Wrongful Death DUI Accidents
Despite the known risks of driving while impaired, drunk driving accidents frequently occur in Florida, and unfortunately, many DUI crashes cause fatal injuries. Losing a loved one due to another person's reckless acts typically causes emotional trauma and financial hardships. While no amount of money can repair the harm caused by a loved one’s sudden death, if you lost a family member in a collision caused by an intoxicated driver, you may be able to recover substantial damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, and it is prudent to speak to an attorney. At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A, our dedicated Cape Coral lawyers are skilled at handling claims arising out of wrongful death DUI accidents, and if you engage our services, we will work tirelessly to help you seek a just outcome. We frequently represent parties in wrongful death lawsuits arising out of DUI crashes in Cape Coral and other cities throughout Florida.Claims Arising Out of Wrongful Death DUI Accidents
Typically, a plaintiff in a wrongful death case arising out of a DUI accident will assert negligence claims against the driver that caused the accident. To prove negligence under Florida law, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and that the defendant acted in a manner that constitutes a breach of the duty. Usually, the duty owed is to act with reasonable care under the circumstances, but it also may be an obligation imposed by a statute. The plaintiff then has to establish that the defendant’s breach proximately caused the harm suffered. In other words, that the fatal accident would not have occurred absent the defendant’s actions.
In addition to pursuing claims against the driver, a person may be able to seek compensation from the individual or entity that served the driver alcohol. In other words, under Florida law, a person who sells or gives alcohol to a minor or an individual he or she knows to be habitually addicted to alcoholic beverages may be held liable for damages the individual causes while intoxicated.Damages Recoverable Following Wrongful Death DUI Accidents
Pursuant to Florida’s Wrongful Death Act (the Act), when a person’s death is caused by negligence, the individual responsible for the death may be liable for damages. The Act establishes who may pursue claims following a person’s wrongful death and elucidates what compensation is recoverable. Specifically, the Act provides that the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a wrongful death action to pursue damages for both the estate and the decedent’s survivors.
The damages recoverable differ as to the estate and survivors. The estate may recover the loss of the decedent’s earnings from the time of injury to the time of death. In certain scenarios, the estate may also be granted the loss of prospective net accumulations, reduced to the present value. The estate may recover any medical expenses incurred prior to the decedent’s death and funeral expenses owed by the estate as well.
Only people deemed survivors under the Act are eligible to recover damages. Survivors may be granted compensation for the loss of the decedent’s services from the date of injury to death, as well as the future loss of services. The Act also states that survivors may be awarded damages for the emotional harm caused by the decedent’s death. It is important to note that wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years of a person’s death, so anyone wishing to pursue such claims must act promptly.Meet with a Trusted Florida Car Accident Attorney
People who recklessly cause fatal DUI accidents should be held accountable for any damages that arise out of their actions. If you lost a loved one in a drunk driving collision, it is in your best interest to meet with an attorney to discuss what compensation you may be owed. The trusted Cape Coral lawyers of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. take pride in helping people fight to protect their interests, and if you hire us, we can advise you of your rights and help you pursue the best legal outcome available under the circumstances. We have offices in Cape Coral, and Fort Myers, and Naples, where we often represent people in wrongful death DUI accident cases. You can contact us at 800-283-7442 or via our online form to set up a conference.