Fatal Car Accidents
Car accidents happen in Florida and throughout the United States on a daily basis. In some of the most tragic situations, victims may even lose their lives. When this happens, an entire family may be devastated. If you have lost a loved one because a driver acted carelessly, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, our car accident lawyers have helped families in the Fort Myers area and elsewhere in South Florida seek compensation for their loss. While no amount of money can undo the harm you have suffered, it can ease the burden of expenses that may accumulate in the aftermath.
Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim for Compensation
Unfortunately, examples of negligence on the road are extremely common. Drivers break traffic rules all the time, and their recklessness often causes devastating accidents. Wrongful death claims are a special type of negligence action. The concept of negligence can be broadly defined as the failure to use the appropriate level of care in one’s actions. In most ordinary circumstances, people are required to behave as carefully as the typical person would act in a similar situation. A person seeking damages through a negligence claim must point to a specific action by the defendant that fell short of the appropriate standard of care. To prevail, it is also necessary to draw a causal link from the defendant’s carelessness, or breach, to the accident and identify damages that resulted from it.
Under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act, a person can take legal action against an at-fault party when a loved one’s death is caused by any “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty.” Survivors who can seek compensation include the decedent’s spouse, children, parents, adoptive brothers or sisters, and any individuals who were wholly or partially dependent on the decedent. The personal representative of the estate is generally the person who files a lawsuit on behalf of survivors.
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death action is shorter than for an ordinary personal injury claim. This rule sets the legal time limit within which an individual must file a lawsuit. In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is four years from the date of the accident, whereas the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is only two years.
The specific amount of damages that can be received will depend on the nature and extent of the loss. The court will examine a number of factors, such as whether the decedent was the primary wage earner, the amount of the decedent’s earnings at the time he or she died, and the decedent’s assets. Surviving family members often seek compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of income and benefits, loss of companionship, medical expenses prior to the death, and conscious pain and suffering before death.
Seek Guidance from a Naples Lawyer after a Car Accident
If someone close to you lost his or life in a car accident near Naples, you can potentially seek compensation. At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, our wrongful death attorneys understand the nuances of injury law. We can help you explore your options and assert your rights. We proudly represent individuals from throughout Collier and Lee Counties, including in Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, and Port Charlotte. You can call us toll-free at (800) 283-7442 or contact us through our online form to set up a free consultation about your case.