When a loved one dies in a car accident, his claim to compensation for the injuries sustained in the car accident does not necessarily die with the person. Certain family members of the deceased may be able to receive compensation by filing what is referred to as a wrongful death lawsuit.
A wrongful death lawsuit in Florida is a lawsuit that is filed when the death of a person is caused by the negligence of another. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in a case where a person would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit had he survived. In the case of a car accident, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against a negligent driver if the driver could have been sued for causing severe injuries in the car accident.
In Florida, the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate is the person who files a wrongful death lawsuit. The personal representative can be a person named in a will or appointed by a court. The personal representative can bring the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased person’s estate or on behalf of the deceased person’s survivors.
The survivors of the deceased who can receive compensation include the deceased’s spouse and children, and in some cases the person’s parents. Other relatives who were partially or wholly receiving support and services from the deceased may also be able to receive compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit.
The spouse of the deceased may also be able to recover compensation for loss of companionship, as well as mental pain and anguish from the time of the accident. The expenses of a funeral and the cost of medical expenses can be compensated along with loss of future earnings.
Generally, wrongful death lawsuits should be brought within two years of a person’s death. In some situations, the time period may be extended if there are special circumstances. Wrongful death lawsuits can also require a lot of evidence to show that a person’s death was a result of a car accident negligently caused by another. Therefore, in addition to proving negligence in the car accident, the personal representative has to show that the person’s death resulted directly from the car accident.
While it may be easier to prove this in a case where a person dies at the scene of the accident, this can be more difficult to prove if the deceased person was first admitted to the hospital. The negligent driver may allege that the death was actually caused by a complication of the treatment provided at the hospital. It is important to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney in order to find out if you have a claim for wrongful death.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you lost a loved one in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you can hold the person accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit. To find out more about how you can seek compensation from the negligent driver, contact an experienced car accident injury lawyer at Vocelle & Berg, LLP, in Vero Beach, Florida for a free consultation.