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Handling a Fatal Car Accident Claim

Handling a Fatal Car Accident Claim

When you’ve received the devastating news of a loved one’s death, you may not know where to begin. You may be seeking closure, compensation, or someone to blame. If your loved one was killed in a car accident, a wrongful death lawsuit may help you find all three.

Car accidents, especially fatal ones, rarely occur when both parties are paying full attention and following the rules of the road. If your loved one was killed by a drunk, distracted, or otherwise irresponsible driver, you may be entitled to compensation. While money cannot undo the accident or resolve your loss, a lawsuit can help you seek justice and recover from the financial consequences of losing a loved one.

These include:

  • Medical bills for premortem treatment
  • Burial and funerary expenses
  • Diminished household income
  • Lack of support and services

An Important Reminder

Unless the other driver’s actions were especially egregious, filing a lawsuit will not punish them, nor is your legal action designed to make their life more difficult. Rather, the suit should help you and your family recover financially, and hold the defendant responsible for his or her actions. For many grieving families, the sense of fairness and justice a lawsuit provides can help them find closure.

Finding Fault in Fatal Accidents

Every accident has the potential to be fatal, but no two accidents are the same. This is why many law firms, including Roman & Gaynor, conduct private investigations to determine fault in fatal car accidents.

For example, if we encountered a vehicle rollover, which is one of the most common types of fatal car accidents, we would investigate to find out what caused the vehicle to lose balance. If another driver struck the vehicle before it rolled over, for instance, we would attribute fault to the driver who inspired the other vehicle’s loss of control.

Other types of fatal car accidents include:

  • Head-on collisions in which fault can be determined by examining the rules of the road.
  • Side-impact collisions, which account for 25% of passenger deaths, frequently occur in intersections and involve misunderstandings regarding the right of way.
  • Sideswipe collisions, which sometimes occur at high speeds on the freeway and are usually the result of improper lane changes.
  • Rear-end accidents in which fault is typically uncontested.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Florida?

Unfortunately, if your boyfriend, girlfriend, or close friend died in a car accident, you will be unable to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If your spouse, child, or sibling was killed, however, you may be equipped to file a claim.

In Florida, wrongful death lawsuits must be handled by the representative of the decedent’s estate. This individual may be appointed in the deceased person’s will or selected by the court. No matter who brings about the lawsuit, any damages will be awarded to the decedent’s survivors.

State statutes define “survivors” as:

  • The decedent’s spouse, children, and parents
  • Blood relatives and adoptive siblings who are “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.”

How Long Do I Have to File?

Per Florida’s statutes of limitations, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

If you do not meet this deadline, you will be unable to pursue justice and compensation related to your spouse, child, or sibling’s car accident.

How Do I Get Started?

If you choose Roman & Gaynor, your first step will be a consultation. Your initial case evaluation will be 100% free of charge, and our firm will not charge you a cent unless we win your case

Call (727) 877-1212 today to schedule a same-day consultation. We are available day and night, and promise to provide you with a free case evaluation within 24 hours of your call. If you cannot make it into our Clearwater office, we can also meet you wherever is most convenient for you and your family.

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