Fatal Car Accidents
In 2010, there were 2,261 fatal car crashes in Florida. If you have lost a loved one as a result of an auto accident, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed with grief and worry about the future. In addition to the emotional suffering caused by your bereavement, you may be wondering how you will move forward without a loved one's income, household help, companionship, and support. The experienced auto crash lawyers at the Dean Law Firm can evaluate whether you have a sound claim for wrongful death. We have helped many Ocala individuals pursue the compensation that they deserve after fatal accidents.Protect Your Rights Through a Wrongful Death Claim
Survivors of a person who died in a collision because of the careless or reckless conduct of another person or entity may seek compensation under the Florida Wrongful Death Act. Usually, fatal car accidents are the result of negligence. A person bringing a lawsuit for wrongful death based on this theory will have to show the defendant's duty, a specific action that violated that duty, actual and proximate causation, and quantifiable damages. For example, the victim may show that the defendant was speeding at the time of the accident, ran a red light, or was distracted while driving, and that this conduct caused the fatal crash.
The Act provides two categories of wrongful death damages. One of these compensates the decedent’s estate, and the other compensates the survivors of the decedent. Survivors are close relatives who are entitled to damages for the death of a loved one under the statute, and they typically are able to recover more compensation than the estate. They can pursue damages for loss of companionship, mental pain and suffering, loss of parental companionship, and medical or funeral expenses if they paid for them. Survivors of an adult include the surviving spouse, minor children, and sometimes adult children. Parents of a deceased minor child may recover pain and suffering from the date of the accident until their loved one died. A Florida jury may consider the quality of a survivor's relationship with the deceased when determining a tangible value for the loss of companionship and protection. There can be dramatic variations in verdicts depending on who tells your family's story to the jury and how an attorney rebuts any defense attempts to show that there was not a close bond between the victim and the survivors who filed the lawsuit.
The estate of a deceased person can recover damages for loss of earnings and loss of net accumulations. Net accumulations are an assessment of how much money the decedent would have left in his or her estate. The jury will consider probable employment income and life expectancy and how much the decedent would have spent of this amount, rather than saved, during his or her lifetime. The estate can also recover for medical expenses or funeral expenses if the estate, rather than a survivor, paid for these.Consult an Ocala Lawyer Skilled in Car Accident Cases
At the Dean Law Firm, our attorneys help the families of individuals near Ocala who died in a fatal car accident due to somebody else's negligence. The financial impact of this traumatic event can include lost income as well as medical bills and funeral expenses. Insurers may deny or delay valid claims, which only compounds the anxiety surrounding a loved one's death. We can negotiate on your behalf and if necessary can take the responsible parties to court. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form. We represent personal injury victims throughout Florida, extending from Crystal River and the Villages to communities in Marion, Sumter, Lake, Citrus, and Levy Counties.