Yes, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one was killed in a car accident as long as the following requirements are met; the car crash that killed them was at least partially caused by another person or entity other than your loved one. Second, you file a claim within the time allotted by the statute of limitations. Third, you are either the personal representative or otherwise qualified to file the lawsuit.
When a death occurs due to another party’s negligence, it is even more devastating. At Kogan & DiSalvo, we could help you navigate the legal process after a wrongful death. A compassionate car accident lawyer in Florida can explain the rights of the decedent’s estate and guide surviving family members through their options. When you need a full-service law firm that takes cases on a contingency basis, you can depend on our skill and experience so you and your family can focus on healing.
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim that stems from an accident that, had the victim survived, would have been grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. However, because they died, their family or legal representative is eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. To prevail, you will need to prove that another person or entity was liable for the car accident. This requires that you satisfy the following criteria:
- Duty of care: The defendant owed you (or your family member) a duty of care.
- Breach of duty: The defendant acted negligently and breached their duty of care.
- Causation: The injuries and losses directly result from the defendant’s breach of duty.
- Damages were sustained: The accident directly caused your loved one’s death.
In addition, while there are exceptions, the statute of limitations is two years from your loved one’s death, meaning you will need to file your claim within this timeframe or you may risk losing legal rights to compensation.
In Florida, wrongful death lawsuits are brought by the personal representative of the deceased victim’s estate. The personal representative files the claim on behalf of close relatives and dependents of the deceased.
These people may include the following:
- The victim’s spouse
- The victim’s children
- The parents of the victim
- Other relatives who depended on the deceased for financial support
If you file a wrongful death claim, you may be able to recover financial compensation to help offset the financial losses caused by the passing of your loved one. You may be eligible to receive economic, non-economic, and punitive damages, which could include the following:
- Medical bills of the deceased
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Punitive damages are generally reserved for cases where the defendant’s actions were so egregious that the legal system deems it necessary to deter the defendant and society from similar behavior. For example, if the driver that caused the accident were going 60 mph in a 55 mph zone, that would not give rise to punitive damages. However, these damages might be possible if they were going 125 mph in that same zone while under the influence.
Reach out to our team to understand your rights, any pending legal deadlines, and the strengths and weaknesses of your wrongful death claim. We leverage our extensive knowledge, real-world experience, and the authority of expert witnesses to bring justice to our clients. Schedule a free consultation; there is no obligation to hire us afterward. And since we work on a contingency fee basis, you will not pay attorney’s fees unless we win compensation for your injuries. We look forward to hearing from you.