Every day, people in Florida and throughout the United States are killed in car accidents. In some cases, the death is instant, while in others the victims suffer catastrophic injuries that turn fatal. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we understand how devastating such a loss can be for a family. Our Miami personal injury attorneys are committed to obtaining justice for the loved ones who are left behind to pick up the pieces.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), there were 30,057 fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. in 2013, in which a total of 32,719 deaths occurred. In the state of Florida, there were 2,228 fatal crashes, in which 2,407 deaths took place. Alcohol played a role in some of these accidents. A number of different types of injuries ultimately caused the deaths.
If you lost a loved one in a car accident caused by someone else’s recklessness, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. Wrongful death claims are civil actions brought by survivors of a person who died as the result of another’s negligence. The Florida Wrongful Death Act allows certain survivors of the deceased person to seek damages for their loss. In order to prevail on a wrongful death claim, the following elements must be shown:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim;
- The defendant breached the duty of care owed to the victim, either through act or omission;
- The defendant’s breach was the direct cause of the death or injury that led to the death of the victim; and
- Damages resulted from the victim’s death.
By establishing a defendant’s liability, the survivors of the decedent can potentially obtain certain damages, including medical expenses incurred prior to the decedent’s death, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and more. The exact amount of damages will vary depending on the circumstances of the specific case.
In some cases, a court may also impose punitive damages. Punitive damages are rare and only awarded in situations when a defendant’s intentional, reckless, or grossly negligent conduct causes a wrongful death. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer as opposed to compensating the victim.
It is important to note that survivors have a limited time frame to file their wrongful death claim, known as the statute of limitations. Under Florida law, surviving family members have two years from the date of the death to take legal action.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. We have the skill, knowledge, and resources to thoroughly investigate your claim and help you get the closure you deserve. Our team takes pride in providing each and every client with a diligent and honest assessment of their case, including the legal challenges that may come up. With years of experience, you can rest assured that our diligent Miami wrongful death attorneys will make every effort to get you the most favorable outcome possible. While we aim to settle each case as efficiently as possible, we are not afraid to zealously advocate for you in the courtroom. We proudly represent clients throughout South Florida.
More Blog Posts:
Falling Merchandise Injuries in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, August 31, 2015
Eleventh Circuit Makes Evidentiary Ruling in Florida Slip-and-Fall Case Involving Expert Testimony, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, August 31, 2015
Young Ocala Couple and One Other Killed, Several Injured in Heartbreaking Lecanto Auto Accident, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, August 31, 2015