Fatalities caused by car accidents sometimes lead to wrongful death lawsuits. If you have lost a loved one in a car accident, you may wonder whether you have a legal case for a wrongful death suit. This can be a very difficult decision, and unfortunately must often be made at a very emotional and challenging time. If you have lost a family member in a car accident, you may wish to speak to a qualified Florida personal injury attorney. An attorney can provide you with an overview of your rights and can offer advice based on your specific situations. Generally, however, you may have a wrongful death suit if:
1) The car accident lead directly to the death and was caused by someone’s actions. If a driver was driving drunk, ran a red light, or did something which caused the accident which directly caused the death, you may have a lawsuit. Your attorney, however, will have to prove that the driver’s actions lead to the accident.
2) The car accident lead directly to the death and was caused by negligence or by someone’s failure to act. If a driver fails to yield to a right of way, for example, or fails to check a blind spot and this leads to an accident that directly causes a death, this can often be used to initiate a wrongful death suit. However, negligence can be difficult to prove. It often takes a good attorney and a team of investigators to prove negligence.
3) The death affects you financially in a significant way. This is often the most difficult part of a wrongful death suit for a grieving family. Each fatality leads to severe loss, but wrongful death suits must place a financial value on the loss, and this can be very difficult. Often, wrongfully death claims can only be filed by immediate family and usually are only successful when the loved one contributed significantly to a household income. Fatalities of elderly persons and children often yield a smaller “value” in strictly financial terms than someone who was working at the time of the accident. In addition to the earning potential of the person who has passed away, funeral expenses, medical bills, and pain and suffering are also considered.
No money replaces a loved one, but wrongful death suits are often important in cases where a family suffers a financial loss as well as a personal loss. These cases are meant to help surviving family members. For example, if a main breadwinner is killed in an accident, a wrongful death suit can ensure that the surviving family has the financial resources to survive financially until new earning arrangements can be made. If parents are killed, surviving children can sue to ensure that they have the financial resources to grow and develop without want or poverty.
In addition to providing financial support to a grieving family, wrongful death suits often bring a sense of closure and hold someone who is negligent accountable for the personal injuries and losses caused by the accident. In some cases, such a lawsuit can also be effective if another personal injury case is not possible to recover for medical bills. If you are uncertain about your legal options, speak to a Florida personal injury attorney.