Losing a loved one in a car accident is devastating and traumatic. You feel angry, sad and helpless. You wonder how you can cope with the loss and whether you will ever be able to move on with your life. You want to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and seek justice for your loved one. Can you fight for justice if my family member died in an accident? Yes. You can through a wrongful death lawsuit.
The wrongful death lawsuit
According to Florida Statutes Section 768.19, if your family member died in a car accident in Orlando, Florida, due to another driver’s negligence, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. This allows you to get civil justice through damages and holding the negligent driver accountable. These damages include medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income, loss of companionship, pain and suffering and many other types of damages.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
In Florida, only the personal representative appointed by the court for the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death claim. This person can be named in the deceased person’s will, but if not, the court can name the person themselves. They act on behalf of the estate and the surviving beneficiaries.
According to Florida Statutes Section 768.18, the surviving beneficiaries are the people who are entitled to receive compensation from the wrongful death claim. These include the spouse, children, parents and any blood relatives or adopted siblings of the deceased person.
What do you need to prove?
First, you need to show that the defendant owed a duty of care, like they failed to drive safely and follow traffic laws. Next, you must show that the defendant breached their duty by acting or failing to act in a reasonable manner. Next, you need to show that this breach caused the death of your loved one. Finally, you need to show that you and your family suffered damages as a result of the death.