there is a relatively short time frame for filing a wrongful death claim. While most personal injury actions can be filed within four years of the accident, a wrongful death claim in Florida must be filed within two years. Even beyond this requirement, however, it is important to seek legal advice and file a claim as soon as possible so that crucial evidence remains available.
If you succeed in proving the defendant’s liability, you may be able to get damages that compensate you for both objective and subjective injuries. Objective injuries, or economic harms, often consist of medical bills, funeral expenses, and the lost earning capacity of your family member. Subjective injuries, or non-economic harms, can extend from pain and suffering to loss of companionship, and loss of consortium, among other damages.Consult a Knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale Car Crash Attorney
If someone’s negligence or wrongdoing took away your loved one’s life in a fatal collision, the Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can assist you. We serve clients in West Palm Beach and other locations across South Florida who are trying to recover from abruptly losing a family member. We spare no effort in seeking to get you the compensation you deserve. Please call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation, even if you are not sure if you have a claim.